These small, inexpensive components can mean the difference between a smooth, quiet ride, and a noisy, bumpy ride with serious handling problems. With the right information, getting new sway bar link bushings can be as quick and easy as reading this guide.
Your sway bar link bushings serve three basic functions:
- They shield your sway bars from excessive stress.
- They allow for better handling by providing a cushioned connection between your sway bars and the chassis.
- They significantly reduce noise and vibrations.
Here are two signs you need new sway bar link bushings:
- Clunking and rattling sounds while driving - The noise is caused by your sway bar moving around too much.
- Sloppy handling - This is when you feel a lot less stable when making turns.
Types of suspension bushing materials:
- Rubber - These are usually the bushings you start out with. They are cheap, but can deteriorate quickly when exposed to oils or extreme temperatures.
- Polyurethane - These are harder and much more durable than rubber bushings—they cost more too. They are a popular aftermarket upgrade. However, in time, these can still wear out, squeak, and compress.
- Thermoplastic rubber (TPR) - These are the toughest of them all. Although more expensive than polyurethane bushings, these are much harder, last longer, and are virtually squeak-free.
Take note that harder and tougher bushings are not necessarily better. The harder the bushing, the harsher the ride. It depends on your vehicle and your driving application. Large vehicles with lots heavy-duty driving need tougher bushings. Smaller cars used for normal, day-to-day driving, however, would probably be fine with rubber bushings.
Other points to consider:
- The size of the sway bars determines the size of the bushings. Make sure you know the specifications of your sway bars.
- We recommend applying grease or lubricating oil to your new sway bar link bushings just before installing them.
- Refer to your vehicle's owner manual for additional information (such as sway bar specifications, recommended bushings, and installation instructions).