Though small, the sway bar bushings are essential components of a vehicle. A pair of sway bar bushing keeps the sway bar or rod in place while allowing for some movement. So, what is a sway bar?
- Should you grease your sway bar bushings?
- What are the advantages of using grease on your sway bar bushings?
- Can grease damage your bushings?
- What type of grease do you use for sway bar links?
- How do you grease your sway bar bushings?
- Will grease stop sway bar bushings from squeaking?
- Should I apply sway bar bushing grease to the front?
A sway bar, also known as a stabilizer, is a rod with two arms attached to both ends underneath the vehicle. It works by controlling the leaning of the car during a turn. It mirrors what happens on one side and tries as hard to keep the wheel as level as possible on the other side.
Should you grease your sway bar bushings?
Greasing your sway bar bushings can have a positive impact as long as you use the right product. You can grease but be careful what lubricant you apply down there. Although bushings last a long time, as time goes on, they can develop squeaks. Once that happens, it’s about time to lube it up.
Add some of that stuff. What can you lose trying it out? Get a silicon spray. The application is a simple process. It helps stop squeaks, lubricates all moving parts, prevents sticking and corrosion, and protects rubber moldings and weather stripping. Unlike some grease, it absorbs quickly, so it doesn’t allow muck in lubricated parts.
Related content: Can a bad sway bar link cause vibration?
What are the advantages of using grease on your sway bar bushings?
Using grease on your sway bar bushings has a whole lot of benefits. It is one factor that ensures your car remains in excellent condition. Let’s consider some reasons why you should apply grease on your bushings.
A squeaking car can quickly become very annoying. In time, sway bar bushings produce high sounds as a result of being worn out. This creaky sound could get louder, especially during turns or when it does extra work resisting a load. Applying a lubricant to moving parts could reduce the friction of moving parts, eliminating any unwanted sounds.
Corrosion happens when moisture can penetrate the sway bar bushing. Rainy weather conditions bring it about. Corrosion leads to inefficient functioning of the bar bushings, degrades their strength, and can completely damage the sway bar bushings if no lubrication is applied.
To prevent corrosion, proper lubrication is needed to act as a cover and not allow moisture to seep in. Silicon-based lubricants are water resistant; when applied to the bar bushings, coat them and prevent them from rusting. Thereby making the bushings water resistant.
Decreases heat between the parts
Excessive heat can cause damage to the sway bar bushings. Another function of the lubricant is to prevent this from happening. Lubricating the bushings decreases the heat that results from friction by producing cooling effects.
Greasing sway bar bushings leads to increased efficiency. It will enable the bushings to operate for extended periods without becoming damaged and increases their lifespan. Greasing also ensures excellent reliability, durability, and strength of the bushings.
Greasing serves as a coat for increasing the bushings’ wear protection by protecting the rubber moldings. In other words, it prevents wear and tear that could result in a shorter lifespan. This then results in less maintenance and thus helps in saving costs. Ignoring greasing your bushings can lead to expensive repairs, and I’m sure that’s not something you would plan for.
Can grease damage your bushings?
Using suitable grease will not damage your bushings, but not using the proper one can harm your bushings. Rubbers are distinctive equipment, and they require some attention for their upkeep. Greasing with the wrong lubricant can damage the bushings and render them less efficient.
That is why it is vital to consider what type of grease is recommended. Oil and any petroleum-based lubricants aren’t proper for greasing your bushings, as they will damage the rubber. Always opt for silicon-based lubricants.
What type of grease do you use for sway bar links?
For sway bar bushings, you should use a silicon-based lubricant. White Lithium grease and AT 205 Re-seal lubricants are some of my recommendations. I have personally used them for years and can’t fault them.
AT 205 Re-seal
This is a transparent liquid polymer that helps to rejuvenate rubber. Use a bottle to spray your sway bar bushings. It also helps to set the bushings’ flexibility and hardness. AT 205 is a very effective lubricant that stops the squeaking of sway bar bushings efficiently.
When applied, it gets absorbed into the rubber, so you don’t have to worry about rain washing it off. Apply and leave overnight or for about 8 hours for best results. This way, it can last for over a year before requiring another spray.
White Lithium Grease
Apart from the fact that it shows a fantastic and immediate result, lithium grease delivers a long-lasting effect on bushing bars. In my experience, it is a very effective lubricant and provides rubber durability and stability. The application process is similar to any other grease.
If you decide to go with other types of lubricants, keep in mind that petroleum-based lubricants, on the other hand, can cause bushing bars to break more rapidly and efficiently.
Although recommended on some automotive forums, WD 40 is not the best for lubricating your sway bar bushings. Compared to AT 205 Re-seal, WD 40 will wash off when it rains. Greasing with WD 40 will not provide a long-lasting effect.
It consists of petroleum distillates which are not the best for rubber since petroleum can deteriorate the bushings easily. So, if you’re looking for efficiency and performance, WD 40 is not the best choice.
How do you grease your sway bar bushings?
There are multiple online guides you can follow to grease your sway bar bushings, but here’s how I do it.
- Drive the car on a level surface, then jack up both sides of the front end so the sway bar bushings can be accessible.
- Guarantee the stability of the vehicle before starting any work on it. For safety, check both jacks at the front end. After ensuring the car is safe to work on, you can move on to locate the sway bar bushings.
- Turn the front wheels to one side to access the sway bar bushings on each side of the vehicle. A sway bar or rod is attached to both sides of the bushings, enclosed in a cap. Find a sharp object and scratch the bracket to know the bushings’ position. This should make it easier to return them to their initial positions.
- Remove the brackets at the bottom and top of the sway bar on one side of the vehicle. Loosen the bolts, then move the sway bar towards the back of the car. Lift the bracket to remove it from its spot.
- Place the sway bar in a vice to hold it in a stationary position. Grease it with silicone lubricant, then slide the bushings out of the bar.
- Lubricate the bushing with a silicone lubricant as well to ensure its efficiency. Then return it in place to the sway bar. Move it until it gets to a stop on the bar. While rotating the bushing, ensure that the split edge faces the front of the vehicle.
- The next step after lubrication is to return the sway bar to its initial position on the vehicle. Reinstall the brackets to be in the position of the mark you made on the brackets. Fix back the bolts to tighten the brackets.
- One side of the vehicle is done. Turn the wheels to the other side. The same procedure should be repeated on the other side of the sway bar bushing.
- Remove both jacks on the font ends once the process is completed. Allow the vehicle to be on a level surface. Wait for a while to allow the lubricant to set in. Then go for a test drive.
Will grease stop sway bar bushings from squeaking?
Sway bar bushings start producing noise as a result of being dry or worn out. Greasing the bushings with the proper lubricant will almost eradicate the noise. Greasing will not help when the bushings are in bad condition, probably if they are torn, damaged, or broken, thereby leading to a lack of stability while driving and turning. This time, you’ll have to replace them with new bar bushings.
Should I apply sway bar bushing grease to the front?
No, you don’t grease the front of your sway bar bushing. The rubber bushing is made in a way that allows for the rotation of the sway bar.
It enables the sway bar to return to its position countless times while rotating. Applying grease to the front will affect the rotation process, making it less efficient. Plus, it also makes the rubber wear out quicker.
Greasing your vehicle’s sway bar bushings should not be overlooked, as this is an important process of your car’s maintenance. Unfortunately, many drivers are not aware of this procedure and end up replacing their bushings prematurely.
Remember, regular car maintenance will save you more money in the long run.
Every since I was a little boy, I can remember spending the afternoons in my dad’s repair shop. I got my first car at 16 and it was the best feeling ever!
I have contributed to various automotive publications but decided it’s finally time to settle for something constant.