Sway Bar Bushing Noise – What Are Symptoms of Bad Bar Bushings?

Numerous clunking sounds can indicate the problems in your car, such as tire or wheel noise or thumping noise.

And one of the most popular noises you can hear once from your car is a sway bar bushing noise.

Let’s learn more about this problem and find out more about its symptoms!

What Are Sway Bar Bushings?

sway bar bushing noise
Sway Bar Bushings

When you make a turn, the car’s whole body will lean to one side. You’ll see that, as a consequence, your outer wheels will contract, and your inner wheels will lengthen.

As you turn, the sway bar stabilizes your vehicle by keeping the wheels locked together and the interior components properly aligned.

Your vehicle’s sway bar will attach to the control arm and the body or frame.

Sway bar bushings connect the sway bar to the body/frame, while sway bar links connect the sway bar to the control arm.

A primary function of the sway bar bushings is to decrease clunking noise and friction by isolating the sway bar from the vehicle’s body and frame.

Although bushings are not prone to breaking, they wear down over time.

Sway Bar Bushing Noise: The Typical Signs Of Bad Sway Bar Bushings

An increased mechanical noise is one of the first warning indications suggesting your sway bar bushings are failing.

If you travel over any speed bumps or spin the steering wheel, you may hear a rattling or squeaking sound.

As worn bushings can’t absorb as much shock, the sway bar vibrates and sputters more during acceleration.

There is a rattling sound because the sway bar is rubbing against the links, which causes a metallic clattering noise. Loose parts like the bar end links or relocation brackets may also cause this noise.

Instead, polyurethane or a piece of rubber substance deterioration is more often to blame for mysterious sounds.

The squeaking sound is caused by dried-up and cracked bushings due to a lack of proper lubrication.

Other Bad Sway Bar Bushing Symptoms

bad bushing sound
The Symptoms Of Bad Sway Bar Bushing

Besides the sway bar bushings noise, there is some common noise that you should consider.

Weak Reaction Time in Suspension

Your vehicle’s suspension is responsible for dampening the impact of rough roads and maintaining the vehicle’s structural integrity.

But, the suspension won’t be able to accomplish its function if the bushings get worn out.

The handling of your vehicle may improve, giving you more confidence when driving. However, it may seem like stopping takes more time than usual.

Caused by the suspension parts jiggling about more than usual, these symptoms manifest themselves.

Troublesome Rides

Higher than normal vibration levels are another sign of worn sway bar bushings. This implies the suspension is less effective at dampening road imperfections, making for a harsher ride.

As a result, while traveling over rough terrain, you may find that your automobile is less stable and more prone to bouncing than normal.

You may also find that the steering wobbles and loses some of its responsiveness. The sway bar plays a role in maintaining the vehicle’s stability and straight trajectory.

Worn bushings may make the steering rack seem sloppy since the body is not held down as tightly.

Accelerated Body Sway

Enhanced body roll is among the most concerning signs of faulty sway bar bushings. This may lead to a loss of traction and skidding if the car’s body is not retained level.

When a vehicle’s body leans outward from its vertical gravity point, this is called a body roll.

It’s created by centrifugal force imposed on the vehicle’s body whenever it turns, although it’s most noticeable while cornering.

The vehicle may tilt more than usual as you turn. In addition, a vehicle may slide or flip if the inner wheels lift off the ground.

These symptoms result from a breakdown in the suspension system, which may be fatal if left untreated.

Variations in Tire Wear

Tire tread wear irregularities are a common sign of worn and bad bushings. Your vehicle’s weight is distributed unevenly across the tires since the body is not leveled.

Your automobile may appear to lean to one side even while going straight. The car pulls to one side due to the unlevel body.

Hence, you may find that one side of your tire wears out before the other. In addition, you can notice that your gas economy is deteriorating as your engine works more to move the car.

How Do You Know If Your Sway Bar Is Bad

If you hear a banging sound whenever you travel over a speed bump or turn, it’s likely because a few or all of your sway bar bushings have worn out.

A heavy thud will be heard from under your car. The sway bar may be loose because its bushing has worn out and can no longer hold it in place, causing the annoying noise over bumps.

Clunk sounds occur when the free sway bar shifts position as the vehicle goes over bumps or turns.

Insufficient lubrication is the most common cause of squeaking sounds, which is also true of sway bar bushings, which may be heard on bumps and curves.

A squeaking sound might be heard while turning sharply if the bushing lubricant has dried up.

Failing sway bar bushings lead to poor handling since the sway bar gives your vehicle the stability and control you need while driving.

If the bushing on your sway bar is worn, the bar will move around too freely, and you’ll notice a sluggish response while you’re behind the wheel.

Do Sway Bar Bushings Wear Out?

sway bar bushings bad
Sway Bar Bushings Wear Out


The primary function of the sway bar bushings is to decrease noise over bumps and friction by isolating the sway bar from the vehicle’s body or frame.

As a result, bushings are not prone to breaking. However, they do wear down over time.

When you should inspect the bushings in your car’s stabilizer bars varies by vehicle type, driving circumstances, and personal driving habits.

Stabilizer bar bushings should be inspected at least annually, every 15,000 miles, or more frequently if you detect any abnormal noise or suspension noises.


Sway bar bushing noise is one of the signs of bad sway bar bushings.

Checking with a specialist as soon as possible is recommended if you suspect a faulty sway bar bushing in your vehicle.

Most consumers won’t need professional help when it comes time to replace a worn-out sway bar bushing. Nonetheless, expert advice is always recommended.

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