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Track Bar Replacement Cost

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

The average cost for a track bar replacement is between $139 and $189. Labor costs are estimated between $61 and $111 while parts are priced at $78. Estimate does not include taxes and fees.
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What is a Track Bar?

A track bar is a suspension system component typically used in coil spring suspensions. It is a rigid steel rod tying the axle to the frame or body of a vehicle to prevent the axle and wheels from moving side to side. A track bar may be used on the front or the rear suspension.

How do Track Bars work?

The track bar runs on a diagonal from a position on the body or frame of a vehicle to the axle. As the wheels move up and down over bumps in the road, the track bar scissors up and down with the axle without allowing the axle to move side to side. The track bar pivots at each end by way of either a bushing or a ball joint. This provides a hinge so that the suspension can travel up and down. The track bar is usually used in conjunction with trailing arms that keep the suspension from moving forward and backward. On some vehicles, the track bar is adjustable (mainly on race cars where adjustments to the position of the axle change the car's center of gravity, or on off-road trucks where a lifted ride height requires that the track bar be lengthened to keep the axle centered).

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What are the symptoms of a bad Track Bar?

Since track bars can be used in front or rear suspensions, symptoms may be detected in either location. If the front track bar is bad, a vibration might be felt in the steering wheel. The steering wheel might also have excessive play or be hard to turn. A clunking or knocking sound during turns or over bumps may be heard from either the front or the rear of the vehicle. It might also feel as if the vehicle is loose or floating side to side, or even pulling to one side or the other. Tire wobble might be evident.

Can I drive with a bad Track Bar?

If the track bar is worn, the vehicle can be driven for a time, but the symptoms will worsen. If, on the other hand, the symptoms are severe, or the track bar is broken, the vehicle cannot be driven and should be towed to a trusted repair shop to have the bar replaced.

How often do Track Bars need replacement?

A track bar should last the lifetime of the vehicle. However, premature wear can occur depending on driving habits and conditions. Also, modifications to the suspension on a car, truck, or SUV can affect the track bar.

How are Track Bar issues diagnosed?

A technician will lift and support the vehicle to diagnose a worn or damaged track bar. The bushings or ball joints on the ends of the track bar are checked for excessive play or for a clicking sound when the bar is rotated slightly. This would indicate the bushings or the ball joints are worn out. Any marks indicating impact to the bar are noted, as are any unusual bends. (Some track bars have a natural curve or bend to them, making identification of irregular bends difficult).

How are Track Bars replaced?

To replace a track bar, a technician will lift and support the vehicle. It may also be necessary to support the suspension axle with special jacks. The mounting bolts on each end are removed - or the ball joints are disconnected (this may require a special tool called a ball joint separator) - and the track bar is pulled from its location. In some cases it may be necessary to remove the track bar mount along with the bar. The new bar is prepped for installation (some ball joints require that a grease fitting and grease be installed) and set in place. The fasteners are installed and torqued to specifications. Some track bars are adjustable and need to be set to make sure the suspension is centered in the vehicle.

RepairPal Recommendations for Track Bar issues

RepairPal recommends a full inspection of suspension components if the track bar is worn out and in need of replacement. A wheel alignment should also be done to make sure the suspension is in the correct position for proper vehicle performance and to prevent uneven and premature tire wear. This includes any time modifications to the suspension are done.

What to look out for when dealing with Track Bar issues

Some vehicle owners like to increase the ride height of a vehicle by lifting the suspension. This is accomplished by adjusting a torsion bar, adding coil spring extensions or longer springs, or adding leafs or extended brackets to leaf springs. Lifting a vehicle that includes a track bar will force the suspension over to one side. In that case, a new track bar that is longer - or one that adjusts - should be installed to compensate for the additional height and to center the suspension in the vehicle.

Can I replace the Track Bar myself?

Track bar replacement on most vehicles can be done by someone with intermediate do it yourself experience, provided safety measures are considered when lifting and supporting the vehicle. A wheel alignment should still be performed, especially if modifications have been made to the suspension, to ensure that the axle is centered on the vehicle.

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