Vehicle suspension systems use many different parts, such as control arms, ball joints, sway bars, sway bar links, and bushings. Sway bar links also play an important role in the suspension function of the vehicle.
Through this article, we will get detailed information about sway bar links, such as: what are sway bar links, how do they work, symptoms of a bad sway bar link, and what could be the sway bar link replacement cost?
What Is A Sway Bar Links
Sway bars are a component used in the suspension of vehicles. Sway bar links are also known as stabilizer links or anti roll bar links. Sway bar links are used to connect the vehicle’s suspension and sway bars. A sway bar link is a metal rod with movable joints at both ends facing opposite directions from each other.
A joint mounts to the sway bar, and another joint mounts to some part of the vehicle’s suspension. Sway bar links allow the sway bar to move and make flexible movements. Sway bar links are attached to both ends of the sway bar.
Symptoms Of Bad Sway Bar Links
Common symptoms of a bad sway bar link may include rattling, or clunking noises, uneven tire wear, reduced handling performance, vehicle pulling to one side, or loose suspension.
1. Rattling, or Clunking Noises
You may hear an unusual clucking or rattling noise from under the vehicle when the sway bar link in the vehicle’s suspension is worn or damaged. Often this noise becomes louder when the vehicle is driven, especially over bumps or turns.
Because the sway bar link starts rattling on bumpy roads due to damage. However, abnormal noise coming from under the vehicle can also be due to damage to other parts of the suspension system.
2. Uneven Tire Wear
The sway bar links of a vehicle’s suspension system can often become worn or damaged, causing uneven tire wear and a decrease in vehicle handling performance. Bad or damaged sway bar links can completely affect the functioning of the vehicle’s sway bar.
When the vehicle is cornered, the weight of the vehicle starts to lean more to one side, due to which the tires of the vehicle are subjected to higher pressure during cornering. Hence, due to a bad or damaged sway bar link, the tire wear on the vehicle is uneven. starts.
3. Low Handling Performance
In a vehicle’s suspension system, the sway bar link helps maintain vehicle stability and improve handling by balancing the vehicle’s one-way tilt when the vehicle is cornering. But when the sway bar links become worn or damaged, a decrease in vehicle stability and handling performance can be felt.
However, there may be other reasons for the reduction in vehicle stability and handling performance. such as: bad suspension, bad sway bar bushings, and a bad steering system.
4. Pull Vehicle A Side
A worn or damaged sway bar link of a vehicle’s suspension system causes the vehicle to pull to one side when it is driven in a straight line. Because the functioning of the sway bar can be disturbed, the balance of the vehicle can be disturbed. Hence, vehicle handling can become a challenge when the vehicle is being driven in a straight line.
However, there can be many other reasons for a vehicle pulling to one side. Therefore, after investigating the reasons related to this problem, their redressal should be done immediately.
5. Loose Suspension
Whenever the sway bar or its related parts are damaged or disconnected in the suspension system of the vehicle, then you may feel looseness in the suspension system of your vehicle. Because a damaged or disconnected sway bar or its associated parts can cause the vehicle’s suspension system to fail.
Hence, the vehicle feels unstable and unsafe when this happens. So this problem should be investigated immediately, and if the sway bar links are damaged, they should be replaced immediately.
Causes Of A Sway Bar Link Failure
There are many reasons why a vehicle’s sway bar link may go bad, which can directly affect or disable the functioning of the sway bar link.
1. Wear & Tear Issue
The links of the sway bar used in a vehicle’s suspension system wear out over time. Therefore, the sway bar link gets worn out or gets disconnected due to prolonged use, due to which the functioning of the sway bar link is badly affected.
2. Corrosion Effect
Often in vehicles, the sway bar link is located under the vehicle or near the wheels, and at this location, the sway bar link is exposed to water and soil debris, which causes the sway bar link to rust since it is made of metal. Corrosion weakens the sway bar links and disables them.
Hence, the sway bar link gets disconnected from the sway bar by getting damaged or worn due to corrosion. Therefore, when exposed to corrosion, sway bar links tend to get damaged more quickly.
3. Impact Damage
If the wheel of the vehicle falls into a pothole on the road while in motion or the vehicle meets with an accident, your vehicle’s sway bar link may then be bent or broken, due to which the functioning of the sway bar link can be badly affected. Hence, the sway bar links of the vehicle’s suspension system can be damaged or bent.
4. Overloading Issue
If a vehicle is driven continuously with overloading, the vehicle tends to lean more to one side while turning, which makes the sway bar link unable to balance, Due to undue pressure, the sway bar link may be bent, or the overloading vehicle is towed. This can also damage or disable the sway bar links.
5. Improper Installation
Improper installation of the vehicle’s sway bar link can also cause the sway bar link to fail and become inoperative. Because improper installation of the sway bar link badly affects its functioning.
What Does A Sway Bar Link Do?
Sway bars are also known as stabilizer bars or anti-roll bars in vehicle suspension systems. It is a component of a vehicle’s suspension system that helps balance the one-way tilt of the vehicle body during body roll or cornering.
A sway bar link connects the sway bar to the suspension. The sway bar link helps transfer the force of the sway bar in the vehicle’s suspension to the wheels.
Which helps to stabilize the car and improve handling, and when the vehicle is on a turn, the sway bar link transfers the tilt from one side to the other through the sway bar. So that the tilt occurring when the vehicle turns can be balanced.
Types of Sway Bar Links
There are two common types of sway bar links used in vehicles. But the working principle of both types of sway bar links is the same.
- Solid Sway Bar Links
- Flexible Sway Bar Links
When Should Sway Bar Links Be Replaced?
However, the timing of changing the sway bar link may be different according to the functioning of different vehicles. But there is no fixed time to replace sway bar links on any vehicle.
But whenever you see or feel symptoms related to a bad or damaged sway bar link in the vehicle, you should replace it after checking the vehicle’s sway bar link. Because driving a vehicle with a bad or damaged sway bar link can cause serious damage to the vehicle’s suspension system.
How To Change The Sway Bar Link?
To replace the sway bar link in normal vehicles, you have to follow the mentioned process.
- First, you will need to gather enough tools to replace the sway bar link, such as a jack, jack stand, lug wrench, socket set, and a new sway bar link.
- Next, you have to jack up the vehicle, place the jack stand under the vehicle, and ensure that the vehicle j is successfully rested on the jack stand.
- Now, remove the wheel from the side of the vehicle whose sway bar link is to be replaced.
- Remove the wheel by loosening the wheel nuts with a lug wrench.
- Next, find the location of the sway bar link. You will find this link attached to the sway bar.
- Unscrew the nuts and bolts of the sway bar link with the help of a socket set.
- Detach the old link from the sway bar.
- After that, thoroughly clean the area around the sway bar link.
Now match the old sway bar link with the new sway bar link, and make sure that the new sway bar link is the same size as the old sway bar link.
- Now, install the new sway bar link and tighten its nuts and bolts to the correct torque.
- After that, reinstall the wheel and tighten the nuts properly.
- If you want to replace the sway bar link on the other side of the vehicle, repeat the process on that side as well.
- After that, take the vehicle a test drive of the vehicle and check the performance.
- In this way, you can change the sway bar link.
Note: The procedure for replacing sway bar links may differ from vehicle to vehicle. For this, you can check the service manual of the vehicle.
Sway Bar Link Replacement Cost
On average, vehicle replacement cost for a sway bar leak can range from $90 to $200, including the cost of a mechanic’s labor. But this estimated cost does not include taxes and fees. Taxes and fees may vary depending on the location.
The cost of a sway bar link for normal cars and other vehicles can range from $50 to $120, and the labor cost of replacing it by a mechanic can be expected to average between $40 and $80. However, the labor cost of a mechanic may be slightly lower or higher depending on the location.
If you are experienced with sway bar link replacement and have adequate tools, you can save on the labor cost of a mechanic.
Q. What happens when sway bar links go bad?
When sway bar links deteriorate, it can cause problems with your vehicle’s handling and stability, including increased body roll during turns, decreased control and stability, rumbling or rattling noises from the suspension, and uneven tire wear. Is included.
Q. How do I know if my sway links are bad?
Typically, you can tell that my vehicle’s sway bar links have failed by observing instability in vehicle handling and control, unusual noises, body roll during mode, and unusual tire wear.
Q. Can you drive with a bad sway bar link?
Although you can drive with a bad sway bar link, it is not always dangerous to do so. But this can spoil the driving experience, and if it is not taken care of in time, its condition will become even worse.
Banty is the owner of Autorepairszone.com & is also a vehicle mechanic by profession. We have almost 12 years of experience in the field of automotive repair, and we strive to provide you with accurate information about vehicle malfunctions and repairs based on our experience.