Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

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.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

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

More related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
How Long Does a Fuel Filler Neck Last?
Getting gas from the pump to your gas tank is the only way to keep a car going. The fuel filler neck is a metal tube that is welded to the...


Related questions

Q: Thumping sound from the right front end when I hit a pothole.

Hey there, thanks for writing in. "Thumping" is often associated with flat spots on tires or tire belt defects but if such were the cause in your case the thumping would be continuous. You are indicating the noise is only...

Q: Key not starting car

Hi! It sounds like there is an issue inside of the steering column or possibly ignition cylinder. I suspect that the ignition cylinder will be at fault because it is what controls the engagement of the steering wheel lock. If...

Q: oil pan replacement

You have a two part oil pan and you are looking at the lower pan part. If this is the part that is damaged then you can get it out by disconnecting the motor mounts and lifting the motor to...