Can Bad Sway Bar Links Cause Tire Wear?
Your car’s suspension is tasked with keeping the car under control at all times. The entirety of the suspension system makes sure your car keeps its composure whenever it enters a corner at a higher speed, while also making sure that all the road surface imperfections don’t translate to an uncomfortable ride.
The suspension itself is comprised of hundreds of different pieces and it spans the entirety of the vehicle. A sway bar is also part of the suspension and it is tasked with keeping the car as leveled as possible while performing turns. As such, Can Bad Sway Bar Links Cause Tire Wear?
Can Bad Sway Bar Links Cause Tire Wear?
If your car is only suffering from a bad sway bar link (anti-roll bar), chances are that it will not directly affect tire wear because the bar does not generate any vibrations that could potentially increase tire wear while driving, at least not while going in a straight line. However, if your sway bar links are completely toasted, they could increase tire wear during cornering due to more severe weight transfer.
However, your car could experience increased levels of tire wear if the suspension is often loaded asymmetrically which means that the sway bar will not be able to keep the car completely leveled when necessary. Furthermore, if your sway bars are not the only suspension components that are compromised, you might suffer from increased levels of tire wear due to many other problems.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Bad Sway Bar?
- Clunking noise
- Rattling noise
- Knocking sound while driving on uneven roads
- Lack of stability
- Noise over speed bumps
- Bad handling
Can Bad Sway Bar Bushings Cause Tire Wear?
The bushings are tasked with holding the wheels firmly in place. They do this in unison with the upper and lower control arms, and the ball joints. This means that these three components together are essential when it comes to wheel alignment, so if they are off wack, your alignment is also likely to follow.
As such, the tires will not be firmly fixed in place which will make them wander all over the place. Over a prolonged period, this can cause uneven tire wear while also making the car severely compromised safety-wise.
Can A Bad Sway Bar Affect Ride Quality?
The sway bars do absolutely nothing while the car is traveling in a straight line as they only come into play when the car starts leaning to one side or the other. This means that a bad sway bar should not directly affect the quality of the ride, but when you approach a corner, you might experience the car leaning a bit more which can affect ride quality.
Your ride quality can be affected by countless components such as the suspension, the damping, the chassis, the tires, the road quality, aerodynamics, and so on. This means that even in the worst-case scenario, the sway bar links should not play a major role anyway.
Is It Safe To Drive With A Bad Sway Bar?
If you decide to drive a car with a bad sway bar, be sure to keep the speed down because you should not enter corners fast. Even though a bad sway bar should not cause any mechanical issues with the car, it could throw the car off balance during cornering which could potentially end catastrophically.
Of course, this only happens if the car enters a corner at higher speeds. Some types of cars with a taller center of gravity such as SUVs, CUVs, trucks, and crossovers are even more vulnerable because they experience increased levels of body roll anyway.
How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Sway Bar?
It depends on the car and the availability of parts. In general, the costs vary between $450 and $900. Replacing just the bushings or the links typically costs under $150. The good news is that this is a rather common fix which means that you should be able to take your car to any experiencing workshop in your area.
Some people like to do this by themselves which lowers the overall costs significantly. Either way, the best thing you can do is take your car to someone who is experienced enough as sometimes you will have to inspect other more complex suspension parts.
How To Minimize Tire Wear?
Sometimes it makes more sense to invest in higher-quality tires while making sure to extend their lifespan as much as possible. Here we have combined four easy steps on how you can do so. However, if you want to know more, be sure to click here.
- Always keep the tires properly inflated
- Rotate your tires
- Adjust your driving habits
- Properly align your wheels
Does Proper Air Pressure Minimize Tire Wear?
You need properly inflated tires at all times because this is the only way your car will be able to distribute its weight adequately. As tires tend to lose air pressure because of many different reasons such as temperature fluctuations, you will have to top them up every now and then.
If your tires are underinflated, they will wear more quickly, but the biggest issue is that they will wear unevenly. The best thing you can do is check your air pressure every month, and try to do so before you go on a long journey.
Does Rotating Tires Minimize Tire Wear?
Rotating your tires might as well be the most important thing you need to do to always keep your tires in optimal condition. Front tires tend to wear out sooner because they do all the hard work when it comes to braking and steering.
By rotating your tires, you are basically evening out the wear across all four tires which ensures uniform wear and thus the tires are able to last a lot longer. Most tire experts state that you should rotate your tires every 5,000-7,500 miles at a time.
How Do My Driving Habits Affect Tire Wear?
It is impossible to fully avoid tire wear, but you are able to minimize it simply by adjusting your driving habits. If you tend to drive your car in an aggressive manner, you are virtually taking the life out of your tires. Whenever you accelerate or enter a corner, you should do so slowly, otherwise, you will wear your front tires too fast.
Driving slowly over potholes and speedbumps also helps when it comes to minimizing tire wear as sudden tire impact can even cause tire blowouts. All in all, just drive a bit more slowly and try to avoid potholes and uneven surfaces.
Does Proper Wheel Alignment Minimize Tire Wear?
Improper wheel alignment is known to chew through tires at an alarming rate. You need to align your wheels properly if you want to maximize your car’s comfort, drivability, and most importantly safety. As such, be sure to perform wheel alignment whenever you rotate your tires. If your tires do not meet the road at the exact angle, everything could be thrown off.
If you continue on driving the car without getting the wheels aligned, you are risking many essential suspension components. Furthermore, a precise wheel alignment is able to almost double the lifetime of your tires.
How To Check If My Front Sway Bar Is Bad?
As mentioned previously, your suspension components are plentiful. This means that even though you may think you are experiencing an issue with the sway bar, you can’t know for certain before you take a look. To check the state of your sway bar, be sure to lift the front of your car with either a jack stand, o a lift.
You now have to locate the sway bar that extends from one wheel to the other. An easy way to tell is by looking at the links which are connected with the control arm. Try to apply some force onto the sway bar, and if notice any vertical play, it means that the bushings are worn out.
If you try to move the bar near the ball and socket joint, and if your clanks, your links are likely toast. It’s worth mentioning that it’s always better to let a professional take a look, even if you are 100% certain that everything is okay.
The sway bar links only come to play when your car is taking turns. If you are cornering slowly, the links are not working all that hard. This means that issue with the sway bar links should not directly affect tire wear, but if you enter corners fast, and you do so often, then the links could potentially play a role in tire wear, but not all that much.
Many people often believe that they are experiencing issues with certain components only to later find out that the true issue is something completely different. Because the suspension is complex and it works in perfect harmony, you should always check all the accessible suspension components whenever you inspect the sway bar.