What Happens If a Sway Bar Breaks?

by David McGuffin

Sway bars are part of an automobile's suspension system, helping to keep the vehicle in line while it is turning. As a result, the car is more level as it drives over uneven surfaces and makes sharp turns.


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Because a sway bar helps the car's suspension to put more pressure on loaded springs, a broken sway bar means that the car's suspension will not be able to handle corners as well or as quickly. While it is possible to drive with a broken sway bar, as a precaution do not take corners with excessive speeds.


Most sway bars are hollow, although some are solid metal up to an inch thick. Due to their design, sway bars are usually built to last. If you do happen to break your vehicle's sway bar, look for a used one in a junk yard rather than purchasing a new sway bar.


Typically, the sway bar end link breaks before the actual sway bar breaks. Symptoms include metallic clanking when on uneven roads and excessive shifting of the car's weight during corners. Sometimes, the rear end of the car may feel extremely loose as well.

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