Your vehicle’s suspension system is responsible for ensuring that your ride handles well. And one of its crucial parts are the sway bar end links.
Although the sway bar end links are designed to last the life of your vehicle, they are still susceptible to wear and tear. So you must replace yours immediately at the first sign of trouble. Otherwise, it can compromise your vehicle’s smooth handling and excellent drivability.
When it’s time to buy a replacement sway bar end link, you should know what to do to make sure you get the right one. Read on to learn all about the sway bar end link, when to replace it, how much it can cost you, and more.
What Is a Sway Bar End Link?
Sway bar links connect the sway bar to the control arm. There is one link at each end of the arm.
The sway bar (also known as a stabilizer bar) itself is basically a large-diameter steel bar designed to prevent body roll during cornering. When the car is traveling over bumps, the stabilizer bar also provides a certain level of stability.
Most modern vehicles have both a front and rear sway bar, as well as front and rear sway bar links.
How Does a Sway Bar End Link Work?
To understand how a sway bar end link works, you must be familiar with how it functions alongside other suspension components, especially the sway bar.
The sway bar helps manage the vehicle’s body roll by connecting the movement of two independent wheel assemblies. It provides more resistance to the inside tire while compressing the other side to reduce the vehicle’s body roll. This evens out the weight distribution of the vehicle and improves handling.
Although sway bars are typically made of long-lasting, durable steel, sway bar end links incorporate joints that can fail over time. This wear can introduce play that causes noises and affects the sway bar’s effectiveness.
What Happens if a Sway Bar End Link Breaks?
If one of your vehicle’s sway bar end links break, the other one won’t be too far behind. This will often result in strange noises coming from your vehicle and possibly a decrease in handling performance.
Can You Drive With a Broken Sway Bar End Link?
Yes, but doing so can make your vehicle noisy and possibly lead to a reduction in handling performance. So, it’s a good idea to replace a bad sway bar end link as soon as possible.
When Should Sway Bar End Links Be Replaced?
If you want to continue enjoying your vehicle’s excellent performance and smooth handling, you should replace damaged sway bar end links right away. Replace them at the first sign of trouble to keep them from causing issues that can affect the suspension system.
Symptoms of a Bad Sway Bar Link
Here are some of the telltale signs of a damaged sway bar end link that you should look out for:
- Odd noises coming from the undercarriage
- Poor handling ability
For a more in-depth take on the symptoms of a bad sway bar link, check out this guide.
How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Sway Bar End Link?
An aftermarket sway bar end link replacement generally costs you anywhere from $5 to $100 on parts alone. Its price depends on various factors, like the part’s brand, quantity, and your vehicle’s specifications.
As for labor, you can typically expect to pay around an extra $100 to $300 to have your damaged sway bar end link professionally replaced. Of course, this is only an estimate and might vary depending on the rates in your area.
How to Replace Sway Bar Links?
If you’re confident in your automotive repair skills and have the tools to do so, you can definitely replace your vehicle’s damaged sway bar links yourself. Keep in mind that it’s best to replace damaged sway bar links in pairs so you won’t end up with wear on just one side of the vehicle.
Use this step-by-step guide on how to replace your vehicle’s sway bar links as a reference.
What to Consider When Looking for a New Sway Bar End Link
Shopping for a new sway bar end link can quickly become overwhelming because of the wide variety of options on the market. To help you choose the right one for your vehicle, here are some factors to consider when shopping for a new sway bar end link:
Always check for fitment before buying a new sway bar end link for your vehicle. Get a replacement that’s designed specifically for your vehicle’s year, make, and model to guarantee a perfect fit and hassle-free installation.
A sway bar end link is responsible for keeping your ride stable, so the replacement should be durable and made of high-quality materials. To ensure the quality of your new sway bar end link, order it from a trusted brand.
Finding the perfect replacement sway bar end link for your vehicle should be easy as long as you follow the tips listed above and look through credible product reviews. Also, don’t forget to check your vehicle specifications or consult your trusted mechanic to double-check the specifications of your replacement sway bar end link.
Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic.