Sway Bay – The Missing Link
(Stabilizer bar, Sway bar, Anti-sway bar, Anti-Roll bar)
Sway bar link, Stabilizer bar, Sway bar, Stabilizer link, Anti-sway bar, Anti-Roll bar or some other combination of these words…Just like your friend Robert (Rob, Robbie, Bobby, Bob), this guy can’t get his name straight. Don’t let that throw you off. A sway bar link reduces the tilt, or “roll”, of a car during a sharp turn. It functions as a torsion spring connecting the left and right wheels and keeps them at a similar height.
Think about watching an old school movie where there’s a car chase scene. Whenever the cars take a hard turn with any speed, the outside tires lift off the ground until the turn is complete and the car lands back on all four tires. As exciting as this is in movies, it’s dangerous (as the car can flip), and also damaging to the car. Now most cars have this bar to keep all four tires safely on the ground.
An off-roading vehicle, like a jeep, may not want a stabilizer link because the tires require more mobility for jostling over uneven terrain. The advantage of a sway bar is the ability to “hug” turns better while on the road. On a turn, the car is forced downward closer to the outside wheels. The sway bar counters this by forcing the car down towards the inside wheels as well (creating that “hugging” effect). The entire frame is pushed closer to the wheels until the turn is complete and the car raises back up to its normal height.
While going over a pothole, especially after a New York winter, you may have experienced the car rocking back side-to-side. The sway bar is pushing to keep both tires level, so this kind of change in elevation can strain the sway bar.
It’s always a good idea to have the undercarriage inspected by a professional after pothole season, but here are some warning signs that your stabilizer link may be damaged:
• poor steering
• loose steering wheel
• rattling noise from that area of the car
If you are in need of a new stabilizer link, tie rod, or ball joint MAS Industries has you covered with top of the line options. If you are in the Queens, Brooklyn, or Long Island NY area, you can shop online for in-store pick up, or simply find your local Arch Auto Parts store.