Generally speaking, wheel bearings don’t require a lot of maintenance. However, this does not mean that they will last a lifetime. Let’s take a closer look, how it works? What is its duration? And what can be done to prolong it?
Wheel bearings – what are they? How do they work?
As the part that attaches the wheel to the axle, the wheel bearing plays a critical role in the wheel assembly. Ball bearings or tapered bearings are made from steel balls held together by a ring of metal. They enable a wheel to move efficiently with minimal friction. A wheel bearing endures various forces, including gravity, acceleration, cornering, and braking, and as a result, must be repaired or replaced when they malfunction.
Wheel bearings last how long?
It is estimated that wheel bearings last between 136K to 160k kilometers. A wheel bearing’s lifespan is more dependent upon the quality and the operating conditions relative to the design.
What causes wheel bearings to fail?
Wheel bearings fail for the following reasons:
- Incorrect installation – the inappropriate tool, like a hammer or impact wrench, can damage the wheel end bearing’s exterior as well as its interior, which will lead the bearing to prematurely fail. Also, using old parts like nut, split-pin, seal, or bolt can cause the early malfunctioning of the wheel bearing. These kinds of practices can cause wheel bearings dangerous to drive and can result in a car accident.
- Inadequate roads or impact damage, which includes driving through potholes, bumping up against a speed bump, or crashing into curbstones, may cause damage to wheel bearings.
- A low-quality bearing – wheel bearings are continually exposed to high pressures. A low-quality wheel bearing may not be heat-treated properly, which can lead to premature wear and tear.
- Driving conditions – a vehicle’s wheel bearings can fail if dragged through deep water or mud. Despite the seals, water, dirt, dust, or road salt could pass through into the bearings, contaminating the grease and causing bearings to wear down.
When your wheel bearings are wrong, what are the symptoms?
Wheel bearings that need repair exhibit the following symptoms:
It usually increases with acceleration or during a turn as a roaring, humming, or growling noise is produced.
- When the vehicle is in motion, there is a loud whining or grinding noise.
- If the road is uneven, there is a clattering.
- A loose steering wheel or one with a lot of play (vague steering);
- As the vehicle turns or moves at different speeds, the steering wheel vibrates;
- a problem with the ABS. An ABS issue can manifest itself if the integrated ABS sensor fails.
Wheel bearing replacement
The installation of wheel bearings of the present generation is more accessible than the installation of previous generations, provided that it is installed correctly. You can purchase the wheel bearing from any online site like https://arospeed.com/ or from your local store. Tools should be used appropriately, and torque values should be respected for maximum effectiveness, performance, and safety. To ensure that your wheel bearings are correctly fitted, we recommend taking your car to a mechanic with the appropriate skill and equipment.