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2005 Honda CRV loose sway bar links

The Honda dealership told me my 2005 CRV has loose sway bar links. How are these fixed? They quoted a price of $290 for the front links and $374 for the rear links. Does this sound reasonable.

I am not sure what is involved in Honda sway bar link change, but if it is anything like the ones on my Dodge caravan, the prices quoted seem to be high. Check the part price online just to get a rough estimate and then ask a local independent mechanic to check them and quote a price. If you don’t have any warranties, the dealer is a pricey place to go.

These prices do sound rather high. Do you have any symptoms? Usually, when these get loose (caused by wear), you will hear clunking or rattling over bumps. At that point, it’s an annoyance that needs to be addressed at your earliest convenience. If the clunking/rattling goes away, the links are probably broken and should be replaced since the car will no longer handle as sharply as it should. You probably wouldn’t notice it, but it will make a difference if you need to make an evasive maneuver.

Thos prices sound very high. I too wonder if you have symptoms or if they showed you the looseness. If not, I’d want a second opinion.

Just for a reference, I’ve attached a link to drawing that shows you what sway bar links look like. Page 4 of the first document shows front links, page 2 of the second document shows rear links. Anybody with a set of ratcheting box end wrenches and allen wrenches can change them in pretty short order with the car on a lift.

http://tijil.org/Scion_Docs/05_tC_Shop_Manuals/Repair%20Info/Repair%20Manual/Front%20Suspension/Front%20Suspension/conponen.pdf
http://tijil.org/Scion_Docs/05_tC_Shop_Manuals/Repair%20Info/Repair%20Manual/Rear%20Suspension/Rear%20Suspension/conponen.pdf

The price sounds reasonable to me at 145 per side on the front and 175 per side on the rear. The dealer will be using Honda OEM parts and most OEM parts are higher in price than the comparable aftermarket parts along with a usually higher dealer flat rate labor rate.

I think if those prices are broken down some, the locale and shop labor rate factored in, and so on that the price is reasonable. However, you can certainly price this at an independent shop as the price could be less and there is no burning reason why the dealer has to be the one to do this job.

In some cases those links won’t readily come loose and may have to be cut off. It’s enough of a problem that many of the salvage yards around here, even with little road salt involved, do not even bother trying to disassemble them when removing a related part; they whack them in half with a torch.

OK4450, I agree. This job is a great illustration of how huge the difference can be between a dealer price and a private shop using aftermarket parts.

For the OP’s reference, the part that gets cut when a shop does this, and most do, is the stud that you can see in the photos in the attached link. The stud is part of the new link, so it really isn’t any big deal to just cut the old ones off and bolt the new ones on.

I’ve attached a list of aftermarket sway bar link prices to illustrate. My recommendation to the OP is to make an appointment with an indeoendantly owned and operated local shop, have them look at the links, and if they can show you that they need changing have it done using aftermarket parts.

http://www.carpartsdiscount.com/auto/parts/99/honda/accord/sway_bars_stabilizers/sway_bar_link.html?3593=38461

That is way to high. The sway bar links for the front and back on my lexus costed around $500 and 1/2 was lexus parts, and honda parts are way cheaper. Also, there is a good chance that they don’t need to be replaced. I took my 2006 CR-V with 58 K to the dealer and they told me I needed a ton of work done, including the sway bar links, and I took it to my trusted mechanic and they said none of it needed to be done yet, but they will watch for it.

My advice would be to take it to another mechanic and have them give you an estimate. Tell them you feel a rattle in the front and back and to look at the sway bar links, try to avoid telling them you went to a dealer b/c they might rip you off. Also, make sure you ask for honda parts, not after market(generic). Honda parts cost fractionally more than after market parts but they fit the car perfectly so that they break down less. A lot of mechanics use generics b/c its cheaper, but some use them so that they will break faster and you will come back more often.

Good luck Chrissie!

  • Olivia

Olivia, with sway bar links aftermarket parts are fine. I agree that there are parts wherein the dealer parts are better, but sway bar links are pretty simple.

For my Dodge minivan, the MOOG aftermarket links and bushings are of a higher quality than OEM. Not sure how it is for the Honda’s. Will figure it out in 5-10 yrs when my CRV starts acting up.

Actually, the Honda factory suspension components are made by the same company that manufactures MOOG and TRW components and that would be Federal Mogul.
Federal Mogul also produces suspension parts for almost every car maker on the planet. No car maker I’m aware of produces any suspension parts for themselves; along with almost everything else on the car.

The FIRST thing you should do is get a second opinion on the condition of parts involved…If the rubber bushings are intact and in place, they are probably serviceable and do not require replacement…

No car maker I’m aware of produces any suspension parts for themselves; along with almost everything else on the car.

Didn’t Delco make suspension parts…Including shocks?? They don’t anymore??? Or did someone make it for Delco???

Delco still provides shocks but I believe the Goodwrench brand is made by others. Delco also manufactures a few things like tie rod ends but that doesn’t mean GM will use Delco provided tie rod ends even if Delco is a subsidiary. If they can save 1.5 cents each by having TRW make them then that’s what they will do.
I’m not sure but I think that on a few models GM even offers a Bilstein option.

Matter of fact, TRW has received awards countless times from various car makers over the years for providing high quality parts while sticking to the terms of the contract. Ford, GM, Honda, Toyota, Chrysler, Nissan, etc, are just some of the car makers who contract with TRW for those components.
I think that TRW even manufactures or has a hand in the production of Gabriel shocks and struts so maybe those Goodwrench branded shocks are also produced by TRW; just with a different stamp and box.

The auto parts game (actually not just auto) is always confusing. Before my brother-in-law moved to Detroit to become a plant manager for Chryco…he worked his way up at New Process Gear. They make 4wd transfer cases. At the time he left…only 40% of the transfer cases they made went to Chryco…over 50% went to GM…5% went to Range Rover.

Thanks everyone! I have enough information now.I appreciate your discussions.