Symptoms of Bad or Failing Stabilizer Bar Bushings

One of the most under-appreciated yet incredibly important mechanical components hiding underneath our vehicles is the stabilizer bar bushings. Located on the undercarriage of your vehicle and engineered to reduce road noise, absorb bumps and cracks in roads and deliver a softer ride, the stabilizer bar is supported with rubber bushings that keep the vehicle's body from rolling as it navigates turns.

When they are properly lubricated and maintained, the stabilizer bar bushings can deliver optimal driving conditions for years. However, when they start to wear out, the warning signs can range from subtle noises to significant problems with steering and handling; potentially leading to vehicle accidents and other safety concerns.

The information below will help you self-diagnose if a potential problem with your stabilizer bar bearings exists, so you can contact a professional mechanic to inspect, diagnose and repair the problem before it causes additional issues with your vehicle.

1. Sluggish response in vehicle handling

Since you drive your car every day, it's probable that you have a clear understanding of how your car handles the road. One of the easiest ways of diagnosing a problem with the stabilizer bar bushings is when the handling seems sluggish or slow to respond; especially when you make quick turns in your vehicle. Additionally, if you turn into a corner and the vehicle seems less stable than it has been previously, this is also an indication of bushings being worn and needing to be replaced.

The important thing to remember is that when the stabilizer bar bushings begin to wear out, they do so quickly. By ignoring the warning signs, it could lead to a potentially dangerous situation, causing you to lose control of the vehicle under what would typically be a normal driving situation. Anytime you notice a difference in the way your vehicle is handling; contact a professional mechanic to inspect the stabilizer bar bushings and replace them as needed.

2. Rattling underneath the car

The stabilizer bar is located directly under your car. When the bushings become torn, worn out or completely break, the stabilizer bar itself will become unstable and cause a rattling or clunking sound while you are driving. The noise will get progressively louder when you steer the car in either direction or when you are driving on a rough road. Typically the noise will come from the front of your vehicle, near your feet on the floor board and are very noticeable.

When you hear clunking noises coming from this location, drive safely home and contact YourMechanic so they can inspect the stabilizer bar and if needed, replace the stabilizer bar bushings.

3. Squeaking noises from under the car

Different than a rattle or clunking sound, the squeaking noise coming from under your car is a potential warning sign that the bushings are starting to wear. This sound is noticeable while you are driving over bumps, making aggressive turns to the left or right, or if you drive into a driveway. This noise is typically caused by a stabilizer bar bushing that is not properly lubricated due to metal-on-metal contact. If caught early enough, YourMechanic can clean and properly lubricate the bushings with a grease gun to avoid additional damage being done. Regardless, if you hear this sound coming from the area near your feet when you drive; it's never a good thing. Have it checked out by a mechanic as soon as possible.

Always let a professional mechanic repair stabilizer bar issues

As tempting as it might be for a novice to work on their car, the stabilizer bar and specifically, the stabilizer bar bushings are delicate mechanical parts that should only be serviced by an ASE Certified mechanic. This is primarily due to the fact that in order to correctly service these parts, specialized tools are required to be used. The removal and assembly process involved with stabilizer bar replacement is also complex and must be followed precisely in order to reduce the potential of complete parts failure and potentially dangerous situations.

Take time to listen to your vehicle, as it will let you know when critical parts like the stabilizer bar bushing are starting to wear and need to be replaced by a professional mechanic.


Next Step

Schedule Suspension Inspection

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Suspension Inspection. Once the problem has been diagnosed, you will be provided with an upfront quote for the recommended fix and receive $20.00 off as a credit towards the repair. 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 Suspension Inspection reviews

Excellent Rating

(171,627)

Rating Summary
161,099
5,644
1,174
834
2,876
161,099
5,644
1,174
834
2,876

Brandon

20 years of experience
773 reviews
Brandon
20 years of experience
Honda Odyssey L4-2.2L - Alternator - Altamonte Springs, Florida
Very nice, professional, and quick. Made sure everything was working before he left. Great service.
Honda Accord - Brake Caliper Replacement (Driver Side Rear, Passenger Side Rear) - Longwood, Florida
Great experience. Arrived early and completed the work quickly.

Clifton

30 years of experience
289 reviews
Clifton
30 years of experience
Ford Mustang V8-5.0L - Suspension - West Palm Beach, Florida
Clifton did a good job finding the source of this loud clicking /popping sound I had in my front end suspension. I could've ended up buying unnecessary parts thinking it was something else .

Dameron

17 years of experience
171 reviews
Dameron
17 years of experience
Mercedes-Benz GL450 V8-4.6L - Suspension Inspection - Indianapolis, Indiana
He's so professional

John

20 years of experience
563 reviews
John
20 years of experience
Nissan 240SX L4-2.4L - Car is not starting - Orlando, Florida
From start to finish, very knowledgeable and professional. Goes the extra mile to make sure the task is done correctly. Definitely a 10 on the "recommended list".

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 to Diagnose and Repair Noisy Brakes
Squeaky car brakes are hard to drive with. If your car brakes are making noise, check the brake pads and brake rotors to see if they are worn down.
How to Change Stabilizer Bar Links
The suspension has stabilizer bar links that fail if there are clunking or rattling noises in the tire area, poor handling, or a loose steering wheel.
How to Troubleshoot a Car That Makes Clunking Noises Over Bumps
Cars that make clunking noises as they drive over bumps may have worn struts or leaf spring shackles, or damaged control arms or shock absorbers.

Related questions

Car shakes and squeaks
Improperly balanced tires usually start to vibrate above 50 miles per hour. This may be fixed simply by having the tires balanced. Have an experienced technician, such as one from YourMechanic, also check the condition of the tires and integrity...
Short Squeaking heard from the engine.
Thanks for writing in about the squeaking sound (https://www.yourmechanic.com/services/loud-squealing-or-rattling-is-coming-from-engine-inspection) coming form your 2007 Porsche Boxster. Typically this type of noise is related to a loose alternator (https://www.yourmechanic.com/services/alternator-belt-replacement) or serpentine belt (https://www.yourmechanic.com/services/serpentine-drive-belt-replacement), but commonly appears during acceleration as opposed to deceleration...
Sqeaking in the rear
Hi there. The problem you're describing sounds awfully similar to an issue with the wheel bearings to me. The wheel bearings (https://www.yourmechanic.com/article/symptoms-of-bad-or-failing-wheel-bearings) allow your free floating rear tires (on the Dodge Caliber) to ride without restriction. However, when you hear...

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