The wheel and the axle are connected by a wheel bearing, which allows the rotor to rotate smoothly. Wheel bearings have a long service life of approximately 100,000 kilometers. They will, however, ultimately need to be replaced, just as with everything else in the automobile world.
This article will teach you all you need to understand about wheel bearings, including how to spot a problem and what it costs to fix it. Before we go into the symptoms of a failing wheel bearing and the expense of repair, let’s define what being a wheel bearing is.
What Is A Wheel Bearing, And How Does It Work?
A wheel bearing enables the wheel to spin freely. The directions in an automobile are typically tapered rolling bearing, but roller & ball bearings are also available.
By providing smooth metal balls or rollers and a smooth inner and outer metal surface for the balls to roll against, bearings reduce friction. The device can spin smoothly because of these balls or rollers, which “carry” the weight.
The difference is due to the form of the object sandwiched between the two copper rings. Different states have varying qualities in terms of how they carry the load.
When accelerating, braking, or turning, a car’s wheel is subjected to various forces from various directions, and the wheel bearing would have to be able to endure those forces.
Every wheel has a wheel bearing placed in the hub assembly. The bearings are protected from water and dirt by a wheel seal. This is significant since the wheel bearing contains a lot of lubricants to keep everything working correctly. If land or water gets inside, the grease’s ability to do its job will be reduced, resulting in bearing damage.
The signs and symptoms of a faulty wheel bearing
Wheel bearings typically deteriorate gradually, giving you adequate time to respond only if there is a problem with the wheel seal or you hit a significant pothole. When you hit potholes or travel in other unfavorable situations like deep water or mud, your wheel bearings degenerate faster. So, even if your inner child begs you to drive through a large puddle, you should refuse for various reasons.
In just about any instance, if you have a problem with the wheel bearings, you may experience the following symptoms:
A lot of noise
- Problems with steering
- Uneven tire wear
- ABS isn’t working.
- Cost of Replacing
You should repair a lousy wheel bearing as soon as feasible, and you should drive as little as possible.
If the wheel bearing unexpectedly fails and the wheel begins to wobble, you should come to a complete stop as quickly as possible. The remainder of your car’s components is put under a lot of stress when a wheel bearing breaks.
You should take your car to a competent mechanic as soon as possible because the wheel bearing must be put correctly.
A wheel bearing placed wrongly can only cause more problems in the future. To change most wheel bearings, you’ll need a lot of specialized (and expensive) equipment.
If you already have the tools, you most likely have the ability to replace them. The vehicle model determines the cost of changing a wheel bearing, like every other car component. Not only would the manufacturers play a factor, but cars also come with either a wheel bearing that could be separated from the hub or a wheel bearing that is built into the corner.
If the wheel bearing and the hub can be separated, buying only the wheel bearing is considerably lower than purchasing the entire corner.
Cost of wheel bearing
The only remaining alternative is to buy a brand new wheel hub. This is significantly more labor-saving, but a new hub will set you back far more than just a spare wheel bearing.
A wheel bearing costs between $50 and $120 on average, whereas a spare wheel hub costs between $200 and $500.
When purchasing new bearings & wheel hubs, be cautious because many low-cost parts are sadly poor quality.
To resist the stresses, they are subjected to, wheel bearings must be manufactured of high-quality materials. A low-priced wheel bearing will almost certainly cost you even more in the long term and may jeopardize your safety.
The labor cost of replacing a wheel bearing varies, ranging from $60 to $300. The wheel bearing should be returned in 1 to 1.5 hours of effort.
The cost of replacing a wheel bearing ranges from $150 to $800. This depends on whether the complete hub is replaced or simply the wheel bearing, which varies by car model.
Signs that wheel bearings are failing
- There are several signs that the wheel bearings are failing. When driving and turning, the majority of them will make a noise. Other indications such as steering difficulty and uneven tire wear are possible.
- Wheel bearings frequently deteriorate over time. However, there are times when they quickly deteriorate. If you observe a wheel wobbling while driving, come to a complete stop and take your vehicle to a repair as early as possible.
- Bearings come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The wheel bearings in most cars are tapered rolling bearings in general. The ability of wheel bearings to be separated first from wheel hub assembly is an important feature.
- This is significant because it determines the labor and parts costs for a wheel bearing repair. The wheel bearing and the hub can be detached in some autos, requiring only a replacement wheel bearing.
- This means you’ll save money on parts, but it’ll take more time and require special tools to extract the wheel bearing from either the hub.
- In some cars, this same wheel bearing and the wheel core are inseparable, which means that if your bearings fail, you’ll have to acquire a new wheel hub assembly.
The disadvantage of simply replacing just wheel bearing is that it would be more labor-intensive and requires special tools.
Can you fix a wheel bearing without replacing it?
It is possible to repair a wheel bearing without replacing it, but this is not a recommended solution. Wheel bearings play a crucial role in the smooth operation of a vehicle, as they support the vehicle’s weight and allow the wheels to rotate. If a wheel bearing is damaged, it can cause vibration, noise, and decreased handling, which can be dangerous while driving.
The bearing can sometimes be lubricated, cleaned, or repacked with grease, resolving the issue. However, this is only a temporary fix, and the problem is likely to resurface soon after. Additionally, if the damage to the bearing is severe, such as deep grooves or rust, a simple repair is not possible.
Wheel bearings are vital parts of your vehicle that allow your wheels to revolve smoothly. They usually have a lengthy lifespan, lasting over 100,000 miles on average.