A sway bar or stabilizer bar is designed to stop the car’s body from leaning excessively during corners. The majority of cars on the road are equipped with a front and rear sway bar, however, some use just a front or just a rear sway bar. Sway bars are one of the components which determine how your car handles during corners, especially the rear sway bar.
The job of the sway bar link to connect the sway bar to the axle or suspension arms. In the majority of cars, a sway bar link features a couple of tiny ball joints in both ends. In high-end applications, it’s common to see Heim joints at either end of a sway bar link.
Once the sway bar links begin to wear out, you may or may not be able to notice it instantly. For some vehicles, the effects of a broken sway bar link are barely noticeable on the road, however, the effects of a broken sway bar can massive change handling on the track or canyon road. One of the classic symptoms of a broken or failing sway bar link is a clunking or rattling anytime the vehicle’s body sways left or right. In some cases, the sway bar link won’t make any clunking unless the suspension is close the full articulation, and in some cases the sway bar link will clunk anytime you hit a small bump.
Since your sway bar determines how much your car under-steers or over-steers, a broken or failing sway bar link can drastically change handling characteristics and cause an accident. If you car all of the sudden over-steers because your front sway bar links have failed, the result could be a very bad crash.
Sway bar links are meant to fit extremely tightly, free from all forms of play or movement aside from with rubber bushings. Once they are damaged, the sway bar will start to generate the aforementioned sounds particularly once you drive through corners or a speed bump.
The moment you hear these kinds of noises generated from either the front or rear of your car, it could be a sign of failing sway bar links. With aftermarket sway bar links, you have the benefit of stiffer bushings and many aftermarket sway bar links are also adjustable!
Having adjustable sway bar links is very important for any application where the ride height is changed dramatically. Sway bars are designed to work within a specific range of motion. Outside that range of motion, your sway bar doesn’t have proper leverage and can potential contact other components.