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 to Transfer a Car Title in Idaho
In order to prove ownership of a car, you must have the title. However, when a car is sold, given away or inherited, the title needs...
The Traveler’s Guide to Driving in Malaysia
CraigBurrows / Shutterstock.com Malaysia is a popular destination for many tourists today. The country has amazing sights and attractions that you will want to explore....
P2159 OBD-II Trouble Code: Vehicle Speed Sensor B Range/Performance
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P2159 P2159 code definition Vehicle Speed Sensor B Range/Performance...


Related questions

Q: Strange clunking/knocking noise coming from the front of the driver's side.

The tire wear represents misalignment, notably too much negative camber if the wear is on the inside edge of the tire. Such wear can be caused by worn ball joint but that would have to be evaluated. There are on...

Q: Loose steering column.

I would have a technician look at it. You will probably have to take the steering column apart and there are special tools required. There is a common problem with 3 torx screws connecting the tilt steering column that have...

Q: I have a 95 dodge intrepid. I'm wondering if the control arm and assembly is what is connected to my strut.

Hi there. The struts on the front of your vehicle are attached to the lower control arm with a ball joint, a sway bar with sway bar extensions, the tie rod ends to your steering system, and the knuckle hub...