How to Check Sway Bar Links- Briefed in 10 Easy Steps

There are many suspension components that are crucial to your vehicle’s stability. But one of those is the sway bar aka the anti-roll bar.  Rubber bushings and sway bar links attach to the suspension.

A sway bar’s bearings and links can shatter. But the bar itself is very unlikely to be harmed. Checking sway bar links helps you prevent certain undesired issues if you are aware of them.

How to check sway bar links?

First, remove the tire wheel bolts. Then take off the front two tires. Verify the link placements. Examine the top nuts of both links for damage. Keep the threaded bolt on the ball joint. Check the subframe’s attachment to the bushing brackets. Finally, secure the sway bar to the subframe.

I’ll go over the technique for inspecting the sway bar in this post.

Why Is It Necessary to Check Sway Bar Links?

It’s important to understand how to check sway bar links. It’s for learning about the signs of a damaged sway bar.

Excessive pressure is exerted on the front-wheel-drive engine suspension when the vehicle is in motion. Having a sway bar as part of the suspension system means that it can handle stress. 

Sway bar links that don’t work properly can make driving dangerous and difficult. So it’s better to check it down earlier.

Broken bar links could cause anything from swaying in the car to total loss of control. Without a properly working sway bar, an automobile can quickly lose control.

Understanding Sway Bar Link Checks

Sway bar links can be checked by jacking up the car. Also, it can be checked by inspecting the bar links for damage.

The sway bar link joints connect the sway bar and the control arm. That’s why they are the most frequently damaged areas.

You’ll need to jack either the front or back of the vehicle. It’s for inspecting the sway bar links. The briefing steps will be a good guideline for checking sway bar links. 

Step 1: Lose the Wheel Bolts

The first step is to loosen the wheel bolts on the front two tires. Getting to the sway bar requires removing both front wheels.

Step 2: Secure the Vehicle

Proper jack stands should be used to raise and secure the vehicle. Remove the front two wheels.

Step 3: Locate the Linkages

Find the sway bar linkages. The braking rotor is held in place by a pair of thin metal bars. That run beneath or to the side of it.

Step 4: Clean the Linkages

Use a clean cloth to remove any dust or grime from the sway bar linkages. Make sure that the nuts that keep the links in contact are in place and tightened.

Step 5: Alter the Link

Begin by grabbing the sway bar link on the driver’s side. Attempt to move it up and down and side to side.

There should be no wiggle room in the link’s position. Excessive movement is frequently a sign of ball joint deterioration.

Step 6: Inspect the Damage

On the driver’s side, repeat the procedure. For worn drop links, you’ll need to remove both links’ top nuts and inspect them for damage.

Do it before moving on to the next step. If you have the drop link attached at both ends, it may be tough to move it.

Step 7: Move the Ball Joint

When the top nut is removed, hold the threaded bolt linked to the ball joint. Move it around.

The ball joint must be rigid and require some effort to move. Changing the sway bar link may be necessary if the suspension isn’t rigid enough. 

Step 8: Check the Sway Bar

It’s a good idea to examine the sway bar bushings while inspecting the sway bar links. Over time, these parts will wear out on most automobiles. They have a much shorter life expectancy than other suspension components (around 50,000 miles).

They may appear to be in fine shape. But the sway bar may slip out of place when the vehicle’s put to the test.

Step 9: Check the Gaps

The first step is to inspect the bushings visually. Check to see if the subframe is securely fastened to the bushing brackets. Make sure there’re no obvious gaps between the sway bar and the bushings before moving on.

Step 10: Verify the Subframe

Take the top ball joint nut from both sway bar links if the bushings appear good. To verify the subframe attachment of the sway bar, loosen the bolts.

Hold the sway bar to the subframe. The bushings may need to be changed if it moves too much.

When You Should Check to Sway Bar Links?

Both ends of the bar links are equipped with rubber bushings. Decayed bushings and worn links can produce bad stabilizer link symptoms.

Which can range from minor to serious. If these problems get matched to yours, then you have to check the links.

Sounds of Suspension

Driving over speed bumps and around corners may cause the suspension to rattle or squeak. Bad sway bar links sound like popping and squeaky noise.

The links of a working chain should be able to move freely in their sockets. When they wear out, a small amount of movement is made. This leads to the creation of these sounds.

Troubleshooting

When the bar links break free, you’ll have a lot of handling troubles. You can’t turn the car because the steering wheel is flaring up. The tires don’t have enough traction on the ground.

Sway bar links and bushings, on the other hand, should be thoroughly inspected. Also, a bad sway bar link causes vibration.

The Problem of Excessive Swerving

In order for the wheels to generate enough traction, the tires must lose their grip. Acceleration is disrupted because of these factors

You can check these suggested tools that you may need to check the sway bars-

Product 1
Product 2

In most cases, the front sway bar is more easily accessible than the rear one. It makes it easier to inspect. Sway bars in the back vary widely from vehicle to vehicle.

That is all!

FAQs

How do you check sway bar end links?

It’s a good idea to replace end links if they’re loose when the bar is moved. They need to be replaced if the bushings show evidence of deterioration.

Sway bar links can be over-tightened?

If you overtighten the bolt during installation, you could put too much stress on the stud. This causes it to shatter. You should loose sway bar link then.

Do sway bar connections have an effect on the alignment of a vehicle?

Using the sway bar or anything else related to it won’t influence your wheel alignment. There is no longer a choice between a two- or four-wheel alignment in most situations.

Final Words

I hope now you have all of your information on how to check sway bar links. It’s always better to check your vehicle to avoid unwanted accidents.

The following procedure should only be carried out by people who are qualified to do so. Use your vehicle’s handbook or online jacking instructions to learn how to safely raise your car. Take your car to a repair if you have any doubts.

Happy driving!

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