THE torsion bar is an important part of a car’s design, typically used in wheeled vehicles such as vans, cars, trucks and tanks.
Depending on the quality of the terrain, a good quality torsion bar can be the difference between a smooth and bumpy ride.
Can you drive with a broken torsion bar?
It is possible to drive with a broken torsion bar but drivers must be cautious, as there is a possibility of losing control of the vehicle.
Damage to a torsion bar means it will be more difficult to make sudden turns such as emergency manoeuvres.
Motorists should drive slowly if their car has a broken torsion bar, especially if it’s in the front of the vehicle.
When turning or driving over rough terrain it might feel unbalanced and unstable.
What is a torsion bar?
There are four types of modern suspension systems; coil springs, leaf springs, torsion bars and air springs.
A torsion bar is a type of suspension system consisting of the car’s main weight bearing spring.
Torsion bars support the weight of the vehicle and keep the tyres in contact with the road surface.
It’s a simple system where one end of the beam is fixed to the framework of the vehicle, the other is attached to the axle, spindle or suspension arm depending on the make of the vehicle.
When one of the wheels moves, in order to accommodate it the rod must twist or bend.
This movement absorbs the energy from the road into the bar, and moves the entire chassis up, adjusting to the best height to ride smoothly over the bump.
Which vehicles use torsion bars?
The torsion bar was invented by Porsche and patented in 1931.
Traditionally, modern vehicles tend to have the torsion bar on the front suspension.
Manufacturers change the torsion bar to adjust the ride height, typically compensating for the weight of the engine.
So do modern trucks, SUVs and military vehicles such as tanks including the American M1 Abrams, the German Leopard 2 and the Chinese MBT-3000