How to Change a Sway Bar Link

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The sway bar link is a suspension component that connects the sway bar to the suspension and chassis. When sway bar links go bad or the bushings tear they can cause everything from rattles and clunks when going over bumps to excessive leaning of the vehicle during turns.

There are some vehicles that have sway bar links in both the front and rear suspension. There is one sway bar link that connects each side, so if your vehicle has two sway bars, you will have four sway bar links total. While the is some variance in sway bar link design, the steps for replacement are very similar. An important thing to remember is that if no other suspension components are removed, replacing the sway bar links will not require you to realign the vehicle.

Materials Needed

wheel chocks applied to car

Step 1: Engage the parking brake. Set the parking brake on the vehicle and set the wheel chocks on one of the tires you are not removing.

This is for safety and will insure the vehicle will not roll.

using lug wrench to remove tire

Step 2: Loosen the lug nuts. Using the lug wrench, loosen the lugs on the tires that need to be removed slightly, but do not remove them.

Step 3: Raise your vehicle. Find the lift point on your vehicle and raise it using the jack.

Lift points are the locations designated by the manufacturer where it is safe to raise your vehicle from. Lift points are different for every vehicle and can be found in your vehicles owners manual.

front jack stand position

Step 4. Secure the vehicle. Once the vehicle is raised, place a jack stand in a secure position on the suspension arm where the sway bar link is attached and lower the vehicle onto it.

This is important because the sway bar is a load bearing part. Setting the jack stand in this way compresses the suspension and relieves the pressure from the sway bar link.

Leave the jack slightly touching the lift point while still keeping the majority of the vehicle’s weight on the jack stand.

Step 5: Remove the tire. At this point, remove the lug nuts completely and then remove the tire from the vehicle.

location of sway bar

Step 6: Locate the sway bar link to be replaced. Sway bars are usually located at the front of the car and are bolted to the suspension on your vehicle.

Depending on the make and model of your car, you may have only front sway bars links, or front and rear sway bar links.

sway bar link being removed

Step 7: Remove the lug nuts. Two lug nuts hold the sway bar link in place. Start by removing the upper nut first. This nut holds the most weight when the sway bar is at normal rest, so it tends to be the most problematic.

Once the top nut is removed, remove the lower nut.

  • Tip: For rusted or frozen nuts, spray them with penetrating lubricant and allow a few minutes for the lubricant to take effect. This will make the job a bit easier.

using a pry bar to relieve stress

Step 8: Apply pressure on the sway bar. Once both nuts are removed, take your pry bar and apply pressure on the sway bar close to the link.

This will relieve any remaining pressure on the sway bar link and allow you to remove it.

new sway bar being installed

Step 9: Make sure the new sway bar link matches the old one. Use the pry bar to apply pressure down on the sway bar and install the new link in place of the old one.

Make sure the direction of installation is correct as the ends can look very similar.

Once the link is in place, install the nuts and tighten them to the appropriate torque specification. Refer to the owner’s manual of your vehicle to find the correct torque specification for your car.

Step 10: Install the tire back on the vehicle. Tighten the lug nuts as much as possible, but don’t over do it. Putting excessive pressure on the car can knock it off the jack stand.

Once the lug nuts are snug, remove the jack stands and lower the vehicle slowly using the jack.

Step 11: Tighten the lug nuts. Once the vehicle is back on the ground, tighten the lug nuts to the appropriate torque specification.

If you are changing more than one sway bar link, simply repeat the steps on the other side.

Replacing the sway bar links is a repair process that can be done with a few basic tools. If you don’t have access to the correct tools or are short on time, ask a certified mechanic from YourMechanic to replace the sway bar links for you.


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Recent Stabilizer Bar Links Replacement reviews

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YourMechanic Stabilizer Bar Links Replacement Service

Average Rating

4.9/5

Number of Reviews

381

Rating Summary
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Edmar

21 years of experience
174 reviews
Edmar
21 years of experience
Chrysler 200 - Stabilizer Bar Links Replacement (Front) - Euless, Texas
He did an excellent job. Very prompt and knows his stuff. I am looking forward to book him for future services. Top notch all the way. Please keep up the good work.
Infiniti FX35 - Stabilizer Bar Links Replacement (Front) - Irving, Texas
Awesome work . Very courteous and helpful. Did a clean job . Would recommend him to my friends and anyone .

Andy

29 years of experience
27 reviews
Andy
29 years of experience
Lincoln LS - Stabilizer Bar Links Replacement (Front) - Boston, Massachusetts
This is my second appointment with Andy. He diagnosed my car’s issues accurately and expertly. He clearly explained what he would be doing in the way of repairs, and offered a lot of valuable advice about car maintenance going forward. A skilled professional, he brings an attitude of positivity and respect.
Chevrolet Cruze - Stabilizer Bar Links Replacement (Front) - Cohasset, Massachusetts
Andy was awesome! Not only was he extremely knowledgeable and thorough, he was a great guy. I highly recommend Andy! Thanks again!

Eduardo

18 years of experience
359 reviews
Eduardo
18 years of experience
Chevrolet Sonic - Stabilizer Bar Links Replacement (Front) - Houston, Texas
The best, quick, professional, knows exactly what hes doing all the times he has done work for me. Great job all the time!

Breck

19 years of experience
581 reviews
Breck
19 years of experience
Nissan Pathfinder - Stabilizer Bar Links Replacement (Front) - Spring, Texas
Breck on-time, professional, communicated very well, and completed the requested work fantastically.

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