Do your wheel bearings need to
In most cases, many vehicle owners will never ever hear of a wheel bearing until their friendly-neighborhood mechanic suggests that it needs to be replaced.
Like the car’s wheels, the bearings are components that are often taken for granted, and they’re not exactly a huge concern for many people. However, the bearings are very important so it’s in your best interest not to ignore your mechanic’s warning.
For this article, we outlined a guide that will help you determine if it’s the right time to replace your vehicle’s bearings.
What Are Wheel Bearings?
Before we proceed, first let’s find out what exactly is a wheel bearing and its importance to the operation of your vehicle.
The bearings are components that play an important role within the drivetrain of any vehicle. This is because they act as the initial connection between the moving and static parts of the vehicle.
At its most basic, the bearing is a friction reduction device that’s placed within the wheel in order to ensure efficiency in the rotation. This is made possible because rolling produces much less friction force when compared to sliding.
- ULTRA STURDINESS & DURABILITY: Forged from high strength aluminum for extra durability and strength, the driver and discs feature extraordinarily long service life and won’t mark the bearings. The solid, knurled handle offers extra grip and control during use.
- VERSATILITY: Collars/discs of 9 different sizes fit standard races used in most wheel bearing applications.
- EASY USAGE: To use, simply select the correct bushing, align straight and centered, and then pound in/out. Suitable for seating bearings on cars, small engine trucks, motorcycles, etc.
- CONVENIENT STORAGE: This set comes in a blow-molded plastic carrying case for easy transport, simple storage, and quick organization.
- ALL-IN-ONE: Our 9-disc and 1-driver set simplifies bearing installation for everyone from master mechanics to DIY novices. Our super sturdy and well-designed tool set guarantees long service life without damaging your bearings.
The wheel bearing accomplishes this by utilizing small metal balls that roll between two rings of metal. The bearing rotates in conjunction with the wheel’s rotation. With a healthy amount of grease, the rolling motion of the balls enables the wheel hub to rotate as
freely as possible.
The bearing is located within the hub assembly, and it works by providing the static connection with the carrier via an outer ring or racer. Roller bearings are usually used on the wheels of the car, while tapered bearings are generally used for non-driven wheels.
Like any mechanical parts of the vehicle, bearings are vulnerable to wear and tear since they rub, rotate, and roll.
SIGNS THAT YOU NEED TO REPLACE YOUR CAR’S WHEEL BEARINGS
When your car’s wheel bearing goes bad, you will notice a couple of symptoms:
WHAT HAPPENS IF I DON’T REPLACE THE WHEEL BEARING?
If any of these symptoms are present in your vehicle, there’s a high chance that it can compromise the operation of your vehicle and may lead to catastrophic failure if not addressed.
If left unattended, a catastrophic axle failure may happen which is exactly as bad as it sounds.
Basically, this failure causes the wheel to separate from the car. So, the wheel can literally come off while you’re on the road. This is somewhat of a rare case, but this scenario can occur due to extreme long-term neglect.
But really, do you really want to take chances?
The wheel bearing is simply a component that you don’t take chances with. So many of you are probably asking, “just how much can I drive with a bad bearing?” Well, the answer is a resounding “don’t even think about it.”
WHAT TO DO IN CASE OF WHEEL BEARING FAILURE?
Wheel bearing failure is due to many reasons like heavy-duty usage, ignorance, improper servicing, and poor maintenance. Recognizing the symptoms is one of the best ways to catch the
problem before it gets progressively worse.
For an experienced individual, replacing the wheel bearing is not a tough task at all. However, the
replacement process does require a lot of steps which we won’t cover here (but perhaps we can save that for another article). Remember, replacing the bearings on your own requires a good know-how of how vehicles are built and how they work.
If you are a complete novice, it’s highly recommended that you get in touch with a professional mechanic instead.
Maintaining your vehicle is not just about washing it and cleaning some parts here and there. Many people just overlook the much-needed maintenance of bearings.
It’s important that you always monitor these parts and be on the lookout for the symptoms that we have outlined above. With that said, the wheel hub bearings are supposed to be placed properly and maintained on a regular basis since they hold the weight of the vehicle in both motion and standstill.
Greasing is one of the best ways to keep your vehicle in good shape. For this, on top of checking for symptoms, adequately grease the bearings to keep them in top working condition. The bearings are considered to be low maintenance parts, but it doesn’t mean that you should ignore them. Apply great for at least once in three months.
- Compatible for BUICK SKYHAWK 84-89 FWD; Compatible for OLDSMOBILE FIRENZA 84-88 FWD; Compatible for PONTIAC GRAND AM 85-98 FWD; Compatible for PONTIAC J2000 SUNBIRD 84-85 FWD; Compatible for PONTIAC SUNBIRD 86-94 FWD; Compatible for BUICK SKYLARK 85-98 FWD; Compatible for BUICK SOMERSET 86-87 FWD; Compatible for BUICK SOMERSET REGAL 1985 FWD (Detailed Application Below)
- Direct replacement; Built to strict quality control standards
- 5 Lug Wheel;
- Replaces dealer part numbers: 513017,513017K,WE60701,BR930028K,7466908,WB13017K,PBR930028K
- Please check your car information before purchase.
Greasing minimizes friction while the wheel bearing operates, which is absolutely vital.
It’s said that the wheel hub bearing has an average lifespan of 85,000 to 100,000 miles. So as a good rule of thumb, check and examine the bearings every 25,000 miles.
So that concludes our guide on when to replace your vehicle’s wheel bearings.
Driving with a missing or defective wheel bearing is considered very dangerous. So, if you have observed any of the symptoms that we have provided above, it should be in your best interest to contact a mechanic immediately. A defective bearing is not immediately dangerous but definitely,
don’t wait for months before getting it sorted.
- 5 stud x 4.5 inch bolt circle diameter
- 1-3/8" tapered to 1-1/16" shaft
- 6-1/2 inch wheel Flange diameter
- 15 inch maximum wheel size
- 1.98 inch hub inner diameter
If you have any questions about this guide or about bearings in general, feel free to drop a comment below. Also, feel free to share tips and tricks when maintaining the vehicle’s bearings.
KW: wheel bearings
Featured image via Pixabay