How Do I Know If I Need To Replace My Anti-Roll Bar?

Anti-roll bars are fitted to just about any car these days. Most cars have an anti-roll bar on the front as well as the rear of the car. Anti-roll bars stabilize your car when you go through a corner. Whilst it is an important component it’s often tricky to know whether or not you will need to replace it. Luckily there are a couple of checks that can be done to find out if it needs replacing.

How Does An Anti-Roll Bar Work?

As its name implies the anti-roll bar reduces the amount a car body rolls when cornering. When you go through a corner a car has the natural tendency to lean to the outside, as its weight is shifted to that side. The component helps to counter this movement and ensures the car’s body rolls less. Anti-roll bars are usually fitted to the front and rear suspension systems.

The anti-roll bar connects one side of a suspension with the other. It is connected to the suspension arms by way of anti-roll bar drop links on each side. That way it can balance the forces put on the suspension system. The amount of weight it can bear will depend on the thickness of the bar that runs between the wheels.

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When To Replace The Anti-Roll Bars

Whilst body roll can never be entirely eliminated, the anti-roll bar does play a very important role in the process. If your car’s body rolls too much when going through corners it can become unstable. In extreme cases it can be that your car will be become difficult to handle, and you may lose control. It is therefore vital to ensure that it is in good condition.

If you experience problems with the anti-roll bar it’s normally due to worn bushes on either the bar or the links. The anti-roll bar itself normally doesn’t break and can last a lifetime as it’s simply a metal bar. The bushes, though, are made from plastic or rubber and can wear down or perish over time. Often wear to bushes can be identified by knocking or squeaking noises that occur when driving through corners.

If you are faced with those noises it may be time to get these bushes replaced. Often the bushes cannot be replaced separately from the anti-roll bar or link itself as they are pressed into the actual component. In those cases the whole anti-roll bar or links need replacing.

Of course, if you’re not entirely sure which of the parts need to be replaced it’s advisable to get help from an expert. We here at ClickMechanic have a suspension inspection available for these kind of situations.

Symptoms of worn or damaged anti-roll bar drop link or bushes

There are a few key symptoms that can indicate an issue with the anti-roll bar, drop links or bushes.

  • Poor handling when cornering
  • Car body rolls too much
  • Knocking or squeaking sounds
  • Clunking noises from the suspension
  • Loud unusual noises when going over speed bumps

If your vehicle is showing one or more of these symptoms it is advisable to get it addressed soon. Putting it off may lead to further suspension damage, and you may also fail your next MOT.

Can I Drive With A Broken Anti-Roll Bar?

The car will most likely be driveable but it will negatively affect the handling of the vehicle and make it unstable and unsafe for driving at speeds more than 30mph. It is advised to take it to a mechanic or garage as soon as possible.

What Are Anti-Roll Bar Drop Links?

Anti-roll bar drop links are suspension components that connect the anti-roll bar to the suspension strut. They are designed to keep the anti-roll bar level with the ground and to allow it to pivot freely when the suspension is in use.

What Are Anti-Roll Bar Bushes?

Anti-roll bushes are usually made of rubber or plastic and are suspension components that connect the suspension arms to the chassis of a vehicle. They help to reduce body roll by stiffening the connection between the suspension and the body.

Anti-roll bars are subjected to constant bending and twisting, which in turn puts a great deal of strain on various rubber mounting bushings and so it is often mistaken as damage to the anti-roll bar.

If you have an issue with worn anti-roll bars ClickMechanic can help. ClickMechanic is a UK wide car repair marketplace that gives you upfront instant prices. You can get your vehicle repaired, serviced, diagnosed, or have an MOT done by tomorrow morning. Get an instant quote for your suspension issue now.

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Is a damaged anti-roll bar link an MOT failure?

Yes, damage to the anti-roll bar parts can lead to an MOT failure. It would make the car much more unstable on the road as the car can roll much more when cornering. If you have an MOT coming up it’s especially important to address anti-roll bar issues if you’re taking your car for an MOT. Often MOT testers fail cars on perished bushes or other suspension issues. By getting the problem fixed in advance you reduce the risk of your car failing its MOT, and having to fork out for a re-test.

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