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Broken sway bar links on 2002 Jetta - how critical to replace them?

Hello! My mechanic says I need to replace both front sway bar links at $560 on my 2002 Jetta…I am, of course, hesitant to do it at this price. How critical is it to replace? Can I get junk yard sway bars to make it cheaper? And can I do it myself (have no experience fixing anything:) Thanks!

You can get brand new links for around $20 each. I don’t know how hard they are to get to, but most cars are easy to do. Unless I’m missing something, $560 is an outrageous price. I highly suggest you get a second opinion.

which jetta do you have??? also get a second opion

My first thought was that the quote was insane, however in thinking about it I’ve never done a Jetta and have no idea how hard it is to access the upper connection. Some vehicles have long links with an upper joint in an almost impossible spot. The links themselves aren’t expensive, but inaccessibility can drive up labor costs.

But you should definitely get a second opinion.

You can do it yourself, however I’d recommend that you find the procedure on the internet or in a repair manual, read it over, and see if you’re comfortable with it. Some tools you’ll definitely need are GOOD allen wrenches with a 6" or greater end, and ratcheting box-end wrenches, both inexpensive at any discount tool store. You’ll need to hold the joint shaft with the allen wrench while unscrewing the shaft retaining nut, and doing this without the proper tools will incite a new vocabulary. The shafts/nuts are fine threads and typically designed to require a lot of torque to remove them. If you’re up to trying, however, this is a great newbie project.

Good luck.

Thank you all! Sorry for the delay in thanking you. It is a Jetta sedan 1.8 T. I will definitely get a second opinion then…and maybe even try to do it myself, if I manage to not do more damage than good by doing it.

You can get new sway bar links from for about $15.00 each

The only hard part about replacing sway bar links is removing the old/rusted hardware. Sometimes this hardware must be removed with a cut-off wheel.


Are your links broke or just loose? Do they rattle somewhat? What is the part/labor breakdown for this job provided by the mechanic?


The price seems extremely high

Are you sure the mechanic doesn’t want to replace the links, bushings, AND the entire sway bar also?

My philosophy is car makers do not waste money on un needed parts. ie replace the parts.

My mid 80s VW Golf does not have a sway bar and drives just fine. Makes me think that you can run it until the links rattle or one of them breaks. A sway bar helps a car corner a little flatter when driving aggressively so if one link breaks, you will not be in a dangerous situation. Meanwhile you might want to buy the parts to have on hand. Any farm boy mechanic can replace them. You can replace the broken link and do the other later.

This reply may sound a little sloppy and if someone does not agree, have at it!

If the car was designed with a sway bar, it will be less safe without one

If one of the links breaks, the sway bar won’t be able to do its job

Other than the obvious handling issues, a broken sway bar link can be hazardous to your health if one of them rips through the inner sidewall of a tire.

You might also consider that sway bar links can be hammered to death by weak struts.