Symptoms of a failing Front Wheel Bearing
Car isn’t handling quite right
Look, I don’t want to have to tell you this, because you should already know it. Pay attention to how your car feels on a daily basis, so that you know the moment it starts to feel abnormal.
If one of the front wheel bearings begins to fail, the handling in your car will likely change. The handling will feel loose, as though the wheel isn’t fully attached, because that’s essentially what’s happening as the bearing wears out and can no longer support the wheel. This can also result in the car pulling to the left or to the right when you’re on a straight stretch.
Tires are wearing unevenly
If one of your front wheel bearings starts to fade and die, then you’ll end up with one wheel that isn’t being used quite properly. That will lead to uneven wear on your front tires, with one looking more worn out than the other. Or at least worn in a different pattern.
It’s always a smart idea to pay attention to your tires. Give them a visual inspection every now and again, so that you can spot excess wearing, bubbles, low tire pressure, or uneven wear and tear. It can help you spot a big issue, like a front wheel bearing failure.
This is something that hopefully you already know: Your car shouldn’t make noises, beyond the engine noise and your stereo.
Any other noise should get your attention. Dying front wheel bearings can result in a whole range of noises, including groaning, grinding, scraping, and growling. Those noises will be coming directly from the front wheels. So, if your front wheels are talking to you, listen to them.
Vibrating car or shaking steering wheel
Here’s something your steering wheel shouldn’t do: Shake. If it does shake, you’ve got issues. That issue could be a busted front wheel bearing. If the bearings aren’t supporting the wheels, the steering system might vibrate, leading to a steering wheel that’s as jittery as you after a third cup of coffee.
Say goodbye to your wheel
If you ignore everything in this article, then here’s what you’ll end up with: Three wheels. Losing a wheel is well past the point of being a warning sign. But if you don’t pay attention to the warning signs, it’s exactly what will happen.
As the front wheel bearings wear and tear, they’ll eventually disintegrate, leaving you with something that can’t support the wheel anymore. And then the wheel will head off on a new journey.