Though small and often overlooked, your sway bar bushings play a key role in stabilizing your car during turns and other cornering maneuvers. They make sure your sway bar has a firm but slightly elastic connection to fixed points on your chassis. If your sway bar bushings start to deteriorate, you may notice a slight lack of steering response and subtle grinding or rattling noises. Now, just because you are hearing noises and feeling a vague sloppy feeling in your suspension doesn't always mean your sway bar bushings need to be replaced. But since they are easy to see and can be replaced with relative ease, you should definitely inspect their condition from time to time. The brackets that keep them in place are susceptible to rust, and over time the bushing's elastic material will break down. If you notice the bushings are bad, get them changed.
As vehicles being produced during the post-war period of the 20th century were getting faster and larger, the need for a more stiff and nimble suspension began to take a high priority. The sway bar (or stabilizer) was borrowed from race cars and soon made an appearance on production vehicles. It joins control arms on opposite sides of the car together, keeping the body from rolling excessively during a turn. In order for it to do this, it must be fastened to the chassis at two or more points. This is where the sway bar bushings come in. They are made of rubber or urethane, and provide a buffer between your sway bar and the bracket that mounts the bar to your car or truck's chassis (http://www.ehow.com/info_8460627_signs-bad-sway-bar-bushings.html). Rubber sway bar bushings tend to be a little softer and are much more common, while urethane bushings are usually found on race or track applications where the driver favors stiffness over comfort.
Replacing your old stabilizer bar bushings is fairly easy. As long as you have the ability to lift and support the vehicle high enough to work under it safely and have the appropriate tools (sockets, torque wrench or ratchet), you should be fine. You will simple lift the car so that you can locate the bushings and brackets. These can be located anywhere, and will vary from vehicle to vehicle. Once you can see the sway bar bushings and brackets, unbolt the brackets from their mounting locations. This will free up the bushing and you can now slide it up and down the bar. There is always a slot cut into the bushings, so with enough manipulation you should be able to pry the bushings away from the bar. As soon as that is done, install the new sway bar bushings in their place, and you're done. Make sure to use factory specified torque on those bolts when you re-install the brackets.
Buying and installing replacement sway bar bushings doesn't have to be a hassle. At Car Parts Discount, we carry top quality brand suspension parts from all the best aftermarket and original equipment manufacturers. Not only are our prices super low, but we can ship fast. That means less downtime and less impact on your pocketbook. Why get your new stabilizer bar bushings anywhere else?