Getting on the highway tonight I heard a loud clunk under my car. I thought I hit something, but I didn't see anything in the road. I thought nothing of it until I was getting off the highway 50 miles later and braking. It felt like I had a flat tire and as I turned the corner, it felt as if my front right wheel was going to come off. I thought it was a flat tire. No such luck. It turns out that my sway bar came out of the upper control arm. I regard this as "highly unusual," especially since I just had the left and right lower control arm bushings replaced as well as left and right strut rod bushings and track rod mounts 800 miles ago. Ever since I got the car back from my mechanic, I heard a strange rattle in the front end when I turned the engine off and couldn't quite figure out what it was. I assume it was the loose bolt on the sway bar.
I had the entire right upper control arm replaced 10k miles ago as well as three ball joints replaced by my dealer, bud had no problems with it. I never noticed any loose rattles in the front end.
I examined the sway bar end and it does not appear to be rusted out and the threads look good inside.
My question is:
Was it necessary for my last mechanic to loosen the right upper sway bar in attempts to replace the lower control arm bushings, strud rods, and track mounts? or doing the alignment?
Would it be more likely that the entire right upper control arm, when replaced, did not have the sway bar tightened to it?
I am leaning towards the last mechanic forgetting to tighten something, but I am open to other suggestions.
I feel as if I could have been in a major accident because of this and I would like to know why. It was my first time at both the dealer who replaced the right upper control arm and the shop that did all the other suspension work. My left sway bar is just fine and nothing has ever been done to it. I don't think 271k miles is too much for a sway bar. Am I being too hard on the shops I have taken it too?
Please let me know your thoughts, cause I'm a little shaken.