Saab Wheel Bearing Replacement DIY (9-5 and 9-3ss)

Both later model Saab 9-5’s (2002 and on), and the 03+ Saab 9-3 feature very similarly designed wheel bearing and hub assemblies.  If you suspect your Saab wheel bearing (whether it be 9-5, 9-5, or otherwise) is going bad, first check out this article [click here].  Once you’ve discovered a bad bearing or hub, and purchased the required components to do the job at, you’re ready to get the wheel in the air and start replacing parts.  You will need:

The wheel bearing hub [enter your car into the vehicle selector]

An E18 socket for the hub bolts

An E20 socket for the brake calipers

A 36mm axle socket and nut (this will be different if the car has had aftermarket axles installed)

Impact tools aren’t necessary but greatly recommended

A torque wrench


Wheel Bearing Step by Step

1.  Start by raising the car and securing it on jack stands

2.  Remove the brake caliper and hang it safely out of the way, be careful not to tweak the hydraulic brake hose

3.  Remove the brake disc set screw and the brake rotor

4.  Remove the axle nut with impact.  If you don’t have impact tools you will have to go through the extra steps of removing the wheel, popping the center cap out, reinstalling and putting the car on the ground, and removing the nut with a very large breaker bar.

5.  Disconnect the lower ball joint

6.  With the spindle free, pull the axle out of the hub to allow clearance to reach the bolts

7.  Remove the 3 E18 inverted torx bolts and pop the hub out of the spindle

8.  Apply a small amount of high temperature anti-seize to all the surfaces that will see metal to metal contact, either with the spindle or the brake rotor

9.  It is recommended to use new hub bolts, and torque value is 90 Nm +45°(66 ft. lbs. +45°)

10. Clean and install the brake disc, ensuring it is free from grease, replace the set screw

11.  Reinstall the brake caliper, torque value is 140 Nm + 45°(103 ft. lbs. + 45°) for the Saab 9-5 and  210 Nm +30°(155 ft. lbs. +30°) for the Saab 9-3

12.  It’s recommended to use a new axle nut, reinstall but don’t torque down yet

13.  Install the wheel without the center cap, and lower the car to the ground

14. Torque the axle nut to 230 Nm (170 ft. lbs.)

15.  Install the lug bolts to 110 Nm (81 ft. lbs.) and install the center cap back into the wheel.

That’s all it takes to enjoy a refreshed, smooth, quiet ride.  Generally a wheel bearing can last over 200k miles, but depending on what stress the bearing has been put under, whether or not the axle has been replaced and torqued correctly, as well as other circumstances will factor in to the life of your wheel bearing.


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Posted in DIY How-To, Saab
12 thoughts on “Saab Wheel Bearing Replacement DIY (9-5 and 9-3ss)
  1. V

    It’s cute that you just “work the axle out of the splines”like that. I’ve never seen an axle slide out like that — in fact, I’m not sure this job is possible without a puller. Or am I missing something?

    • Adam Goral

      The splines are often rusty and will require some work, but if you apply a good amount of heat with a torch, and a sharp blow with a hammer (try not to mushroom the threads, put a nut on) it will come off. This did take a few minutes of whacking to get the axle to separate from the hub, which we assume you didn’t want to watch.

  2. KC

    Good video and transcript. Direct and on topic without the usual blatty blah by many utube “personality” instructors. Thanks for not including the clanging hammer boring parts. Ur video delivers the “fast and right now”. Keep posting so I can keep fixing.

  3. Chris

    Can you dona video for the ’99-’01 Saab 9-5 wheel bearing and hub removal and replacement? Wish my ’01 was this easy!

  4. Jeff Saeger

    Very useful and informative. Inspired me to do the REAR one on my AWD 9-3. Having trouble dealing with the speed sensor, it stayed on the suspension assy. Do I have to somehow remove the axle or drop the suspension joints to get it off?

  5. Charles Russell

    Hi I just replaced my driver’s side wheel bearing assembly and when I tried to drive out of the drive way the car would not move and I heard grinding. If anyone knows or has this happen after replacement of wheel hub assembly please help me out

    • Adam Goral

      If the car won’t move…something is really messed up. Jack the car back up and make sure you didn’t accidentally put a bolt where it shouldn’t be or something, and that with the wheel in the air it turns. Even if the wheelbearing was completely blown, the car would still drive around, albeit poorly.

        • Adam Goral

          If one of your CV joints is broken or popped out, your car will not move forward due to the open differential. Check the CV axles on both sides and make sure everything is fully engaged.

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