Sway Bar Bushings
The sway bar is an important car component that stabilizes the vehicle during turns and provides your vehicle with proper handling. Many cars have sway bars and they are all connected to smaller components known as sway bar bushings, which will get worn over time and require replacement. But what are sway bar bushings and what are they needed for?
What are Sway Bar Bushings?
Your car’s body will actually shift to one side as you complete a turn. This results in your outside wheels compressing and your inside wheels extending. Your sway bar provides the support necessary to keep the wheels bound together, straighten your internal components out, and prevent a rollover when you turn.
Sway bars connect to the rest of your vehicle in two places: the control arm and your car’s body/frame. The sway bar is attached to the control arm by sway bar links and attaches to the body/frame by the sway bar bushings. The sway bar bushings’ main job is to separate the sway bar from your vehicle’s body or frame to reduce noise and friction. Typically, bushings will rarely break, but they will get worn out over time.
How to Tell if Your Sway Bar Bushings are Failing
- Knocking noise when going over bumps – The first sign that one or more of your sway bar bushings has gone bad is the presence of a knocking sound when you go over a bump or take a corner. You will hear a loud thump coming from the bottom of your vehicle. This noise is typically caused by a worn sway bar bushing that can no longer hold the sway bar in place. As the free sway bar moves around when going over bumps or taking a corner, the knocking noise is created.
- Squeaking noise on bumps and turns – Squeaking noises are usually due to a lack of adequate lubrication and it’s no different with sway bar bushings. When the bushing lubrication starts to dry out, the metal-on-metal contact will produce an audible squeaking noise, especially during sharp turns.
- Poor handling – The sway bar is the key component that offers your car the handling and stability you need to drive safely, however a failing sway bar bushing will compromise this. A worn sway bar bushing will fail to hold the sway bar firmly in place, creating a sluggish feel behind the wheel.
How to Fix Worn Sway Bar Bushings
Worn sway bar bushings should always be replaced and should always be done by an automotive professional, as the positioning and alignment of the sway bar must be precise and requires special tools. Sometimes, bushings will fail as a result of a fuel leak somewhere else inside the vehicle. This leak should be addressed alongside the replacement of the worn sway bar bushings.
The best and easiest way to book a sway bar bushing replacement is through CarAdvise. Book your automotive services through CarAdvise to get maintenance done at a trusted shop near you for a lower-than-retail price guaranteed!« Back to Glossary Index