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Old 12-05-2019, 09:45 AM   #1
Rekrab
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Default Sway bar link, Front, Right (Passenger) vs Left (Driver)

2005 Saturn vue, 2.2L, manual transmission.

This could get confusing, but I will try to keep it clear.

This is the 12” long rod with a ball and socket joint on each end. One end bolts to the sway bar, the other end bolts to strut.
The Right and Left link are not the same. They are almost the same, but they are opposites of each other (mirror images of each other).

So, my sway bar link failed. I heard a very loud clunk sound when going over a bump. After inspection under the car, I found that the bottom ball and socket joint on the Right side sway bar link came apart.

I purchased a new Right link from Napa. Brought it home. It did not match my “Right” link (the link that was installed on the right side). But it did match my “Left” link (the link that was installed on the left side).

I checked online, looked at product pictures of Right and Left on AutoZone and Advance Auto, and they all agree. It seems that I have a Right link installed on my Left side, and a Left link installed on my Right side.

So, I attempted to install the Right link from the store on the Right side, but it didn’t look correct.
I held up my broken link (which is a Left according to the product pictures) to the Left side, and it didn’t look correct.
I held them up several times on the correct/advertised sides, because all evidence says they are backward, but the angles just looked wrong.

I ended up matching what I had, even though it appears to be backward. I went back to Napa, purchased a Left link, and put it on the Right side. I figured the car has 197,000 miles on it, and I have personally owned it for 5 years and put on about 50,000 miles. With the exception of the one bottom joint failing, it’s been working well enough as is for at least 7 years (5 years for me, plus another 2 for the person who I bought it from who I know for a fact did not replace these).

Very confusing. If I ever get the opportunity to crawl under another Vue, I will definitely be checking out the sway bar links to see what in the world is going on.
This is bothering me, and I want to get back in there and replace them both. But, I can’t even see them and I’m sure it will go years with no problems. I just need to wait a few days until I forget about it.

Last edited by Rekrab; 12-05-2019 at 09:51 AM..

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Old 12-06-2019, 11:27 AM   #2
Beasleylou
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2005 VUE 2.2L
Default Re: Sway bar link, Front, Right (Passenger) vs Left (Driver)

Yeah, those links are the proverbial “weak link” on these cars. I have over 225k on my Vue and have changed these things out at least 4 times.

Even the expensive Moog units with the grease fittings only seem to last around 45k mi.

I’ve taken to using the cheaper mid-grade AC Delco “advantage” units and just replacing them every couple of years.

And I would definitely replace these links by the pair. Not difficult with the front end up on jack stands and the wheels off.

Having working dampers on your struts I’m guessing would help with the lifespan, so you may want to look into those.

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