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Watch Out for These Sway Bar Links Symptoms

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. A sway bar itself can rarely get damaged, but its bushings and links can wear out or crack. Being aware of sway bar links symptoms will help you avoid some unwanted problems.

Why Do Sway Bar Links Wear Out?

It’s important to know why the links wear out before delving into what are the symptoms of a bad sway bar. You will be surprised to know that bushings and links can sometimes get damaged within 60,000 miles.

The suspension of an engine, especially the front unit, endures extreme stress and pressure when the car is running. Being a part of this suspension system, a sway bar also withstands this strain. As sway bar parts are made of steel or iron, they can wear out, crack, or snap under immense pressure.

Bad sway bar links can make driving a difficult and unsafe experience. Worn out bar links can lead to anything, from slight swaying while driving to outright wiping out your car’s stability. Without a fully functioning sway bar, a vehicle can go out of control in an instant.

Bad Sway Bar Links Symptoms

The bar links have rubber bushings on both ends. Both deteriorated bushings and worn out links can cause the following signs, ranging from mild to significant symptoms.

Suspension Sounds

When bushings or links start to deteriorate, they may create a squeaking or clattering sound that you will hear coming from the suspension area when driving over a speed bump or around a corner.

This is how to tell if stabilizer link is bad. Functioning links are supposed to fit snugly, leaving no room for movement. But a slight moving space is created when they wear thin, leading to creating these sounds.

In the case of extreme damage, these noises will be quite audible when you are driving on the highway. Don’t wait for your car to reach this stage.


Handling Troubles

You will face various handling issues when the bar links become loose. The tires can’t generate adequate traction on the ground and you cannot turn the car properly because the steering wheel is acting up.

A high amount of dirt or rust in the system can also cause this trouble. However, you should check the sway bar links and bushings too.

Excessive Swerving Problems

How to tell if sway bar links are bad? When the car swerves at the time of driving. As the tires lose their grip, the wheels also don’t stay stable and cannot generate enough traction. For these reasons, the car swerves into a direction during acceleration.

how to tell if stabilizer link is bad
Vehicles swerve when the bar links are bad. Source: Steven Straiton / Flickr

Facing sway bar links symptoms means you are driving the car under the risk of an accident. Even if nothing happens, the suspension will gradually get damaged. Take the car for repair, which may need replacing both bushings and links.

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