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.


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Chuck

10 years of experience
263 reviews
Chuck
10 years of experience
Mercedes-Benz C250 - 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.

Stephen

32 years of experience
118 reviews
Stephen
32 years of experience
Toyota 4Runner - Stabilizer Bar Links Replacement (Front, Rear) - Denver, Colorado
Stephen shows up on time (or early) and most importantly gets the work done correctly and in a timely manner. I definitely recommend him to anyone and will continue to use his service.
Toyota RAV4 - Stabilizer Bar Links Replacement (Front) - Golden, Colorado
Stephen was knowledgeable, and courteous, something that is lacking in many. He will be my go to for my car issues. Thank you 

Claud

8 years of experience
325 reviews
Claud
8 years of experience
GMC Yukon XL 1500 - 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..

Tabitha

17 years of experience
267 reviews
Tabitha
17 years of experience
Scion xB - Stabilizer Bar Links Replacement (Front) - San Diego, California
Tabitha called to let me know she had arrived early to our appointment. When we met, I handed over the keys and she took care of the job in my apartment parking lot. The whole process probably took under 25minutes. I had my Sway Bar Links replaced after receiving a recommendation when I had my vehicle serviced at the car dealer's in December. She showed me the sway bar links after replacing them (which were pretty worn down) and I am so pleased that she was able to come out to replace them. No having to wait at a dealership, so grateful.

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