The stabilizer bar on your car is designed to provide stiffness and rigidity for the body, particularly when going around curves. This helps to keep all four wheels firmly on the ground and reduce body torque, which could lead to rollovers or a loss of control. It plays a role in both your suspension, as well as the car’s handling and your comfort while on the road.
Your stabilizer bar is attached to the suspension using bushings and links. Bushings are little more than formed pieces of rubber, but stabilizer bar links are metal. There are two, one on each end of the stabilizer bar. The upper end of the link attaches to the stabilizer bar, cushioned by a bushing, and the other end attaches to the suspension components, also with a bushing.
The links themselves are made from metal and should last for a long time. However, because the stabilizer bar rotates each time you go through a turn, the links are put under a great deal of stress (as are the bushings). Over time, metal fatigue will set in and they will weaken. Add to that the possibility of rust and corrosion, and you can see that they do need to be replaced occasionally.
The good news is that most owners will only need to replace their stabilizer bar links maybe once during their ownership, unless you’re one who really puts their car through its paces on a regular basis (racing, tight corners at high speeds, etc.). The more frequently you stress the bar and links, the more often you’ll need to replace the links, bushings and other components.
Driving with failed stabilizer bar links can be dangerous, particularly when cornering. Without a functional stabilizer bar, your car tends to roll. The inside wheels leave the pavement as the majority of the car’s weight is pushed onto the outside wheels. So, it makes sense to know a few symptoms to watch for that might indicate your links are wearing out. These include:
- Car feels like it wants to roll when going around curves
- Knocking sound from the front when driving over bumps
- Squeaking or squealing when going over bumps
- Car feels “loose” in curves
If you suspect that your car’s stabilizer bar links need to be replaced, YourMechanic has the answer. One of our mobile mechanics can come to your home or office, inspect the stabilizer bar, links and bushings, and replace the stabilizer bar links if needed.