Just spoke to the mechanic who tells me my Volvo V50 has worn wishbone bushes. I asked him if it was safe to drive and he says yes, it is. Unfortunately, he can't book me in for the repair for over a week. Is it really safe to drive in the interim? I do about 120kms per day, mostly freeway driving on good roads. I'm a very conservative driver and rarely go over 80kms an hour.

The reason I ask is the steering wheel wobble that prompted me to take it into the shop was quite bad (I actually thought I'd blown a tyre). Just worried I'll damage something else if I use it pending the repair OR be a danger to myself and other road users.

2 Answers 2


Danger is a very subjective term but I'd say that a worn bushing is unlikely to lead to a catastrophic failure in the short term. Usually it's the rubber or plastic portion of the bushing that is encased in a steel housing. So that allows the held part to wobble about and cause handling and steering issues.

As long as your handling and steering are still working reliably, even if less than fully optimal, you should be OK as long as you are cautious in your driving.

Ultimately, however, you're the one who needs to decide if the car's handling is such that you can safely drive it. If not, you may want to get a rental or loaner car to get you until the service appt.


If your steering is already wobbling to the point you were worried then you have already identified a risk, and you're the best judge of whether it's a safety issue.

As for the other potential damage, bushings serve two main purposes:

  1. Dampen movement: this makes for tighter steering and better ride
  2. Protect the metal parts from rubbing: once the bushings are gone the metal parts start to rub together, this will cause wear, if it goes on too long it will lead to damage so that the parts need to be replaced. This is happening now with your car, but one week of moderate driving is unlikely to make that much of a difference so you are probably okay

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