What Are Sway Bar Links?

Sway bar links are parts of a vehicle's suspension that prevent it from rolling during cornering. These links connect the sway bars to the suspension. The sway bar is a long piece of tubular material that works like a lever to press the wheel back to the ground and counteract the lift from turns.

Sway bar links are generally 4 to 6 inches in length and connect to the sway bar at 90-degree angles. Over time, the bushings that make the connection sometimes wear. Other issues include bent or broken links.

Problems with sway bar links affect the handling of the car, especially if it breaks and the sway bar disconnects from one side of the vehicle. The vehicle tends to lean more on corners with a broken link. The damaged link can also cause clicks, clunking noises and squeaks when the operator drives the vehicle across bumps. In many instances, visual inspection of the vehicle's suspension reveals the broken part.

Replacing the broken link requires raising the vehicle off the ground using a floor jack and then unbolting the part from the sway bar. Once it is loose, the second end is usually easy to unbolt. Installing the new part is a simple reversal of the removal process.