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How do you tell if a stabilizer link is bad?

05 Taurus, 4 dr sedan, 84K miles. The car has a noise coming from the front passenger side whenever it goes over a bump. I’m suspecting the stabilizer link. I plan on really looking at it this weekend and was wondering what I should be looking for to determine if it is that ?? As an FYI, the last time I had the wheel off a few months ago, I checked the ball joints on both sides and they looked fine (although I’ll check those again too).

You don’t have to find half the rubber missing, you just change them.

To check the stabilizer links on this car, you either shake, pry, or strike the underside of the sway bar, where the link bolts to it. If it’s bad, there will be play in the ball-in-socket joints, which will cause a clunking noise over bumps. You may also want to check the ball joints again. It is very common for people to check these incorrectly. To check them correctly, raise the vehicle with the suspension unloaded, i.e., don’t jack it up by the lower control arm. Leave the wheel on and tight. Use a nice, long, pry bar to pry up on the control arm at the ball joint, using the wheel as a fulcrum. Pushing the ball joint up will show any play in the joint. No other method will reveal ball joint play. Nothing will show up during a normal “shake down”, even if the ball joints are ready to fall apart.

Stabilizer end links connect the stabilzer bar to the lower control arms. Just check if the links are rusted, broken, or smached to bits.


They are bad when they make noise.