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Torsion Bar Replacement Cost

Know what price you should pay to get your vehicle fixed.

The average cost for a torsion bar replacement is between $228 and $293. Labor costs are estimated between $70 and $134 while parts are priced between $158 and $159. Estimate does not include taxes and fees.
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What is a Torsion Bar?

A torsion bar is a metal rod that applies spring tension to the suspension system when a tire hits a bump in the road. Many trucks, SUVs, and large (older) cars feature torsion bars in the suspension system. Torsion bars generally last a long time, take up little space underneath a vehicle, and can be adjusted to change the ride height.

How do Torsion Bars work?

The suspension in a vehicle relies heavily on spring tension in order to keep the body level on uneven roads, and to make sure that vehicle weight is properly transferred to the wheels during braking, accelerating, and cornering. This tension can be provided by leaf springs, coil springs, or torsion bars. A torsion bar is anchored at one end to the body of the vehicle, and at the other end to the lower control arm in the suspension. When the wheel passes over a bump or dips into a hole, the torsion bar twists. This twisting creates tension that returns the wheel to its original position after the bump or hole has passed, and allows the vehicle to maintain proper ride height. The resistance of the bar to twisting and the tension created is similar to what happens when a leaf spring or a coil spring is collapsed.

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What are the symptoms of a bad Torsion Bar?

As the torsion bars fatigue over time, the height of the vehicle may appear to sag. A clunking sound may be heard from underneath the vehicle, especially when travelling over bumps in the road. A sudden clunk, followed by a drop in one corner of the vehicle, might indicate a broken torsion bar. If the torsion bar is improperly installed or adjusted, the ride quality may seem excessively stiff.

Can I drive with a bad Torsion Bar?

If the torsion bars are fatigued and the ride height is affected, a vehicle can be driven until the problem can be corrected - either through adjustment or replacement of the torsion bars. If, on the other hand, a torsion bar breaks, the vehicle will not be driveable and should be serviced immediately. If damage or corrosion is found on a torsion bar, it should be replaced.

How often do Torsion Bars need replacement?

Torsion bars are designed to last the lifetime of the vehicle. They do not have a particularly high failure rate. Their lifespan can decrease significantly if a torsion bar becomes damaged or if corrosion is present.

How are Torsion Bar issues diagnosed?

To diagnose a bad torsion bar, a technician will note the ride height of the vehicle and check the amount of adjustment available for the torsion bar. The technician will also raise the vehicle and check for signs of damage or corrosion. Any worn or damaged suspension parts related to the torsion rod will also be inspected. If surrounding components are worn, they could place undue stress on the torsion bar or lead to wear on the protective coating that prevents corrosion.

How are Torsion Bars replaced?

After checking the air pressure, the technician will need to connect a diagnostic scan tool to test the wheel sensors first. In some vehicles, the sensors will not set an eOBD-II code directing the technician to the faulty tire pressure sensor, and those must be checked manually. The tires can be inflated and deflated one at a time, and the sensor that does not register the change is faulty, or a wireless scanner can be used to attempt to contact the individual sensors at each wheel.

RepairPal Recommendations for Torsion Bar issues

Some vehicle owners like to raise the ride height by adjusting the torsion bars. Changes in the amount of pretension set in the torsion bars will result in the vehicle body resting at differing heights. This can cause other suspension components (i.e. the shock absorbers) to travel near the ends of their tolerances and cause excessive wear, unwanted noises, or the feeling of a stiffer suspension. Changing the ride height significantly can also alter the suspension alignment. If the ride height is modified, it may be necessary to compensate with replacement components. And a suspension alignment will be necessary.

What to look out for when dealing with Torsion Bar issues

A torsion bar might show little evidence of weakness prior to complete failure. If a torsion bar is going to break, it could happen while a vehicle is traveling at high speeds, and likely as significant force is being applied while cornering. And it will happen suddenly. This can present a dangerous situation on the road. If there are signs of damage or corrosion present on a torsion bar, it should be replaced as soon as possible.

Can I replace the Torsion Bar myself?

An intermediate to advanced do it yourselfer may be able to handle replacement of the torsion bars in some vehicles. Care should be exercised whenever working with components under high tension. A suspension alignment might be required after repairs. Access to vehicle specific repair information (and possibly specialty tools) is necessary.

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