How To Tell If Sway Bar Links Are Bad?

A sway bar or stabilizer bar is an integral part of a vehicle’s suspension. Without it, a car can lean to one side, especially when speeding up or turning around a corner. Rarely, do the sway bar gets damaged, rather than bushings and links can wear out or crack.

In this article, learn how to tell if sway bar links are bad and get running your vehicle.

How To Tell If Sway Bar Links Are Bad?

Here are some symptoms of a bad sway bar link,

1. Poor or Unpredictable Handling

A broken or damaged sway bar link can cause your vehicle to handle poorly, particularly if the sway bar is not connected to the chassis properly and will not prevent the car from leaning in a corner. Your car will lean more in corners if the link is broken. If the link is broken or damaged or even bushing for the link is damaged or missing, the handling may feel nervous.

2. Unwanted Noises

This is another symptom of a bad or damaged sway bar link. In this case, the sway bar can have unusual noises caused by the link. If the link is broken, then that end of the sway bar is free to flop around independently of the suspension and chassis. It can cause rattles and clicks as it moves around and knocks against the vehicle as you drive around corners.

In this problem, you can also hear some unwanted sounds like “chunk” or “click” as you go over bumps, and the sway bar moves excessively. If the bushing on the end link is damaged or missing, the same symptoms may occur and cause rattling and unusual noises.

3. Appearance:

In a broken sway bar link, you identified by a visual inspection, which is also the best way to judge if there is a problem with the link and not some other component in the suspension. If the link is broken, it will not be attached to the suspension on one end or may not be attached to the sway bar on the other end. In visual inspection, you can determine the damage in the bush.

Each end of the link has a series of bushings, washers and nuts holding the link to the sway bar on one end and the suspension on the other end. If the link is broken, it will need to be replaced. If the bushings are torn or missing, these will need to be replaced as well.

Is It Safe To Drive With A Broken Sway Bar?

The way this will affect your drive will depend on if the front or rear sway bar is broken.

1. Front Sway Bar

If a front sway bar is broken, then you’ll experience significant differences in how the car handles. The steers feel likes losing particularly when driving at high speeds. This may cause you to lose control of the car, resulting in a serious accident, if you are not ready for it.

2. Rear Sway Bar

The situation is a little less serious if your rear sway bar is broken. This will affect how the car ride when the car’s body will sway particularly when changing lanes, taking corners and in other situations.

What To Do When Your Car’s Sway Bar Is Broken?

If you are all forced to drive with a broken sway bar, you have to drive at normal speed or even slower than normal. In this condition, you shouldn’t turn your vehicle too quickly, so that you can stick to the surface streets and stay off highways and interstates where you might be required to change lanes. As long as you keep your speed down, you should be sage driving until you can have it replaced.

Note that a broken sway bar doesn’t make your car “un-drivable, It does make it handle and corner differently because the weight of the car will have a greater effect when turning and during lateral manoeuver.

The most important thing is that you are prepared for the difference in handling. It can be much more pronounced in some cars than in others. It is highly recommended that you have the sway bar replaced as soon as it’s practical.

How To Troubleshoot The Sway Bar Problem?

First, determine the noise from surrounding suspension noises. Lift the vehicle with a floor jack and safely place the vehicle on a jack stand. Be mindful when doing this.

Locate the sway bar and inspect the bushings. The bushing should not be torn and should be in good condition. Next, grab the sway bar and move it. If there is a slight movement, the sway bar has deteriorated. Moreover, inspect the sway bar link for deteriorated rubber.

Sometimes it can be difficult to distinguish between bad sway bar bushings and bad sway bar end links. Keep in mind that sway bar bushings will produce a squeaky noise when you go over speed bumps. While the sway bar links will make a clunk or thump when you hit a pothole.

How Much Does It Cost For Swayy Bar Replacement?

The regular cost for the replacement of the front sway bar links and bushings is $450 and $900 depending on the model. The parts themselves a very cheap is a piece of good news for the car owners especially if you buy them online. The normal cost of front sway bar bushings is under $100. Sometimes you can even upgrade the stabilizer bar and links for better handling.

In this replacing your sway bar by yourself is easy and you have to do it by the driveway. It is not required to perform a front-wheel aliment if you are only replacing the sway bar parts.


You should drive carefully but, more importantly, slow down when taking a highway exit ramp. So, you can replace these essential components for more on-road safety. Here, you have learned how to tell if sway bar links are bad? And yet running your vehicle.

We hope that your doubts are cleared by this article. If your doubts persist, you can put your comment below in the comment section.

Leave a Comment