National average cost of a Sway Bar Replacement for popular vehicles:
What is a sway bar and how does it work?
A sway bar is a component of the suspension system found on many vehicles on the road today. Also known by other names - anti-sway bar, anti-roll bar, and stabilizer bar - the sway bar helps your vehicle to resist leaning or “swaying” when going around a turn.
Whenever you travel around a turn, the vehicle’s weight leans toward the outside of the turn. For instance, if you are turning left, the body rolls to the right. In the process, its weight is applied excessively to the tires on the right side. At the same time, weight is reduced on the tires on the left side. This rolling or swaying can be uncomfortable. But more than that, it can become dangerous as the tires no longer maintain proper alignment with the road and are unable to grip the surface of the ground.
Made of spring steel, the sway bar connects the left and right sides of the suspension to one another and to the body of your vehicle. Some vehicles have both a front and a rear sway bar. The sway bar resists the weight shift in turns and balances out the force of your tires against the ground.
What are signs that a sway bar needs to be replaced?
Sway bars do not tend to deteriorate gradually. At least, the symptoms of a bad sway bar do not come on slowly over time. It is more likely that you would hear signs of bad sway bar bushings (such as squeaks) or failed sway bar links (rattles or clicks) when you go over bumps.
If your sway bar does break, you will probably notice a clunking sound right away. You may also detect a problem when you take a turn as your vehicle leans excessively to one side. Your vehicle might also swerve as traction and stability are compromised.
Many sway bars, however, last the lifetime of the vehicle.
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There are 50 shops within 20 miles of your location.
If a sway bar needs to be replaced, a technician will need to lift and support your vehicle off of the ground to relieve tension from the weight of the vehicle. The tires and wheels will need to be removed for access. From there, the procedure depends, in part, on the vehicle make and model. It also depends on whether the sway bar to be replaced is located on the front or rear of your vehicle.
Other steps include
Disconnect the sway bar from the sway bar links that connect each end to the lower control arm or knuckle
Unbolt the sway bar bushing brackets from the vehicle body, frame, or sub-frame, crossmember, or cradle
Remove the sway bar from the vehicle
_Transfer the bushings from the old sway bar to the new one
Insert the new sway bar into its mounting location
Install the bushing brackets
Connect the sway bar links to the sway bar and torque the fasteners
Lower the vehicle
Note that some vehicles might need to have the suspension “loaded” with weight on the tires before the sway bar bushing brackets can be tightened. And on some vehicles, the engine cradle or crossmember might need to be lowered to access the sway bar for removal.
OTHER QUESTIONS CUSTOMERS ASK
Do sway bars wear out?
Sway bars do not tend to wear out. They are made of heat-treated spring steel and are quite thick and heavy. Most sway bars last the lifetime of the vehicle. But while sway bars do not tend to wear out, aggressive driving can have an impact. So can road and environmental conditions, such as dirt, snow, and salt.that might cause corrosion.
What happens if a sway bar breaks while driving?
If a sway bar breaks while you are driving, you might hear a clunking sound when going over bumps. But more than that, you will likely experience a significant change in how your vehicle handles while turning, especially if the front sway bar breaks. It might feel like the car leans or lurches excessively to one side, toward the outside of the turn. It might even become difficult to maintain traction when turning. The effects on your vehicle’s stability and safety is significant and could result in a serious accident.
Is it safe to drive a car with a broken sway bar?
It may be possible to drive a vehicle with a broken sway bar, but it is not recommended. Vehicle handling, especially while turning, can be significantly compromised. If you need to drive after a sway bar breaks, use caution. Drive slowly and only on paved roads if possible. Take turns gently. Avoid highways and freeways that require high speeds and lane changes.