The track bar is part of your car's suspension system and is located underneath your vehicle. The bar is attached to a suspension link that provides a lateral location for the axle. The suspension allows the wheels to move up and down with the body of your vehicle. The track bar restricts the suspension from moving side to side, which could damage the vehicle.
The track bar is made up of the rigid bar which runs on the same plane as the axle. It connects one end of the axle to the car body on the other side of the vehicle. Both ends are connected with pivots that allow the bar to move up and down.
If the track rod is too short on a vehicle, it will allow side to side movement between the axle and the body. This problem is normally found on smaller vehicles than larger ones. Furthermore, the track bar can show signs of wear and go bad over time. Eventually, if these problems are not attended to, the track bar will fail and can cause damage to the suspension of your vehicle.
One of the most obvious signs your track bar is going bad or failing is when the tires begin to wobble uncontrollably. This normally happens when the bearings have too much space from the steering assembly. Furthermore, the wobbling feeling is noticed at all speeds, but becomes worse at higher speeds. This can be dangerous as you could possibly lose control of the vehicle. As soon as you notice this symptom, contact a certified mechanic to further diagnose the situation. The experienced mechanic will replace your track bar and make it safe for you to drive again.
Since the track bar can wear and go bad over time, it is important that you are able to recognize the symptoms it shows before it fails completely.
Signs your track bar needs to be replaced include:
The steering wheel needs to be turned further
The vehicle is hard to turn
The car pulls to one side
You notice the tires wobbling uncontrollably
To ensure you have a stable and reliable car, have a certified mechanic look out for any other problems your car may have to reduce further complications with your vehicle.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How Long Does a Track Bar Last? and was authored by Valerie Johnston.