Sway bar replacement from $245
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Sway bar replacement
How much does a sway bar replacement cost?
Your vehicle's suspension system is comprised of many components, one of which is the sway bar. Also known as an anti-roll bar, the sway bar connects both sides of the vehicle's suspension together to control the amount of body roll present when cornering.
Sway bars can be fitted to the front and rear of the vehicle, although some smaller vehicles only have a front sway bar fitted.
Working in conjunction with the springs and shock absorbers, the sway bar provides stable and predictable handling through both low and high-speed corners.
The sway bar is connected to the body of the vehicle with rubber bushes, and joins either directly to the shock absorber or to the control arms via sway bar end links, which are fitted with ball joints at both ends to allow for movement - these components are more common to wear out over time, but in rare cases, the sway bar itself will need to be replaced to return the vehicle handling back to factory specification.
The cost to replace the sway bar can start around $300 and go up to $800 and above, depending on the vehicle and the style of sway bar fitted.
What is a sway bar?
Most sway bars are designed as a torsion spring - a piece of metal that resists twisting. Being attached to the shock absorbers or control arms, as the vehicle corners or goes over bumps, the sway bar resists the twisting forces being applied to it, keeping the vehicle stable.
The twisting force applied to the bar reduces the amount of body roll felt through the cabin, although it does not eliminate it completely.
This twisting force only applies when one wheel is raised or lowered compared to the opposite side. If both wheels raise or lower simultaneously, such as going over a speed bump, the sway bar has no effect.
Symptoms that your sway bar requires replacement
- Excessive body roll through corners
- Clunking noise going over bumps
- Vehicle feels unstable while cornering
How is a sway bar replacement performed?
- The vehicle is raised on a hoist or jack stands
- The wheels are removed to allow access to the suspension
- The sway bar end links are disconnected and checked for wear
- The sway bar mounts are disconnected and the sway bar removed from the vehicle
- The new sway bar is fitted, along with new mounting bushes and end links if required
- The wheels are refitted and the vehicle lowered back to the ground
- A road test is performed to ensure correct operation
Tips to remember
- Performance vehicles may be fitted with thicker sway bars to counteract more cornering force - this will make the vehicle feel stiffer and is completely normal.
- Many 4x4 vehicles will have softer sway bars to allow for more suspension travel off-road, or will have disconnected sway bars to allow for the maximum travel of suspension components.
How important is a sway bar repair?
Replacing a faulty sway bar will return your vehicle's handling back to factory specification, making it more predictable to drive.
This is especially important in wet weather or on roads with a loose surface, as any small variations can cause your vehicle to lose control and possibly cause an accident.