How a Stabilizer Bar Works

A stabilizer bar is a steel bar that connects suspension components on opposite wheels. Its purpose is to combat body roll when a car makes a turn. It is also known as anti-roll bar, sway bar and anti-sway bar. The spring steel torsion bar is U shaped and is mounted parallel to the ground. The bottom part of the U is attached to the frame with bushings while the ends of the U are attached to the lower control arms of opposite wheels.

Components of Stabilizer Bar

A stabilizer bar is made from steel bar and it is part of a car’s suspension system. The spring steel torsion bar is a component that springs back when twisted. The hinge is designed as the bushings that attach the steel bar at the center.

How it Works

When a car makes a sharp turn, its par on the outside of the turn gets pushed down toward the road and the part of the car on the inside of the turn rises up. This is known as roll which happens 10o to 30o toward the outside of the turn. If a car takes a sharp corner at high speed, usually the tires on the inside of the turn rise off of the road, if care is not taken the vehicle can flip.

This happens as more weight is placed on the outside of the tire and less weight on the inside tires. This reduces traction which in turn interferes with steering. A stabilizer works by keeping the body of the car flat as it takes a sharp corner so that the weight is evenly distributed on all the four tires.


The stabilizer rod is a spring steel bar that is about 2cm to 5cm in diameter. For front tires that are approximately 5 feet apart, the length of the bar is cut out to be about 4 feet long. The rod is attached to the frame of the car in front of the front wheels. The stabilizer is attached with bushings which serve as a hinge so that it can rotate in its position. The arms from the stabilizer bar are attached to the front of suspension members on both sides.

Mechanisms of a Stabilizer Bar

With the component firmly installed in the car, when the car takes a turn, the front suspension member outside of the turn is pushed upward. The arm of the stabilizer bar is also pushed upward which applies torsion to it. The force moves the arm at the other end of the bar and causes the suspension on the other side of the car to compress. These processes are the mechanisms that make the car remain flat on the surface and prevent it from flipping.

Drawbacks of Stabilize Bar

Stabilizer bar should be checked for stiffness. This causes side to side motion in the car which affects steering and handling of the vehicle. Failure to maintain sway bars can cause the wheels on the outside of a turn to lose contact with the road causing poor steering and handling of the vehicle.