Are your sway bar links damaged?
Your car's suspension is a complex combination of parts that all work in unison to keep its chassis nimble, upright, comfortable, and safe. Over time, some of those components will begin to show signs of wear and begin to make noises or cause the car to sag. The noises aren't terrible; they serve as warning signs that the part needs to be fixed. But a sagging chassis means that a part has failed, and could cause more parts to fail under compensatory stress. One of the smallest and most fragile of these parts is the sway bar link. If it breaks, then the stabilizer bar is no longer connected to the control arm and you will notice a great amount of body lean during your turns. A bad sway bar link will not only make some alarming noises, but can also cause a condition called understeer - when your vehicle departs its corner at a wider angle than desired. Understeer on windy roads or during wet weather is extremely dangerous, so a broken front or rear sway bar link really needs to be replaced as soon as possible.
The importance of stabilizer and sway bar links.
Sometimes called the stabilizer link, it is a small arm or tube that attaches the sway bar to the control arm. This ensures that the sway bar connects the control arms on both sides of the vehicle, reducing lean and roll while cornering
. The first stabilizers were used on automotive suspensions as far back as the 1920s, but weren't popular until after World War II. Sway bar links arrived even later than that, at a point in time when a car's geometry could be meticulously designed. This meant that the stabilizer bars could be mounted and adjusted at optimal locations. For a few off-road applications, drivers will completely remove the sway bars and links in order to allow more body roll and offer better rock crawling capabilities.
Getting your hands dirty.
Since your stabilizers do not support any of the vehicle's weight, you do not need to put the car on a lift to change the sway bar or the links. So all you need to do is get under the car or truck and access them. Usually, the stabilizer bar links will be bolted to the bar at one end, and through the control arm or a bracket on your strut at the other end. There are some exceptions, but generally this is the setup. Here's how to change them.
- This job is easiest to do when you work on both sides at the same time. You will be able to rotate the sway bar if the links on both sides are unbolted.
- First, unbolt the stabilizer links at the point where they connect to the suspension (opposite of the sway bar). Remove any of the connecting hardware.
- Next, loosen the connection at the sway bar end but do not completely unbolt it.
- Now, rotate the sway bar away from the connection points. This will lift the links out of their original position. Some manipulation of the links will be required to get them free, but they will budge. In instances where the sway bar links make vertical connections between the bar and control arm, you can usually lift the car a little bit and they will simply pull right out.
- With the links free of their connection at one end, you can now finish disconnecting them from the sway bar.
- Finally, repeat these steps in reverse to replace your new links.
Choose the best replacement parts.
When ordering replacement sway bar links, you have to consider the quality of the parts. At Car Parts Discount we carry top name brands and manufacturers for our suspension parts. Whether you drive an import or domestic vehicle, you will want the best for your money. Our website offers quality aftermarket and original equipment sway bar links, as well as inexpensive replacement ones. So you are never going to be priced out of the part you need, and you won't have to wait long to get it thanks to our super fast shipping. Don't delay, buy now.