How to Change a Sway Bar Link

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.


Next Step

Schedule Stabilizer Bar Links Replacement

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Stabilizer Bar Links Replacement. YourMechanic’s technicians bring the dealership to you by performing this job at your home or office 7-days a week between 7AM-9PM. We currently cover over 2,000 cities and have 100k+ 5-star reviews... LEARN MORE

SEE PRICING & SCHEDULING

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Recent Stabilizer Bar Links Replacement reviews

Excellent Rating

(510)

Rating Summary
487
11
3
5
4
487
11
3
5
4

Chuck

10 years of experience
347 reviews
Chuck
10 years of experience
Mercedes-Benz C250 L4-1.8L Turbo - Stabilizer Bar Links Replacement (Front) - Allen, Texas
Chuck was very prompt; arrived much earlier than appointment time. Was detailed with his plans and completed his work fast and efficient. The quality of the work will obviously take time to tell but I’m satisfied with the service and would recommend Chuck; and request him for future services if possible.
Nissan Maxima - Stabilizer Bar Links Replacement (Front) - Lewisville, Texas
Second time we’ve had Chuck work on our vehicle. Wont hesitate to have him out again for other repairs.

Claud

8 years of experience
475 reviews
Claud
8 years of experience
GMC Yukon XL 1500 V8-6.2L - Stabilizer Bar Links Replacement (Front) - Roseville, Michigan
Great experience I would recommend this service to friends and family Claud was great. Thanks again for your service
Saturn Aura - Stabilizer Bar Links Replacement (Front) - Royal Oak, Michigan
Claud is punctual, professional, and courteous. We have nothing to complain about, and will do more work with @YourMechanic in the future. We will be sure to ask for Claud..

Robert

20 years of experience
1089 reviews
Robert
20 years of experience
Dodge Journey V6-3.6L - Stabilizer Bar Links Replacement (Front, Rear) - Denver, Colorado
Robert was awesome. I was unable to make my appointment so I arranged with Robert to get the parts and keys from my brother. He was obviously very knowledgeable in what he was doing as the work completed was done in about half the time that was estimated. By far the best mechanic experience I have ever had. Robert kept me up to date along the way and and was more than willing to work with my brother since I could not be there. I also requested that Robert didn't fill the transmission since my car has a silicone gasket. Robert was understanding of this and went as far as to let me know how much fluid he recovered so I could fill it myself once the silicone was cured. Most shops will suck out the ATF Fluid and replace what they pulled out. Robert did the full service on the transmission including dropping the pan and replacing the filter. I verified all the work once I got home and everything looked great. I am truly impressed with the service received from Robert and Your Mechanic. I will be having more work done through them in the near future.

Manuel

12 years of experience
82 reviews
Manuel
12 years of experience
Ford Five Hundred V6-3.0L - Stabilizer Bar Links Replacement (Front) - Naples, Florida
Manuel arrived on time, went to work at once checking that the parts were in fact needed, then made sure I had purchased the correct parts. He had all the required tools and finished the job in the time specified. He was friendly, courteous and very clean. Highly recommend him.

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

Related articles

How to Replace Your Car's Drag Link
Drag links are an important part of your cars steering and suspension systems. Common signs of failure include loose steering and uneven tire wear.
How to Replace a Ride Height Control Module
A bumpy ride, uneven ride height, or the illumination of the Air Ride Suspension Light may mean that the ride control module is faulty.
How to Replace an Air Spring
Air suspension systems have air springs that fail when the air compressor is always running and there excessive bouncing or even bottoming out.

Related questions

Can I Improve my Car's Handling With a new Coilover Kit
Yes. Coilovers provide a relatively easy way to fine tune the suspension (https://www.yourmechanic.com/article/how-car-suspension-system-works) on your car. Coilovers typically provide fairly easy adjustability of vehicle ride height and shock damping, depending on which coilover manufacturer you chose. Lowering the ride height...
What Causes Shock Absorbers Or Struts To Leak Or Otherwise Fail?
Shock absorber (https://www.yourmechanic.com/article/3-essential-things-to-know-about-your-car-s-shock-absorbers)/strut life depends on how and where the vehicle is driven. Original equipment shock absorbers/struts (https://www.yourmechanic.com/article/what-is-a-strut) are carefully matched to the vehicle springs and bushings to provide the best ride comfort and control. As the ball joints, control...
My car lean to one side after changing my upper ball joints
This vehicle has ball joints that are integral with the control arms and consequently the control arms are replaced if the ball joints are worn. Replacement of the control arms, particularly the upper control arm, implicates the air ride and...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 · hi@yourmechanic.com