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Lucky for you, the front hub assembly is a really straightforward and easy to understand part of your car. It’s also one of the most critical elements of your car, so pay attention. Have you ever had to put on a spare tire or taken a wheel off to change the brakes? If you have, then you’ve come face to face with a hub assembly. That’s what you’re taking the wheel off of. Quite simply, it’s the component that attaches your wheel to the rest of the car. Without a hub assembly, the wheels have nowhere to go. Have you tried driving a car with no wheels? How’d that work out for you? While the hub assemblies are attached to the wheels on one side, they’re attached to the steering system and suspension on the other side, ensuring that the wheels work with those systems. So, they don’t just give the wheels a place to go, but they make sure that the wheels can do their job, as well. Your car has four hub assemblies - one for each wheel. Can you guess which two hub assemblies are the front hub assemblies? That’s a rhetorical question. As you would expect, front hub assemblies are subject to a lot of use and abuse as you drive. Thankfully though, they’re extremely durable, and there’s a good chance you’ll never have to replace them on your car.
Okay, let me give you a quick piece of advice that you should always apply. If your car’s steering wheel is shaking, then something isn’t right, and that something should be addressed. If the front hub assembly begins to wear too much, then some of the road vibrations will be sent straight to your hands. Free massages are great. Free hand massages from your steering wheel? Not so great. Things in your car cabin shouldn’t shake. Don’t forget that. Ever.
A failing front hub assembly can also impact the car’s ability to steer well. The steering may feel excessively loose, with the car not turning quite as tightly as you’re asking it to. This should serve as a pretty big red flag, so heed it. Your steering is kind of important, as you may or may not know.
Hopefully I don’t need to tell you that your car shouldn’t be making abnormal noises. And that, if it is, you’ve got some issues on your hands that need addressing. Hubs with an integral wheel bearing will often make a groaning or growling noise when the car is in motion. Or you might hear a metal-on-metal grinding noise from the front wheels. If the front hub assembly breaks, metal components will scrape against each other as the car drives, which is really, really unpleasant.
Look, I understand that you’re probably not spending the weekend with your front hub assemblies, but when you get your tires changed or rotated, the technician may notice if the rear hub assembly is starting to go. They’ll let you know, and it’d be wise of you to listen.
Do you like your wheels to stay on your car? Yes? Then replacing your front hub assembly is extremely urgent, got it?
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