Wheel Bearings 101: Important Questions And Answers You Should Know

Posted on: 28 June 2018

The drive axle and assembly contains multiple parts that allow your vehicle to move and respond to your demands when you turn the steering wheel. One of those critical components is the wheel bearings. There are wheel bearings located in every wheel of your vehicle, and these can and do go bad with age. As a driver, it is best to know a little about these important drive and assembly components. Check out some of the most common questions about wheel bearings and the answers you should know. 

How do you know the wheel bearings are bad on your vehicle?

Bad wheel bearings on your vehicle can have a number of symptoms. However, the most common symptom of ailing or failing wheel bearings will be noise. You will probably hear popping and rattling coming from the wheels when they are moving. Secondly, there will be a drastic change in how smoothly your vehicle rolls. Most drivers describe bad wheel bearings as vibration or jerking as the wheels roll. You may even hear or feel something that sounds a lot like something grinding. 

Are wheel bearings difficult to replace?

In order to replace the wheel bearings, your tire will have to be removed, as well as the rotor and brakes that are attached to the wheelbase. The wheel bearings are located inside of the wheelbase itself. Therefore, this part will have to be removed to get the bearings out.

Some wheel bearings are mechanically pressed in place, which means they are nearly impossible to take out by hand and will have to be mechanically pressed back in place. Because of this, it is always better if you trust a good wheel bearings repair mechanic for the job. 

What problems can occur if you do not get your wheel bearings repaired?

When the wheel bearings first start to go bad, it is easy to ignore the symptoms. But as time goes by, the symptoms you hear and feel will only grow worse. It is always best to get the wheel bearing tended to immediately if you are pretty sure it is bad for one good reason: safety.

A bad wheel bearing can actually cause the tire to lock up in severe cases, and this can be incredibly dangerous if you are driving the car when this happens. Additionally, bad wheel bearings can be hard on your brakes and cause uneven tire wear. 

If you notice any signs that your wheel bearings could be bad, you should visit an auto repair shop immediately.