Is It Safe to Drive With a Broken Sway Bar?

Your car’s suspension is very complex and requires a number of different components to provide the handling and performance that you need. One of these is the sway bar. Depending on the vehicle you’re driving, you may have a front or a rear sway bar, or you may have both. If you suspect that a sway bar is broken, you can still drive the car, but you must use caution.

The way this will affect your drive will depend on if the front or rear sway bar is broken.

  • Front sway bar: If a front sway bar is broken, then you’ll experience significant differences in how the car handles (steers). It will feel “looser”, particularly when driving at high speeds. It’s very possible that this will cause you to lose control of the car, resulting in a serious accident if you’re not prepared for it.

  • Rear sway bar: The situation is a little less serious if your rear sway bar is broken. This will affect how the car rides, particularly when changing lanes, taking corners and in other situations where the car’s body will sway (what the bar is designed to prevent).

Tip: If you’re forced to drive with a broken sway bar, you need to drive slower than normal. Try to stick to surface streets and stay off highways and interstates where you might be required to change lanes. As long as you keep your speed down and don’t take turns too quickly, you should be safe driving until you can have it replaced.

Note that a broken sway bar doesn’t make your car “un-driveable”. It does make it handle and corner differently, because the weight of the car will have a greater effect when turning and during lateral maneuvers (changing lanes).

The most important thing is that you’re prepared for the difference in handling. It can be much more pronounced in some cars than in others (a performance-oriented coupe will be more affected than a full-size sedan). It’s highly recommended that you have the sway bar replaced as soon as it’s practical.


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 Long Does a Control Arm Assembly Last?
The control arm assembly keeps the wheels in line with the car’s body to control the motion of the wheels....
What Does the Steering Lock Warning Light Mean?
The steering lock indicator light means your steering wheel is locked and can not be moved, usually until the vehicle's keys are present.
How to Troubleshoot a Car Pulling to One Side
If your car pulls to the left or leans to one side, check that your tires are all the same size, suspension parts are even, and if springs are bent.

Related questions

Car jerking past 10 MPH
The shaking steering wheel at relatively low speeds is telling me that there is a tire on the front end of your vehicle that has a broken belt, causing it to be out of round; the jerking could be the...
Car body leans to right & steering pulls to the right
As the vehicle ages, the strut pulse dampeners on the pump may lose some of their gas pressure and require replacement. As far as the ride height, it could be due to the suspension in the right rear being low...
Knocking sound under car
Hi there. Either the tires are out of balance and causing the front end to shake and make the steering parts move around or there is a loose steering or suspension part that is moving around as the vehicle is...

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