Symptoms of a Bad Wheel Bearing

Shambhavi Singh
Est. Reading Time 4 mins

You probably already know that cars need strong wheels to work correctly and safely. But did you know that wheels are not just simple parts? They are pretty complex, comprising many pieces that must work together.

A critical part of a wheel is called the wheel bearing. They are essential in helping different parts but sometimes can get damaged and harm your car. Bad wheel bearings can exhibit warning signs like odd sounds and sensations. So let's get started with all the information right away.

How Does A Wheel Bearing Work?

A wheel bearing is like a crucial link between your wheel and the axle of your car. It consists of either tiny steel balls (ball bearings) or cone-shaped pieces (tapered bearings) held together by a sturdy metal ring.

Wheel bearings are critical because they handle the weight of your car, the force of speed, and even when you go around corners. So, you need to quickly replace them when they start to wear out and don't work well anymore.

How Long Does A Wheel Bearing Last For?

Wheel bearings typically endure around 85,000 to 100,000 miles (136,000 to 160,000 kilometres), but remember, this is a rough estimate. The lifespan of a wheel bearing depends on two main factors: the path quality and your driving habits and conditions.

It could last even longer if you have a top-notch wheel bearing and drive carefully. But if you drive a car in harsh conditions or have a lower-quality approach, it might wear out sooner.
It's always a good idea to look for signs of trouble with your wheel bearings and get them checked if you suspect any problems.

Symptoms Of A Bad Wheel Bearing

Various wheel bearing types exist, with ball bearings being the most prevalent and roller bearings as another option. Tapered roller bearings are standard in trucks, while precision ball bearings excel with heavy loads.

If you own a car in the UAE with problematic wheel bearings, they exhibit noticeable indicators, particularly in unusual sounds and sensations. Consider the following symptoms:

  • Strange Noise: A weird grinding or growling noise is the most obvious sign. You'll hear this noise no matter how fast you're driving, and it tends to get louder or quieter when you turn corners. If you notice this sound, your wheel bearing likely needs attention.
  • Loose Feeling: When a wheel bearing wears out, it can make your car feel loose and wobbly. This happens because the bearing is part of the tightly connected systems in your revolution, and when it gets worn, everything can feel less secure.
  • Heat: Worn wheel bearings create excess friction and heat, noticeable when touching the wheel after driving.
  • Pulling: A deteriorated wheel bearing may make your car veer to one side, even without steering input, due to uneven wheel rolling affecting direction.
  • Vibration: Another sign is vibrations felt through the steering wheel or the entire car. If you notice your car vibrating more than usual, it could be due to a bad wheel bearing.
  • Uneven Tire Wear: Keep an eye on your tire tread. If one tire is wearing out faster than the others, it might be because of a bad wheel bearing, causing uneven pressure on that wheel.
  • ABS Warning Light: In some modern cars, a failing wheel bearing can trigger the ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) warning light on your dashboard. This happens because the ABS can detect irregular wheel speeds caused by a bad bearing.

How To Check A Wheel Bearing?

If you own a car with problematic wheel bearing, here are the critical points you need to look out for:

  • Signs of Trouble: Be aware of symptoms such as grinding noise, car feeling loose, heat on the wheel, steering wheel pulling, vibrations, uneven tire wear, and ABS warning light.
  • DIY Test: You can perform a basic check at home using a jack to lift one wheel off the ground.
  • Procedure: Lift one wheel off the ground using a car jack. Once the wheel is lifted off the ground, rotate it manually.
  • Professional Inspection: For the most dependable checking of wheel bearing problems, rely on a professional mechanic's inspection, which is more reliable than DIY tests.

How Far Can We Drive With A Bad Wheel Bearing?

If you don't fix your wheel bearings right away, they might still hold up for about 50 miles (or even up to 100 miles for fancier car models). Going beyond this limit strains your car's transmission, CV joints, and steering.

It risks severe problems like tire blowouts and even explosions, which are imminent if you continue driving. So, addressing wheel-bearing issues promptly is crucial to avoid these potentially dangerous situations.

Conclusion

To be vigilant for bad wheel bearings, keep your ears tuned for odd sounds like grinding or growling while on the road. Stay alert to any unusual sensations like vibrations or an unexpected pull in your steering.

If you notice any of these signs, it's wise to have a professional mechanic examine your wheel bearings promptly to ensure your car's safety and performance on the road.

FAQs

Is it safe to drive with a bad wheel bearing?
Driving with a worn-out bearing is risky. It can lead to wheel stoppage, stressing vital parts like the hub, CV joint, and transmission.

How far can you drive with a bad wheel bearing?
It's best to avoid driving with a bad wheel bearing as much as possible. If you must, move very slowly to minimise the risk of a dangerous situation due to increased friction.

What's the cost of replacing a wheel bearing?
The wheel bearing replacement cost depends on your vehicle's make, model, and year. Prices may vary if additional issues like suspension component replacement or steering knuckle removal arise.

You probably already know that cars need strong wheels to work correctly and safely. But did you know that wheels are not just simple parts? They are pretty complex, comprising many pieces that must work together.

A critical part of a wheel is called the wheel bearing. They are essential in helping different parts but sometimes can get damaged and harm your car. Bad wheel bearings can exhibit warning signs like odd sounds and sensations. So let's get started with all the information right away.

How Does A Wheel Bearing Work?

A wheel bearing is like a crucial link between your wheel and the axle of your car. It consists of either tiny steel balls (ball bearings) or cone-shaped pieces (tapered bearings) held together by a sturdy metal ring.

Wheel bearings are critical because they handle the weight of your car, the force of speed, and even when you go around corners. So, you need to quickly replace them when they start to wear out and don't work well anymore.

How Long Does A Wheel Bearing Last For?

Wheel bearings typically endure around 85,000 to 100,000 miles (136,000 to 160,000 kilometres), but remember, this is a rough estimate. The lifespan of a wheel bearing depends on two main factors: the path quality and your driving habits and conditions.

It could last even longer if you have a top-notch wheel bearing and drive carefully. But if you drive a car in harsh conditions or have a lower-quality approach, it might wear out sooner.
It's always a good idea to look for signs of trouble with your wheel bearings and get them checked if you suspect any problems.

Symptoms Of A Bad Wheel Bearing

Various wheel bearing types exist, with ball bearings being the most prevalent and roller bearings as another option. Tapered roller bearings are standard in trucks, while precision ball bearings excel with heavy loads.

If you own a car in the UAE with problematic wheel bearings, they exhibit noticeable indicators, particularly in unusual sounds and sensations. Consider the following symptoms:

  • Strange Noise: A weird grinding or growling noise is the most obvious sign. You'll hear this noise no matter how fast you're driving, and it tends to get louder or quieter when you turn corners. If you notice this sound, your wheel bearing likely needs attention.
  • Loose Feeling: When a wheel bearing wears out, it can make your car feel loose and wobbly. This happens because the bearing is part of the tightly connected systems in your revolution, and when it gets worn, everything can feel less secure.
  • Heat: Worn wheel bearings create excess friction and heat, noticeable when touching the wheel after driving.
  • Pulling: A deteriorated wheel bearing may make your car veer to one side, even without steering input, due to uneven wheel rolling affecting direction.
  • Vibration: Another sign is vibrations felt through the steering wheel or the entire car. If you notice your car vibrating more than usual, it could be due to a bad wheel bearing.
  • Uneven Tire Wear: Keep an eye on your tire tread. If one tire is wearing out faster than the others, it might be because of a bad wheel bearing, causing uneven pressure on that wheel.
  • ABS Warning Light: In some modern cars, a failing wheel bearing can trigger the ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) warning light on your dashboard. This happens because the ABS can detect irregular wheel speeds caused by a bad bearing.

How To Check A Wheel Bearing?

If you own a car with problematic wheel bearing, here are the critical points you need to look out for:

  • Signs of Trouble: Be aware of symptoms such as grinding noise, car feeling loose, heat on the wheel, steering wheel pulling, vibrations, uneven tire wear, and ABS warning light.
  • DIY Test: You can perform a basic check at home using a jack to lift one wheel off the ground.
  • Procedure: Lift one wheel off the ground using a car jack. Once the wheel is lifted off the ground, rotate it manually.
  • Professional Inspection: For the most dependable checking of wheel bearing problems, rely on a professional mechanic's inspection, which is more reliable than DIY tests.

How Far Can We Drive With A Bad Wheel Bearing?

If you don't fix your wheel bearings right away, they might still hold up for about 50 miles (or even up to 100 miles for fancier car models). Going beyond this limit strains your car's transmission, CV joints, and steering.

It risks severe problems like tire blowouts and even explosions, which are imminent if you continue driving. So, addressing wheel-bearing issues promptly is crucial to avoid these potentially dangerous situations.

Conclusion

To be vigilant for bad wheel bearings, keep your ears tuned for odd sounds like grinding or growling while on the road. Stay alert to any unusual sensations like vibrations or an unexpected pull in your steering.

If you notice any of these signs, it's wise to have a professional mechanic examine your wheel bearings promptly to ensure your car's safety and performance on the road.

FAQs

Is it safe to drive with a bad wheel bearing?
Driving with a worn-out bearing is risky. It can lead to wheel stoppage, stressing vital parts like the hub, CV joint, and transmission.

How far can you drive with a bad wheel bearing?
It's best to avoid driving with a bad wheel bearing as much as possible. If you must, move very slowly to minimise the risk of a dangerous situation due to increased friction.

What's the cost of replacing a wheel bearing?
The wheel bearing replacement cost depends on your vehicle's make, model, and year. Prices may vary if additional issues like suspension component replacement or steering knuckle removal arise.

Read More
CAR SAFETYcar maintenance tipsCar Buying Tipsrecent

Featured Posts

How to protect your car in wet weather

How to protect your car in wet weather

Symptoms of a Bad Wheel Bearing

Symptoms of a Bad Wheel Bearing