5 Crucial Bad Sway Bar Link Symptoms

Sway bar link problems are relatively easy to notice. The most common symptom is excessive body roll. When you go around a corner, the car should hug the road and not lean to one side.

5 Crucial Bad Sway Bar Link Symptoms

This article will discuss this issue and four other common bad sway bar link symptoms.

What Do Sway Bar Links Do in a Car?

The sway bar links are a part of the suspension system. They connect to the sway bar, which helps to stabilize the car when going around corners. The links are what allow the sway bar to do its job.

The sway bar link transfers force from the car’s body to the suspension system. It helps to keep the car level and prevents it from leaning too much when going around corners.

If the sway bar links are damaged, they will not be able to transfer force properly, and the car will lean.

Sway Bar Link Problems

Sway bar link problems are noticeable in most cases. However, there are some instances where the problem may not be as apparent.

The best way to stay on top of this issue is to have your car inspected yearly, regardless of whether your state requires it.

If the sway bar link issue isn’t addressed, it can cause other problems that will create more expenses, such as decreased handling ability and even constant tire replacements.

Worn Sway Bar Link Symptoms

Let’s look at some of the prominent sway bar link symptoms.

Excessive Body Roll

If the sway bar links become worn, they will not be able to properly stabilize the car, causing it to lean. This is the most common symptom of bad sway bar links.

If you notice that your vehicle is leaning more than usual when you go around corners, your sway bar links are likely worn.

Popping or Clunking Sounds

Another common symptom of bad sway bar links is popping or clunking sounds. These sounds usually occur when going over bumps or when making a turn.

The popping or clunking sound is caused by the sway bar links moving around and hitting other parts of the suspension system. If you hear these sounds, contact your mechanic to have your car inspected.

Vibrations

Another symptom of bad sway bar links is vibrations. One would feel these vibrations in the seat or steering wheel. The vibrations happen for the same reason as the popping noise.

Bad Handling

If the sway bar links are damaged, they will not be able to properly stabilize the car, causing it to handle poorly. It is especially noticeable when going around corners.

The vehicle will feel loose and may even drift. The feeling is similar to driving on a flat tire.

Uneven Tire Wear

Constant leaning and drifting around curves will cause uneven tire wear. Examples of uneven tire wear are bald spots on the tires or tires that are wearing out on one side more than the other.

For example, the front tire is worn down to the white fabric on the inside but perfectly fine on the outside. Treadwear like this will cause vibrations at higher speeds as well.

5 Crucial Bad Sway Bar Link Symptoms

How Long Should Sway Bar Links Last?

The lifespan of your sway bar links will depend on the quality of the parts and how well they are maintained.

In many cases, car owners need to replace their sway bar links once throughout the car’s entire lifespan. Expect them to last at least 50,000 miles.

However, if you do a lot of Jeep off-roading or driving in harsh conditions, for example, you may need to replace your sway bar links more frequently.

In this case, it is more important to ensure the sway bar links perform effectively. Drifting or losing control at high speeds can cause serious accidents.

How Long Do Sway Bar Bushings Last?

In most cases, the lifespan of your sway bar bushings will be the same as your sway bar links. The bushings are usually made from the same material as the links and will wear out at a similar rate.

They work as a stabilizer for the links and will need replacement if they are worn. The sway bar bushing absorbs the shocks from the road and prevents them from being transferred to the links.

They also prevent the car from rolling while going into corners. They are an essential part of the suspension system.

You can expect them to last at least 50,000 to 70,000 miles as well. However, remember it all depends on the type of driving you do as well as how much you drive.

Off-roading, rough terrains, and racing are likely to lower the lifespan of the sway bar bushings. A good rule is to replace the bushings and links at the same time. It will save you time and money in the long run.

Can You Drive a Vehicle With a Broken Sway Bar Link?

If your sway bar links are damaged, it is not safe to drive. Driving with a broken sway bar link can damage other parts of the suspension system and the tires.

It can also cause the car to handle poorly, making it difficult to control.

In some cases, it may even cause the car to roll over. If you have a malfunctioning sway bar link, it is best to have your vehicle towed to a mechanic to get it fixed.

If you must drive, do so carefully until you can get the problem repaired. It is always best to address the issue to prevent further issues or even accidents.

Wrapping Up

If you have any concerns about your sway bar links, it is best to take your car to a mechanic for an inspection. They can properly diagnose and provide the best support to address the issue.

Now that you know all about sway bar links, their symptoms, and what to do if they are damaged, you can be sure to keep your car running smoothly.

Make sure to check your links regularly and replace them if necessary.

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Author: DJ

Dave Junior is a hands-on automotive technician with experience in performing service, diagnostics, and repairs on domestic and imported vehicles. He enjoys writing and sharing his knowledge far and wide.

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