Most cars these days have a sway bar. Not only cars which are used for races, but also ordinary cars. Sway bars are highly beneficial for the performance of your car. They increase the driver’s safety. That being said, most people don’t know enough about the sway bar to understand in which way it affects the vehicle’s performance.
Most car owners never think about the sway bar and the way it affects the car. But it is important to notice this and learn more about it. Especially when you’re interested in improving your car or building your own race car. Not sure what it is and how it works? In this article, you will find everything you need to know about the sway bar.
What is a sway bar?
First of all, it is good to know what a sway bar is exactly. To understand the importance of the sway bar, you’ll need to know the definition of it. How does it work? What is it doing for your car?
A sway bar is connected to either both front or both rear wheels. There are also cars available who have two sway bars. One at the front and one at the rear. The sway bar is used to resist the vehicle’s tendency to roll as it corners. When you’re speeding through the corners, this bar will prevent your car from rolling over. Therefore, it increases car safety.
However, the sway bar can’t be used for every car. It only works when one wheel is higher or lower than the other. In this case the sway bar will maintain the weight distribution from one side to the other, which ensures that the car won’t roll-over as quickly.
How does it work?
A sway bar is a kind of balancing bar. You can compare it to a plain old balancing bar which you could use for your children. However, in this case it balances the weight between both wheels out. Therefore, you’ll experience more grip while taking sharp turns with your car. The bar tries to keep the wheels as level as possible.
As the vehicle turns around a corner and the weight is shifted from one side to the other, the sway bar will force the weight to transfer back to the other side of the vehicle. Therefore, the vehicle will remain the same level and minimise the roll action. This increases the driver’s safety.
What are the symptoms of a defective sway bar?
As you may have realized, the sway bar is not a part that is spared by your automobile. It absorbs and undergoes many shocks, which can cause premature wear of the part. This wear and tear will vary depending on the amount of driving your car’s sway bar has to endure.
If you notice the following symptoms, it’s probably time to have your sway bars replaced:
- You hear abnormal noises coming from your vehicle, such as rattling;
- You feel a loss of grip when you turn;
- Your vehicle doesn’t hold the road as well as it used to.
When to change your car’s sway bar?
Make sure you have your sway bars checked at least once a year to prevent them from getting too damaged. We recommend that you ask your garage to check the sway bars when you have your tires checked or when you have a wheel alignment. Don’t take this job lightly and don’t start changing your sway bars yourself if you don’t have a solid mechanical background: your safety depends on it.