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 2: 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

Excellent Rating


YourMechanic Stabilizer Bar Links Replacement Service

Average Rating

4.9/5

Number of Reviews

351

Rating Summary
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Edmar

20 years of experience
144 reviews
Edmar
20 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

28 years of experience
19 reviews
Andy
28 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!

Andrew

9 years of experience
542 reviews
Andrew
9 years of experience
Ford Expedition - Stabilizer Bar Links Replacement (Rear) - Olathe, Kansas
Andy was able to handle the strut replacement job without any assistance. He had all of the necessary tools and was able to get it done quickly and efficiently.
Toyota Camry - Stabilizer Bar Links Replacement (Front) - Shawnee Mission, Kansas
Andrew arrived within the allotted time and was very quick and efficient in getting the work done and letting me get about my day. If I was in a shop, I probably would've been stuck there most of the morning or afternoon waiting for things to get fixed. This is a much better way to get work done on your car. Will continue to use this service for future needs.

John

25 years of experience
457 reviews
John
25 years of experience
Ford Mustang - Stabilizer Bar Links Replacement (Rear) - Hitchcock, Texas
Appointment time had to be rescheduled due to an earlier appointment running long. Plenty of notification so no real problem. When John showed up, completed the repair in less than two hours. I'm sure I would have been without a car for a day or longer had I taken to a shop. Great Job as usual.
Mazda 3 - Stabilizer Bar Links Replacement (Front) - League City, Texas
I'll start with the basics: John is punctual, professional, quick, and very competent. I would absolutely recommend him to any of my friends and family. On to my visit, specifically: I had an issue with some suspension work that I did earlier this year (DIY). I was having trouble tracking down the issue, so I wanted to get some professional help. This was my first time ever using a mobile mechanic service, and had never met John before. He showed up within 2 or 3 minutes of the start of the appointment window. After the usual courtesies, he got right down to business. He asked a few questions, listened me describe the work I had already done, etc. Then, he took a quick look around and made his recommendations. I'm no mechanic myself, but I do have enough knowledge to be dangerous. I can tell you he didn't recommend anything unreasonable (no cabin air filter nonsense to run up the bill, etc.), and he definitely caught some minor screw-ups I made during my DIY adventures. We scheduled a time for him to come out and replace the parts (sway bar end-links), and parted ways. Again, he showed up right on time. He installed the links and made a couple of minor alterations to fix my mistakes, all in about 40 minutes or so. He probably could've done it faster if I hadn't been so chatty. If I had done the work myself, it would've easily been 3 or 4 hours (optimistic estimate). It was worth it to get it done quickly and professionally, and to have a second (more experienced) set of eyes on the work I did previously. You won't be disappointed with John. If you've never used a mobile mechanic before, you're missing out. It's a much better experience than getting an appointment at a shop, taking off work to drop your car off, finding a ride, blah, blah. John won't BS you. If he recommends a service, it's because your car needs it. He brings all the tools he needs, plus the parts he'll need for the service/repair. Unless it's one of the few things best done at a specialized shop (alignments and such), he can do it just as well as a traditional shop. Even if it wasn't cheaper, I wouldn't go back to a shop. Of course, it is cheaper, so that's nice, too.

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