The Saab 900 is a unique, luxury compact car that was produced by the Saab manufacturer between 1978 and 1998. Unlike most cars, the Saab sported a front-mounted L 4-cylinder engine with a double wishbone front suspension and a beam rear axle. The car was introduced to the market in May of 1978 and immediately captured a lot of attention for its different design approach. Though some people think the slanted angle of the hatchback looks a little odd, the car has maintained its popularity over the years due to its quality build.
Like any vehicle, though, it must be maintained because certain parts will wear out over time. Shocks and struts are the part of the suspension that will have to be replaced occasionally throughout the life of the vehicle. Typically, the two parts wear out at the same time because they have a similar function. Shocks and struts absorb impacts as the car moves over the road. By absorbing the bumps, the body of the vehicle and the frame are not jolted around as much, and the driver can enjoy a smoother ride.
When shocks are in need of replacement, it does not necessarily mean that the car is in danger, but the ride will become considerably more uncomfortable and it has been shown that broken shocks cause the vehicle to require more distance to slow down on rough roads. In addition, if the shocks are not working anymore, then other parts of the vehicle will also start to wear down faster due to the increased amount of movement over bumps.
How Often The Shocks Have to Be Replaced
Advertisements for shocks and struts are seen all over the place in automobile shops and on the television. Manufactures use all kinds of tactics such as telling people that their safety is at risk or trying to sell them on a smoother ride that is more luxurious. Often, people have no idea when their shocks really need to be replaced because they are constantly being approached about it.
The first thing to understand about shocks is that they are not necessarily putting the car or driver at risk by not being replaced. Yes, they should definitely be replaced periodically, but shoppers should take their time and find the right ones rather than rushing into it because they were told they had to.
How often the shocks should be replaced is highly debated among manufacturers. Ultimately, it is going to vary depending on the vehicle and the kind of roads that it is driven on. People who never wander off perfectly paved roads will be able to go for a longer period of time without purchasing new shocks. However, those who frequently travel on rougher surfaces are going to need to replacement parts more often. On average, factory shocks will begin to wear down after around 30,000 to 40,000 miles. The struts often times last for an additional 10,000 miles longer than the shocks do, so if money is tight, just replace the shocks.
Determining how the shocks are holding up based on how the car drives can be difficult. This is because drivers are in their car frequently and rarely notice the slow decline in their shocks. However, there are a few ways that owners can check their shocks without taking the Saab to a mechanic. The following are some signs that the shocks need to be replaced.
- The vehicle bounces excessively after going over a bump
- The vehicle sways excessively in high winds
- The nose of the vehicles dips down when braking
- The vehicle bottoms out when backing out of a driveway
- The vehicle sags down excessively when holding several passengers
- The car bounces two to three times after pushing the front bumper down and releasing it
- If the Saab is showing any of these signs, then it is time to pick out new shocks and get them installed. Again, it is okay to wait a little while to get them replaced if necessary, but like any replaceable parts, the vehicle will hold its value best when maintained constantly.
Types of Shock Absorbers
Manufacturers make shocks that are designed for all kinds of purposes. For example, some shocks are stiffer for performance purposes, while others are softer for a more comfortable ride. One of the biggest things to look for is a guarantee from the manufacturer. Typically, they will guarantee the shocks for a certain amount of time, or a specific number of miles.
Type of Shock Absorber
Shock absorbers with a coil system are the cheapest and most basic kind available; the most commonly equipped shocks on new vehicles; a good choice for everyday drivers who do not need the higher-end performance shocks
Gas shocks are a more costly option; provide the driver with a higher level of control on rough roads; useful for high speed maneuvers, such as swerving around debris in the road; replacement cartridges can be bought rather than replacing the entire shock
The hydraulic socks are filled with oil and are usually only put on vehicles in need of the best possible performance; use a three-stage compression system which allows them to adjust on their own
Overall, the coil shocks will be adequate and affordable for any average commuter. There is no need to upgrade to the more expensive performance shocks unless it is a sports car.
However, since some companies make shocks that are stiffer than others, it may be a good idea to talk to a professional about what brands would be the best solution for the style of driving. For example, people who live in areas with a lot of winding roads or rough surfaces may need stiffer shocks so that they can maintain better control of the vehicle. Whereas, drivers who live in larger cities with smooth roads may be better off with the softer shocks.
Getting the Shock Absorbers Installed
Although shocks and struts can be installed by any owner who has the right tools, it is highly recommended to have a professional do it. A professional is more likely to notice certain things like a bushing that is too loose, or a shock that is not built right. An owner can easily make a simple mistake that later on damages the car. A professional is going to charge for their time and labour, but in the end, the cost is worth it to have a peace of mind that the job was done right.
How to Find Shocks for a Saab 900 on eBay
eBay is a website where dealers and private sellers can list their products for sale, which makes it a great site to find any kind of auto part you want. Whether or not you have decided on the brand of shocks to get, you can use the eBay website to bargain shop and find the best deals available. Multiple sellers have the same products and some offer bonuses such as free shopping or an extra long guarantee.
To use the website, just type the product keyword into the search bar. You can enter something general such as "shocks", or you can search for a specific brand such as "KYB shocks". Although eBay has the option to shop for used shocks, that is not recommended because you have no way of knowing how worn out they are.
Since there are so many kinds of shocks for sale on eBay, it can be overwhelming trying to sort through them all. One way to narrow down the search is by entering in your price range and sorting the listings based on the lowest price first. Then start skimming through an adding the ones that seem like a viable option to your Watch List. Once you are done, visit your My eBay page to take a close look at the products and decide which ones are best. If you have any questions about a product, eBay makes it easy to contact the seller.
Once you have found suitable shocks for your needs, it is wise to research the seller. Look at the seller's rating and feedback, and read comments from others who have bought car parts, particularly shocks and struts, from the seller. Top-rated sellers have a consistent track record with many successful sales to satisfied customers.
Shocks play a vital role in keeping the car running smoothly and providing a comfortable ride. Without shocks, the Saab would wear down quickly from the normal, yet constant, vibrations and impacts that come from driving over the road. Once a driver starts noticing the common signals that indicate that the shocks are wearing down, they should be replaced within the next couple hundred kilometres. In most cases, the shocks will last longer than that, but driving a vehicle on worn down shocks will wear it down faster.
Typically, most mechanic shops are available to do the installation, but often they overcharge their customers for the parts. Try getting a quote from them on the price of the shocks, then do some bargain shopping online to see if there are better deals available. In most cases, buyers find that shopping online saves money.