Can You Drive with a Broken Sway Bar Link?
Sway bar link is the point of attachment between the sway bars of a vehicle. They are meant for stabilization, which creates a connection between the suspension controlling components. Sway bars reduced the leaning of the vehicle’s body while turning at high speed. The primary purpose of these links is stability. If the sway bar link breaks, the performance of your vehicle gets affected depending on which sway bar link broke, rear or front. You would still be able to take that car for a ride, but there are several things that you will have to be careful about.
Yes, You can drive a car with a broken sway link, but there are few precautions that you must take to avoid any mishap. These are:
- If the front sway bar link is damaged, there will be a noticeable difference in how your steering wheel works. In this case, Do not drive your car at a speed of more than 50 km/h. It will become smoother, and you would lose control at a high-speed drive. This puts you at the risk of losing control, which can lead to accidents.
- As, for a broken rear sway bar link, it is not as dangerous as a damaged front link. This situation is far more controllable. The only problem you will face will be a sway that will occur while changing lanes or turning the vehicle. Keep a harder grip on the wheel and turn slowly; in this way, you would be easily able to avoid it.
Here, We have Some Useful Tips for Driving
To keep the drive safe and hazard-free, make sure to drive slowly. This will reduce the influence of air resistance on the vehicle and decrease the sway. Avoid getting on to highways; driving in narrow streets is the safest. If the sway bar links are broken, keep your speed low and carefully turn the vehicle to avoid accidents. Practice these safety measures until the broken links have been replaced.
A car can be drive if the sway links get damaged. It only loses its stability as it gets overpowered by the air resistance, which can lead to the toppling of the vehicle. In this situation, you need to adapt to the significantly changed driving experience, handling a smoother wheel, and lowering the speed is essential. The practical thing to do is to get new ones as soon as possible.
What Does a Sway Bar Link Do?
Sway bar links are an essential part of a vehicle. When the car turns, it feels that tires, including the whole car body, is moving in the opposite direction (of the turning direction). Not only the external but internal parts of a car experience the same influence. For example, if you take a turn into the street on your right, the inner parts of the car will get a push towards the left. If the same is done at a higher speed, the tire lifts slightly above the ground, which forsakes the car’s stability.
The main function of best sway bar links is to maintain the stability of the car. The links are points of attachment between bar-like structures that keep all the internal parts of the vehicle in their place and, in coordination with each other. The bars hold the tires together, which in turn keep the whole body intact too. They prevent the body from the influence of the turning thrust, which is meant for a skid in the opposite direction of the turn. As all the internal machinery of the vehicle remain low and flat because of the sway bar link, the weight is focused in the lower middle section, which prevents the car from flipping over even when it turns at high speed. The sway bar is also known as:
- Anti-roll bars
- Stabilizer bars
- Anti-sway bars
The toppling or flipping over of vehicles occurs when the weight on the outside of the car goes higher than the weight on the inside tires. This lessens the traction and increases the chance of a flip over. Usually, the center of gravity for a vehicle remains lows due to these stabilizer bars as they keep the tires in their place and the car’s parts in their places. However, in case of a broken sway bar link, they get free, which results in a loose steering wheel and unstable drive.
Why Bad Sway Bar Link Cause Vibration?
The sway bar link is essential for any vehicle as it plays a significant role in its stabilization. It keeps the traction high, which holds the tires in their place and prevent the car from flipping over. If there is a problem in the sway bar links or they get damaged, it is highly recommended to get them replaced in time to avoid accidents.
Bad Sway Bar Link Symptoms
- A loud and distinct metallic sound can be heard if a car with broken sway links is driven for a long distance. You would be able to listen to it, even more, when speed breakers or any bumps in the road hit. When driving on an uneven road, metallic knocking will amplify, and you would be able to hear them more frequently.
- The absence of bushing can also create a metallic rattling sound that indicated broken sway links. If a link is open at one end, the sound will come and go in intervals.
- The loose steering wheel is the most prominent symptom of a bad sway bar link. The driver will feel more smooth steering, especially while turning. In such a case, the driver will feel a significant sway; if the car was at high speed, the car might get out of control.
- Overspinning steering wheel is another symptom. The wheel does not only become loose, but it also starts to spin freely (sometimes against the direction).
Manual Checking Signs
- In this case, you will notice any visible damage. To confirm, move the sway bar link and check if it moves freely, there is a need to reattach it fix it in its place. You can easily check it with your bare hands.
- If bushing or bolts are not there anymore, immediate replacement of new ones is necessary. In case of a broken or damaged bushing and bolts, do the same as damaged parts can strain the performance of the vehicle.
- For even the slightest problem in the sway bar links, inspect the entire system for other problems as one broken link can affect the whole suspension.
Why Would a Sway Bar Link Break?
There are so many reasons why a sway bar link would break or gets damaged. It is important to maintain the suspension system of your car as its stability depends on it. If they get damaged and are not fixed for a long time, there can be an adverse effect on the rest of the system. The chances of car accidents will increase as the steering will lose their control. Here are the most common reasons which you can avoid to keep your sway bars long-lasting.
- Old shock absorbers or damaged ones can cause the sway bar link to break. When this happens, the weight of the entire vehicle doesn’t lay flat and instead moves in a particular direction (opposite to the direction of the turning point). This instability leads to a broken link or a damages bolt that holds the suspension together via sway bar link.
- The breakage of links usually occurs on rough terrains. The wearing out of Z-link that keeps anti-flip bars’ ends connected can also lead to extra strain on these links, which causes the breakage.
- When stabilizer bars go bad, themselves, it can also lead to the links breaking. With time, the rubber brushes on these bars wear out, which are responsible for reducing friction. When this happens, the links experience more friction and eventually break.
- The most common reason is rash driving. A bad driver who drives harshly on uneven roads can also cause the bars or links to breaking. Running over large objects, speed breakers, or even (minor to major) car accidents can cause the links to break.
What Will Bad Sway Bar Bushings Do?
Bushings are quite under-rated despite all their contribution in the sustenance of a suspension system. Placed in the lower region of a vehicle, they are responsible for reducing and dampening friction, which occurs especially in the suspension of the car. This keeps the parts, including bolts and links from breaking. Proper lubrication and maintenance of sway bar bushings are quite necessary. A simple indication for broken bushings is when you turn your car, and the vehicle becomes unstable.
Broken sway bar bushings will affect the state of the sway bars all in all. As friction in the system increase due to worn out bushings, there is a high chance of bars to break. It also affects the link between the sway bars; high friction can wear out the bolts holding the bars together, which can lead to an unstable vehicle. The damage in the anti-flip bars will loosen the steering up, which decreases the steadiness of the whole car.
How Long Does it Take to Replace Sway Bar Links?
Replacement of stabilizer bar bushings is very important as they reduce the friction in the suspension system and keep the vehicle stable.
Sway bar bushings replacement can take from one hour to two hours. Installing bolts can be a hectic job as it takes powerful tools to screw and unscrew them. Make sure the environment your working in, along with your devices, is clean. With the right equipment, you would be able to replace the worn-out bushings in no time.
What does the Sway Bar Bushings Replacement Cost?
The replacement cost of the best sway bar bushings is between $150 – $180, depending upon the area, including labor and bushing kit. Click Here to see the latest price and details of Moog K7326 Sway Bar Bushing Kit.