Do you think your car’s wheel bearings might be worn out? Here are all of the signs and symptoms of a failing wheel bearing, as well as an idea of how much it will cost to replace or fix it.
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In order for the wheel to rotate smoothly, the wheel bearing connects the wheel to the axle.
At roughly 100,000 kilometers, wheel bearings have a very long life expectancy. However, they will eventually need to be replaced, just like everything else in the automotive industry.
This article will teach you all you need to know about wheel bearings, including how to tell if something is wrong and how much it will cost to fix it.
The symptoms of a failing wheel bearing and the cost of a wheel bearing replacement will be discussed in further detail once we clarify what a wheel bearing is.
Let’s begin with the fundamentals!
What Is A Wheel Bearing?
A wheel bearing, as previously said, ensures that the wheel spins smoothly. Tapered rolling bearings are the most common type of bearing in a car, but roller and ball bearings are also available.
The shape of the thing between the two metal rings distinguishes them. The weight is handled differently depending on the form.
The wheel bearing must be able to endure the multiple forces that a car’s wheel is subjected to while accelerating, braking, and turning.
Every wheel has a wheel bearing in its hub assembly. Water and debris are kept out of the bearings thanks to a wheel seal.
A lot of grease is used in wheel bearings to keep them functioning smoothly, thus this is critical. The grease’s ability to do its job will be reduced if the bearing becomes clogged with debris or water.
What To Look For When You Have A Bad Wheel Bearing
In most cases, wheel bearings deteriorate over time and allow you plenty of time to fix the problem before it gets out of hand.
Driving through puddles, mud, and other slick situations, such as those caused by potholes, can cause rapid wear on the wheels’ bearings.
Even if you’re a kid in heart, you should avoid driving across a puddle for a variety of reasons.
As a general rule, if your wheel bearings are malfunctioning, you may notice some of the following symptoms:
- There’s a lot of noise.
- Problems with steering
- Tires with uneven wear
- A problem with the ABS
Noise is the most prevalent symptom of a damaged wheel bearing. Many distinct noises can be generated depending on the source of the problem.
You may hear a rumbling or growling sound as soon as you move forward or turn your car.
The clamor may subside for a brief while before resuming at a later time. Moreover, modern cars’ sound insulation means that you may not be able to notice the sounds inside the vehicle while driving, but a pedestrian standing outside will.
Occasionally, the noise becomes monotonous and more like a whine. You may also hear a faulty wheel bearing when driving on an uneven road surface.
An essential part of steering is provided by the wheel’s bearings. Several issues can arise as a result of using one that is subpar.
Loose steering and vibrations in the steering wheel are the two most common problems.
It is common for the steering wheel to vibrate more as you speed up. It’s imperative that you pull over as soon as you become aware of this while driving.
It is possible that a faulty wheel bearing could cause your vehicle to veer to one side when traveling straight. Wheel alignment or brake issues are typically the blame for this issue (if it happens during braking).
If your wheel alignment is fine, it’s worth noting that the problem may be with the wheel bearings.
There’s a chance you’ll feel the entire vehicle tremble, but like with the last issue, there are numerous plausible causes.
Uneven Tire Wear
Uneven tire wear is another sign that improper wheel alignment is to blame. A faulty wheel bearing may cause the wheel to wobble, resulting in uneven tire wear and a shaky ride.
Be cautious to rule out any and all other possible causes of this strange behavior, as it is most likely the consequence of another malfunctioning component.
Anti-lock braking systems (ABS) are susceptible to malfunction if the wheel bearings are worn.
The wheel hub houses an ABS-integrated wheel speed sensor. Vibrations and wobbling will affect the sensor if the wheel bearing is defective.
Due to the inability of the system to function properly, an ABS warning light will illuminate.
You should avoid driving if you have a faulty wheel bearing and get it fixed as soon as possible.
As soon as you notice that your wheel is wobbling because of a damaged bearing, you should come to a complete halt. The remainder of your car’s components are put under a lot of stress if you have a broken wheel bearing.
Ideally, you should take your automobile to a mechanic to get the wheel bearings put correctly, as this is really vital.
Wrongly placed wheel bearings cause greater troubles in the future. Most wheel bearing replacements necessitate the use of specialized and expensive tools.
There’s a good chance that if you have the necessary tools, you’re also capable of replacing them.
The price of a new wheel bearing, like any other auto item, is highly dependent on your vehicle’s make and model.
In addition to the car’s manufacturer, the wheel bearing is either independent from the hub or included as part of the hub.
It is theoretically cheaper to buy just the wheel bearing if it is possible to detach the hub from the wheel bearing.
Changing simply the wheel bearing has the disadvantage of requiring more time and specialized equipment.
The only remaining alternative is to purchase a new wheel hub. However, the cost of a new hub is far higher than the cost of a new wheel bearing.
On average, a wheel bearing costs between $50 and $120, while a new wheel hub costs between $200 and $500.
When purchasing new bearings and wheel hubs, be aware that many low-quality parts are on the market.
Wheel bearings must be constructed of high-quality materials to survive the rigors of daily use. Your safety may be jeopardized if you purchase a low-cost wheel bearing.
For a wheel bearing replacement, you should expect to pay $60 to $300 in labor, but this varies widely. The labor time to replace a wheel bearing is around one and a half to two hours.
A new wheel bearing might cost anything from $150 to $800. This depends on whether or not the complete hub is replaced, or whether only the wheel bearing is replaced, which varies by car model.
You need wheel bearings in your car to keep your wheels turning smoothly. Typically, they have a long lifespan of about 100,000 kilometers.
Wheel bearing failure can manifest itself in a number of ways. When driving and turning, most of them will make a sound.
Steering problems and uneven tire wear are some possible signs.
Wheel bearings wear down over time. The problem is that there are a few instances in which they unexpectedly fail. To avoid further injury, always pull over to the side of the road as soon as you observe any swaying of the wheels while driving.
Bearings come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The wheel bearings in the majority of automobiles are what are known as “taped rolling bearings.”
The ability to separate the wheel bearings from the wheel hub assembly is a critical feature of the wheel bearings.
The cost of labor and parts for a wheel bearing replacement is determined by this. You may simply require a new wheel bearing if the wheel bearing can be removed from the hub in some autos.
Although this method saves money on parts, it is more time consuming and necessitates the use of specialist tools to remove the wheel bearing from the hub.
This implies that if you need to replace your bearings, you’ll have to buy an entirely new wheel hub assembly.
It will be less time consuming to fix your car if such is the case, but the part you are replacing will be more expensive.
Avoiding potholes, mud, deep water, and other unpleasant driving conditions is recommended to safeguard the wheel bearings.