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.
- Next, remove the rotor.
- Unscrew the hub bolts and remove the old hub.
- Disassemble the hub assembly to gain access to the bearings.
- Remove races and clean the knuckle.
- Install new races and new wheel bearings.
- Reassemble all the parts in reverse order.