Last Updated:

The Tell-Tale Signs of Bad Wheel Bearings and How to Replace Them

Are you having trouble replacing a bad wheel bearing? If so, we’re here to help. Replacing a bad wheel bearing can seem intimidating at first, but with the right tools and instructions, it doesn’t have to be! In this article, we will provide step-by-step guidance on how to replace your bad wheel bearing quickly and easily. With our advice, you’ll be able to complete this project yourself in no time! Let’s get started!

Definition of a wheel bearing

A wheel bearing is a critical component of the wheel hub assembly, which connects to your vehicle’s axle. It consists of multiple ball bearings that help keep the wheels spinning freely and with minimal resistance.

The wheel bearing helps support the weight of your car while providing stability on uneven surfaces. Without it, your car may be prone to vibrations or other performance issues. So, if you suspect your wheel bearing has gone bad, it’s important to replace it as soon as possible to maintain safe driving conditions.

Symptoms of a Bad Wheel Bearing

Picture a spinning top, its weight balanced perfectly on its axis. This is how a good wheel bearing should feel: even and smooth as it spins. When the balance of your wheel bearings starts to slip, though, you’ll quickly become aware that something isn’t quite right. Here are some common signs of failing wheel bearings:

  • Unusual noises such as humming or whirring coming from one particular tire while moving
  • Uneven tire wear
  • Vibrations radiating outward from the affected area when driving at higher speeds

If you experience any of these symptoms in your vehicle, don’t hesitate to have your mechanic inspect it for potential bad wheel bearings. It’s important to address this issue before more serious damage occurs and wheel bearing replacement becomes necessary due to suspected bad ones.

In most cases, replacing a worn-out wheel bearing will be far less costly than waiting until an accident has occurred. Your safety is paramount, so make sure you get your car checked out if you suspect there may be an issue with the wheels or their bearings!

See Also: What’s it cost to replace brake pads?

Reasons for Replacement

Wheel bearings should be replaced when they become worn or faulty, as this can lead to increased wear and tear on other components and possible safety risks. A worn wheel bearing will usually cause a noticeable increase in noise coming from the hub of your vehicle’s wheels.

It is also important to note that a failing wheel bearing may cause steering issues and reduce fuel efficiency. The cost of replacing a wheel bearing varies depending on the make, model, and year; however, it generally ranges between $150 and $400 per axle.

A boy removing the wheel bearing.
It is also important to note that a failing wheel bearing may cause steering issues and reduce fuel efficiency.

It is important to replace any faulty or worn wheel bearings right away for the safety of yourself and others while driving. If you suspect that your vehicle has an issue with its wheel bearing, contact a professional auto technician who can examine the part further and provide advice regarding repair or replacement options.

Safety Considerations

Now that we’ve discussed the reasons for a bad wheel bearing replacement, let’s move on to safety considerations. When replacing a hub bearing or drive axle, it is important to account for the weight of the vehicle and any load present in order to ensure proper installation and secure fastening. If you are working with an all-wheel drive system, be sure to check the torque specs provided by your car manufacturer before proceeding.

Additionally, when installing components related to a wheel speed sensor, take extra precautions as these parts are essential in providing stability control within a vehicle’s anti-lock braking systems. To prevent damage and maximize performance, make sure that everything is tightened according to specifications.

Lastly, always look twice before testing out new hardware; if something doesn’t seem right, double-check before taking it out onto the road.

Removal Process

To replace a bad wheel bearing, you must first remove the old one. Here are four steps to complete this process:

  1. Raise and secure the vehicle with jack stands or ramps.
  2. Remove the mounting bolts that attach the hub assembly to the spindle of your suspension system.
  3. Unbolt and detach the entire hub from its location on your car, then inspect it for any signs of damage or wear-and-tear; if necessary, use heat to loosen corroded fasteners.
  4. Use a press tool to separate the bearing from the hub; once removed, discard it and clean up any remaining debris before installing a new bearing in its place by pressing it firmly into position using a press tool again.

When done correctly, these steps should help you successfully replace a bad wheel bearing without a grinding noise coming from your front end when turning corners or braking hard at lower speeds!

Proper Installation

Now that the old wheel bearing has been removed, it’s time to install the new one. The tapered roller wheel bearings should be installed into the hub assembly and secured with a retaining ring or washer.

Then, insert the entire assembly onto the steering knuckle. Ensure that all components are properly aligned before securing them together with bolts. Once all connections are secure, you can move on to the next step of re-installing your wheels and brakes (if applicable).

That’s it! You have successfully replaced your bad wheel bearing.

A new wheel bearing installed.
The tapered roller wheel bearings should be installed into the hub assembly and secured with a retaining ring or washer.

Post-Installation Checks

Once you’ve installed the new wheel bearing, there are a few tests to complete. Start by turning on the ignition and checking that the ABS warning light is off. If it’s still illuminated, you’ll need to check your installation again or consult with a professional mechanic for further advice.

Before going on a road test, test the vehicle’s speed. Make sure the car accelerates smoothly without any unusual noises coming from the wheels. This will help identify whether or not the bearing has been correctly installed and adjusted.

Remember to also assess both roads and highways at different speeds; this will ensure that everything is working properly even when subjected to higher levels of stress and pressure.

To end, double-check your work one more time: make sure all lug nuts have been tightened correctly and no components were forgotten during reassembly.  Once everything looks good, take your car for a spin!

Break-In Period

It is important to properly break in a new wheel bearing after replacing it. Think of it like breaking in a pair of shoes—you wouldn’t go out for a marathon on your first wear, would you? The same principle applies when dealing with new wheel bearings. To ensure that the wheels are running smoothly and correctly, we must follow certain steps before allowing them to be used at full capacity:

Start by driving slowly and carefully for the first few hundred miles. This gives time for all parts of the bearing system to adjust and settle into their respective positions. Make sure that while doing this, there should be no signs of any wobble coming from the wheels or brake rotor; if so, double-check that everything was installed correctly during replacement.

A vintage car being drive slowly.
Start by driving slowly and carefully for the first few hundred miles.

After these initial stages have been completed, gradually increase the speed limit and take sharp turns as necessary. This will allow you to test various components and ensure they can handle higher speeds without issue.

Pay close attention to how the car responds during each stage of testing; if anything appears off, then stop immediately. With proper care and maintenance following installation, your vehicle should be able to last for many more years down the road!

Cost and Warranty Information

Replacing a bad wheel bearing isn’t cheap, but we provide quality parts that are long-lasting. The cost of the new wheel bearing and replacement labor may vary depending on your vehicle type, but most customers can expect to pay anywhere from $200 to $500 for a single wheel bearing replacement job.

The warranty provided with our new wheel bearings depends on the part you purchase. If any problems arise within the specified time frame due to a product malfunction or defect, we will cover all costs associated with repairs needed as a result of these issues. We take pride in providing top-notch customer service and reliable products, so you won’t have to worry about future wheel-bearing problems. Thanks for choosing us!

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I replace my wheel bearings?

Well, the answer to how often you should replace your wheel bearings depends on several factors. Generally speaking, it’s recommended that they be inspected every 25,000 miles or two years and replaced if needed. However, this is just a guideline, as there are many other elements at play. Factors like terrain and temperature can cause wear and tear more quickly than usual.

If you notice any unusual sounds coming from the wheels or feel stiffness when turning, it might be time to inspect them sooner rather than later. Remember that replacing worn bearings in a timely fashion helps maintain the proper alignment of your vehicle’s suspension system and will also help protect other important components, such as tires, brakes, and axles, from unnecessary damage.

It’s a good idea to consult with an experienced mechanic who can properly diagnose and recommend the necessary maintenance for your particular driving conditions.

What are the symptoms of a faulty wheel bearing?

One of the most important parts of your car is the wheel bearing, which helps to keep it running smoothly. If you’re wondering what potential signs there are that indicate a bad wheel bearing, we’ve put together this guide to help you out.

See Also: Brake Noises and How to Fix them

First off, you may notice some unusual noises coming from your wheels when driving. This could be anything from grinding or growling sounds to clicking and thumping—all indications that something’s wrong with your wheel bearings.

Additionally, if you feel any vibrations in the steering wheel while driving, this can also be an indication of a faulty wheel bearing. Lastly, if you find yourself having difficulty turning one way or another while on the road, then chances are high that there’s an issue with your wheel bearings.

It’s best to take action as soon as possible once any of these symptoms appear since worn-out or broken wheel bearings can cause further damage to other components like tires and axles. That being said, regular maintenance checks will help ensure optimal performance for your vehicle and prevent costly repairs down the line.

What are the most common causes of a bad wheel bearing?

A bad wheel bearing can be a troublesome issue. Common causes of this problem are lack of lubrication, overloading the bearing, or contamination. If these issues are not addressed in time, it could lead to premature wear and tear on your vehicle’s components.

The most important thing you can do is make sure that your bearings receive proper maintenance. Regularly check for dirt, debris, and other contaminants that can build up around them. Proper lubrication will also help keep them running smoothly and prevent corrosion from forming.

Additionally, if there is an excessive amount of weight placed on the wheels at any given time, it may cause extra stress on the bearings, which can eventually lead to failure or damage. To avoid such problems with your wheel bearings in the future, we recommend scheduling regular inspections to ensure that they remain in top condition and that any necessary repairs are made promptly.

How can i ensure my wheel bearing replacement is done safely?

When replacing a wheel bearing, it’s important to take the necessary steps to ensure that the job is done safely and correctly. There are several things you can do to make sure this happens. First of all, be sure you have the right tools for the job.

You’ll need specific sockets and wrenches for removing bolts, as well as other parts such as an axle puller or hub puller for taking apart the wheel assembly. It’s also critical that these tools are in good working order; anything worn out could result in incorrect installation or damage during removal.

Once you’ve got your tools together, make sure you’re familiar with how to use them properly. Before beginning work, carefully read any instructions and, if possible, seek advice from someone with wheel bearing replacement experience. This will help ensure that everything goes smoothly when it comes time to install the new bearing.

Finally, always test-fit components before fully assembling them; this will allow you to double-check that everything lines up correctly and there won’t be any unexpected surprises down the line!

What is the average cost of a wheel bearing replacement?

The average cost of a wheel bearing replacement can vary depending on the make and model of your vehicle. On average, however, you should expect to pay around $250–400 for the parts alone. Labor costs can range from $200 to $300, so when all is said and done, it could cost up to $700 or more in total.

See Also: Cost to replace a windshield

Here are four tips to keep in mind if you plan on replacing the wheel bearing yourself:

  1. Make sure you have all the necessary tools for the job.
  2. Read through instructions before beginning work;
  3. Have any new parts ready beforehand.
  4. Be aware of safety precautions at every step.

With that being said, we highly recommend having a professional mechanic do the job as they will be able to do it quickly and safely without compromising quality. This way, you know that everything has been installed properly with no issues down the line, plus you won’t need any extra tools! It’s always worth paying the extra money upfront for peace of mind later on!


The wheel bearing is an essential part of your car. So, it’s important to ensure that you replace it when necessary. It can be a bit tricky, but with the right information and care, you can make sure your replacement goes smoothly.

First off, make sure to keep track of how often you are replacing your wheel bearings. This will help you catch any potential issues early on! Pay close attention to any signs that something isn’t working properly, such as strange noises or vibrations coming from the wheels. Also, take note of common causes like dirt or debris buildup or water damage.

Finally, if all else fails, don’t hesitate to call in a professional for assistance. They’ll be able to give you the best advice and provide quality workmanship at an affordable price. Remember: proper maintenance is key when it comes to protecting yourself and keeping your vehicle running safely and efficiently over time!

You might also like