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How Much Will A Wheel Bearing Replacement Cost?
Generally, a wheel bearing replacement could cost anywhere between $150 to $800. The cost will vary as per the make and model of your vehicle, part price, and labor charges in your area.
Some cars come with a wheel bearing that you can separate from the wheel hub, while others may have the wheel bearing as a part of the hub itself. If it’s possible to separate them, you only need to pay for the wheel bearing, which is cheaper than buying the whole new hub. That said, it’s a more labor-intensive job.
Following that, the cost for a wheel bearing averages between $50 to $120, while a new wheel hub could set you back by $200 to $500.
The labor charges for a wheel bearing replacement can fall between $60 to $300. And changing the wheel bearing usually takes around 1 to 1.5 hours.
How Urgent Is A Wheel Bearing Replacement?
If one of the wheel bearings is worn out, you should get a replacement as soon as possible.
Delaying a replacement could lead to excessive vibration in your steering wheel, or you may experience your vehicle pulling to one side. A damaged wheel bearing will also strain the hub assembly, CV (constant velocity) joint, and your vehicle’s transmission.
So, the longer you drive with faulty wheel bearings, the more expensive it will be to repair the damages.
Moreover, your wheel could suddenly stop or come off while driving, which can be extremely dangerous.
Signs That Your Wheel Bearing Needs Replacement
Here are some of the telltale signs that you need a new wheel bearing:
Vehicle pulling to one side: If one of the wheel bearings begins to fail, you’ll notice your car pulling to the left or right side.
Shaking steering wheel: The vibration on your steering wheel can worsen when you speed up.
Noises coming from your wheel: Busted bearings could result in different noises coming from the wheels, such as groaning, grinding, scraping, or growling.
Tires wearing unevenly: A worn wheel bearing can make the wheel wobble, causing inconsistent contact with the ground and uneven tire wear.
ABS light turns on: A bad wheel bearing can compromise the wheel speed sensor, which is a crucial component of your vehicle’s ABS.
FAQs On Wheel Bearing Replacement
Here are answers to some common wheel bearing questions:
1. What Are Wheel Bearings?
Wheel bearings are a set of steel balls or tapered bearings that roll around inside a metal casing called a race. This casing is located between the drive axle and the brake discs (or drums.)
Wheel bearings are a vital part of your car’s steering, braking, and suspension systems, allowing you to turn your wheels smoothly with minimal friction.
When you hear a growling or grinding noise from your wheels, it could indicate that its wheel bearing is failing, usually due to a lack of lubrication.
2. How Long Do Wheel Bearings Last?
Wheel bearings usually have a long life span of around 80,000 to 100,000 miles. Some may last for 150,000 miles too. There’s no standard maintenance schedule for wheel bearing replacement.
However, like any other car part, wheel bearings can wear out sooner if you frequently drive over potholes or drive too fast over speed bumps. Water, dust, sand, etc., can also get to the bearings and contaminate the grease that keeps them lubricated.
If you notice any wear signs, you should book a wheel bearing replacement soon.
3. Can I Replace Just One Wheel Bearing?
Yes, it’s usually safe to replace only the damaged wheel bearing.
However, if the wheel bearing replacement cost is not a constraint, you should probably replace both. If one wheel bearing has reached the end of its life, chances are that the bearing on the other side would be nearing its end of service life as well. In that case, replacing both the wheel bearings together makes sense.
4. How To Perform A Wheel Bearing Replacement?
Replacing a wheel bearing is an intermediate job that requires specialized tools and car part knowledge. If you’re not sure, it’s better to have a professional perform the replacement for you.
Here’s a general guideline on how to replace a wheel bearing:
Park the vehicle on a flat surface. Use wheel chocks to secure the other wheels whose bearings you aren’t changing.
Loosen the lug nuts and lift the wheel using a jack.
Unscrew the lug nuts and remove the wheel.
Use a socket and a ratchet to remove the brake caliper bolts and take out the caliper using a screwdriver.
Remove the dust cover, cotter pin, and castle nut.