If your car is having suspension problems, the sway bar might be one of the first places to look. This essential component takes a lot of stress from your vehicle, so it's almost inevitable yours will wear out at some point if you keep your vehicle long enough. That makes it a common source of suspension issues. Thankfully, it's an easy one to fix. Before you go to the dealership for a sway bar replacement, you should know that you might have a better option. In this article, we'll take a look at what a sway bar actually is, how to tell if it needs replacing, and the best solution for replacing it.
What is a Sway Bar?
The basic purpose of a sway bar is to prevent your car from leaning too heavily to one side, usually caused by turning. When your vehicle turns, the sway bar—or stabilizer bar—works to level everything out. When a vehicle is turning, force is distributed to the tires on the outside edge of the turn, which can make the vehicle feel as though it’s lifting up.
A sway bar works to level the entire vehicle out, ensuring that all of the tires are brought back to the same level. The sway bar is only one piece of the entire suspension system, but it’s an important one. If it isn’t working properly, it can cause a range of problems. Your tires can wear out more quickly, the alignment can suffer, and in the worst cases, it can make your car unsafe to drive. Driving with a broken or worn-out sway bar is dangerous. It makes your vehicle harder to control and harder to stop. That’s why it’s crucial to be aware of the signs that your stabilizer bar might need replacement.
How can I tell if my Sway Bar needs replacing?
There are a couple of ways that you can tell if your sway bar needs a replacement. Your vehicle should have some kind of suspension warning light that illuminates when there is an issue. This is a great feature, but it’s unspecific. Plus, this warning light often comes on once there is a serious problem. You could also go to a certified mechanic to get your car looked at, but that can be costly and inconvenient. If you suspect you may be having sway bar problems, there are a couple of common warning signs to look out for.
- Trouble when taking turns. As the links in the sway bar deteriorate, it makes it more difficult for the tires to keep a solid grip on the road. You’ll feel this in the steering wheel as it will require more effort to make a turn.
- Strange noises. Deterioration of the bushings is one of the most common causes of a sway bar going bad- and you will hear it. Any loud rattling noises or squeaking over bumps could be an indication you need a sway bar replacement.
- Car swerves. A worn-out sway bar reduces stability and traction. Your car can feel out of control and as if you can’t choose the direction of your car.
- Looks worn out. Everything connecting the sway bar to the suspension system can be visually inspected. Links will look deteriorated and bushings will be hard or torn.
Why does a Sway Bar wear out so easily?
As we mentioned earlier, it is almost inevitable that your sway bar will wear out at some point. While the rate at which these links and the bushings around them wear out depends a lot on the driver and the vehicle itself, there are some universal reasons as to why this is.
- Moving parts. Your sway bar moves as part of its job. Over time, any moving part will erode from movement and friction, making it less effective and eventually causing it to not function properly.
- Materials. Some car manufacturers save money by using cheaper materials in components people don't see or think about. Your car's OEM sway bar may have been made of lower quality steel and other metals.
- Driving style. The way you drive affects the amount of stress you put on your stabilizer bar. Lots of starting and stopping or hard braking will wear your suspension components down much faster.
- Suspension faults. If you have any kind of failure in your suspension system, the rest of the system picks up the slack. A broken air spring or faulty compressor could cause your sway bar to wear out early.
Why is replacing the Sway Bar so expensive?
Most people will want to go to the dealership to get their car looked at if they are experiencing symptoms of sway bar failure. However, if you go to the dealer, be prepared to pay a premium. While you may have never thought about your car's stabilizer bar before, you'd be surprised how much fixing it can cost you. For the most part, dealerships use OEM parts. These parts are never cheap. They're often not even the best quality. The part you're replacing in your own vehicle—the one that just failed on you—is an OEM sway bar. Is that what you really want to put back in your car?
Is there a better Sway Bar replacement?
Fortunately, OEM stabilizer bar replacements aren't your only option. You don't actually have to spend a ton of money at the dealership. Strutmasters, known for its high-quality, Made-in-the-USA suspension replacement kits is now offering its own line of replacement sway bars. In our two decades-plus in the suspension business, we've seen anything and everything that can go wrong with them. That's why we decided to make our own stabilizer bars up to the same standards that have made us industry leaders in the suspension business. Here's what you get when you buy a genuine Strutmasters sway bar replacement.
- Top-quality materials. We use only high-grade, durable steel for these replacements to ensure long-lasting performance.
- American manufacturing. Our sway bar replacements are made right here in the USA so we can ensure manufacturing excellence.
- Precise engineering. When it comes to stabilizer bars, fit is every bit as important as quality. That's why our engineers worked to make sure each replacement is exactly to spec.
At Strutmasters, we've been in the suspension business for more than two decades. We have seen thousands of suspension problems, including hundreds of broken sway bars in our lifetime. And while car manufacturers are focused on putting thousands of parts together into a whole vehicle, we continue to stay focused on suspensions, because that's what we're best at. We earned our A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau by consistently offering high-quality, affordable solutions to suspension problems. We're building off of decades of industry knowledge and production experience.
With our new stabilizer bar replacement, you won't just get your vehicle back on the road, you'll keep it there. The longer you wait to replace it, the more you risk damaging your vehicle further or getting into an accident. Once you're ready, you can order your sway bar replacement online.
If you still have questions or need help finding the right replacement for you, just call our Suspension Experts at 866-358-0127 and they'll be happy to help.