Different types of bearings are installed to keep different parts of the vehicle running smoothly, making the movement of any equipment rotating on the vehicle more smooth and easy. Such as bearings in vehicle engines, transmissions, axles, and wheels.
But sometimes the wheel bearings of the vehicle get damaged, due to which many problems are seen while driving. Many times, the vehicle stops midway due to wheel bearing breakage.
Through this article, we will learn in detail about the wheel bearings of a vehicle. Such as wheel bearing causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and how much does a replacement cost?
What Is A Wheel Bearing?
Wheel bearings are a vital component used for all types of vehicles, small and large. Wheel bearings are made of hardened iron or steel. Wheel bearings consist of metal balls placed between two circular rings, and in some bearings, the metal balls may be cylindrical in shape, depending on the type of wheel bearing.
The surface of both the rings of the wheel bearing is smooth. So that both the rings of the bearing can rotate easily through the metal balls opposite to each other.
The bearing wheels are tightly fitted inside the hub, and the inner ring of the bearing is mounted on the axle. Wheel bearings facilitate the rotational movement of the wheel. Wheel bearings prevent metal from wearing due to friction generated by the rotational motion of the axle and hub.
Symptoms Of Bad Wheel Bearing
Symptoms of bad wheel bearings include unusual grinding or buzzing sounds, wheel wobble, ABS system failure, irregular tire wear, wheel turning noises, and hub assembly overheating. Additionally, vibration in the steering wheel or vehicle and loss of handling stability may also indicate a bad wheel bearing.
1. Abnormal Noise
If any vehicle’s wheel bearings are damaged or broken, abnormal noise can come from the wheels of the vehicle while driving. The driver of the vehicle should monitor for these unusual sounds from the wheel if the wheel bearing of the vehicle is defective or broken.
So wheel bearings can make a buzzing, clicking, rubbing, or cracking sound. The biggest symptom can be a worn or broken wheel bearing.
2. Scream or Growl Noise
Sometimes a squeaking or growling sound can be heard from the wheel of a moving vehicle due to faulty wheel bearings. The noise may become louder when the vehicle speed increases.
Make sure to hear the sound coming from the moving vehicle to identify worn or broken wheel bearings so that other parts connected to the wheel bearing can be protected from damage.
3. Wheel Wobble
If the wheel bearing of a vehicle is damaged or broken, moving the wheel of a stationary vehicle causes the wheel to wobble. And the wheel may wobble according to the speed of the moving vehicle.
In this type of problem, check the hub assembly of the wheel. Because if the wheel can come off the hub assembly at any time during the movement of the vehicle. This can also be a symptom of bad wheel bearings.
4. ABS Failure
if a vehicle has an anti-lock braking system. So the speed sensors for the ABS system are installed in all the wheels of the vehicle, which sense the motion of the wheels of the vehicle.
But when the wheel bearing of the vehicle is broken or damaged, the ABS speed sensor is unable to sense the speed of the wheel. And the ABS warning light in the cluster meter of the vehicle may be lit.
5. Irregular Tire Wear
Sometimes the tire’s of the vehicle start wearing out abnormally, which could be due to the bad wheel bearing.
However, this symptom can also be due to the alignment of the vehicle, and the suspension is also bad. But abnormal wear of the tire’s of the vehicle can also be a main symptom of worn or broken wheel bearings.
6. Wheel Turning Noise
When a vehicle’s wheel bearings are damaged or broken, there may be a problem with wheel vibration or wobbling while turning the vehicle or there may be a sound of clocking, and this sound can get louder when the wheel turns.
7. Hub Assembly Overheating
The wheel bearings of any vehicle are located in the hub assembly. if the wheel bearing is worn or broken. So there will be more friction due to the bad wheel bearings of the moving vehicle. This can cause the bearing hub assembly to overheat.
You can see it by touching the hub assembly. If the hub assembly is getting hotter than the other hub assembly, So this could be a symptom of a worn or broken wheel bearing. However, the hub assembly can also overheat due to faulty wheel brake pads or clippers.
How Long Can Wheel Bearings Last?
Wheel bearings are generally made for the long life of vehicles. But due to running in the mud, the bearings of the wheels of the vehicle get damaged quickly, or if the wheels of the vehicle collide with any solid object, the bearing of the wheel can get damaged or break quickly.
In general, wheel bearings on normal vehicles can last 50,000 to 75,000 miles without failure and in some vehicles, wheel bearings can last more than 75,000 miles.
The performance of a vehicle’s wheel bearing is highly dependent on the quality and maintenance of the bearing. The wheel bearings of vehicles plying on heavy and dusty soils can wear out quickly.
Difference Between Wheel Bearing And Tire’s Noise
If you hear any unusual noise while driving. So this sound could be from wheel bearings. To confirm this, increase the speed of the vehicle. If this sound is louder during high speed increases, this noise could be wheel bearings.
if the sound remains normal even during the increase in speed. So surely this noise could be from the tire’s. This noise can occur if the air pressure in the tire’s is not correct. Or it could be due to the tire’s being underinflated. Also, it could be due to improperly aligned tire’s.
What Does a Bad Wheel Bearing Sound Like?
A bad wheel bearing typically produces a variety of different sounds, including unusual gurgling or grinding noises; these noises often resemble metal rubbing against metal, especially when the vehicle is in motion or is turning. This noise then becomes louder because there is more pressure on the bearing.
Sometimes, a bad bearing can cause a humming or wheezing noise, which may vary with changes in vehicle speed. In severe cases, you may even hear a gurgling or thumping sound.
What Can Happen When Driving With Bad Wheel Bearings?
Driving with a bad wheel bearing is never recommended, as it poses a serious safety risk. When wheel bearings fail, they can cause various problems, such as loss of steering control and impaired handling, which can seriously affect vehicle stability and handling, leading to accidents during turns or at high speeds.
Additionally, continued use of a vehicle with bad wheel bearings can cause additional damage to other components, making them more expensive to repair.
Wheel Bearing Replacement Cost
On average, the cost of a car wheel bearing and wheel hub can typically range from $150 to $500 with mechanic labor. The cost of bearings in a car mostly depends on the model and the place of repair of the car.
A new wheel hub for a car can range from $170 to $350, and a mechanic’s labor cost to replace a wheel bearing or hub can range from $120 to $250. However, the repair cost may be more or less depend on the location and experience of the mechanic.
Q. What are common signs that wheel bearings need to be replaced?
There could be some indication that the vehicle’s wheel bearing is worn out and needs to be replaced with a new one.
- There may be a feeling of looseness in the steering wheel.
- loud noise when turning the vehicle.
- pulling to one side.
- Tire’s wear out unevenly or may wear out.
- When there is an increase in speed, the buzzing or noise of the wheel bearing increases more.
- Wheel bearing noises need to be felt or listened to carefully, as it can be confusing like tire noises
Q. How much does wheel bearings cost?
The cost of car wheel bearings and wheel hubs with mechanic labor in vehicles can typically range from $150 to $500.
Q. How much does it cost to pack wheel bearings on a trailer?
The cost of packing a trailer wheel bearing depends on the model of the trailer and the price of the bearing company. Usually, the cost of packing a common trailer wheel bearing can reach $120 to $450.
Banty is the owner of Autorepairszone.com & is also a vehicle mechanic by profession. We have almost 12 years of experience in the field of automotive repair, and we strive to provide you with accurate information about vehicle malfunctions and repairs based on our experience.