Diagnose and Fix a Bad Sway Bar Link
Hear a rattling noise under your car every time you drive over a bump? It could be from loose or worn sway bar links. If you want to know if your sway bar links are bad, this article will explain how to identify a bad sway bar link by its symptoms, how to inspect the sway bar links yourself, and what you can do to fix them.
Signs and Symptoms of a Bad Sway Bar Link
Sway bar links connect the two sides of the suspension together with the sway bar. They can be found at the end of the sway bar and help support a stable ride and limit body roll. If the sway bar link breaks and loosens, it can make a rattling or clunking sound as it taps other parts of the suspension.
How to Inspect and Tell If Sway Bar Links Are Bad
Bad sway bar links can loosen, rust, and break over time. Some are constructed of a metal shaft, a ground ball, and a bushing. Sometimes the ball or bushing can separate from the shaft, leaving the sway bar exposed and prone to clunking against surrounding parts, which is usually amplified as the vehicle hits bumps.
How to Fix a Rattling Noise Under My Car From Bad Sway Bar Links
Fixing a bad sway bar link is an achievable job for the novice do-it yourselfer.
Steps to fix a bad sway bar link
- Raise the vehicle
Raise and secure the vehicle with a jack and jack stands
- Remove sway bar link
Removing the sway bar link with a hex key, wrench, ratchet and socket, breaker bar, or vise grip pliers
- Install the sway bar
Installing the sway bar link and bushings (if necessary—depending on the sway bar link’s design)
- Reinstall the wheel
Make sure to reinstall the wheel.
This video can give you a brief idea of how to replace these types of sway bar links
To find a video specific to your vehicle, check out 1A Auto’s library of how-to videos for many different makes and models.
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