How do I know if my wheel bearings are failing?

There are two types of bearings, the sealed unit, and the unsealed unit.

  • By sealed we mean that the wheel hub and bearing come as a complete unit.
  • Whereas by unsealed we mean that the bearing comes separate from the hub.

When the hub and bearing are sealed together, contaminants such as dirt, dust and mud cannot reach the bearing allowing the bearing to last longer. But if the bearing and hub are separate the bearing is susceptible to those contaminants. It is important to mention that both sealed and unsealed bearings can be affected by impact. Such as when you go over a speed bump or through a pothole.

Below are some signs that could indicate that your wheel bearings need to be replaced:

Are you hearing a grinding noise while driving?

The wheel bearing sits inside the wheel hub, and it is designed to allow the wheel to spin with as little resistance as possible.

If your wheel bearings are worn you might hear a grinding noise while driving. But often the engine noise will overpower a noisy bearing and the bearing needs to be checked on a lift.

Any grinding noise coming from your vehicle needs to be checked by a technician.

Vibrations from your steering wheel:

Your car should have little to no vibrations on the steering wheel. If you feel vibrations while driving this could be caused by the tyres or the wheel bearing.

Uneven tyre wear:

Tyre tread is a little bit harder to judge if you don’t know what you are looking at. However, if your tread wears out unevenly you will notice that one side of the tread is smoother than the other.

Difficulty controlling your car:

Difficulty controlling your car is when your car pulls to one side or the other while braking or driving down a straight road.

If you are ever unsure about the sounds you are hearing when it comes to your vehicle, contact Autoworks and we will be able to assist you!

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