wheel bearing noise

Easy Way On How To Check Your Wheel Bearing

When you go to a car repair shop, your mechanic will almost always say that you need a wheel bearing and end up gazing at the stars, curious about what is it. What does a wheel bearing do to your car? What does a wheel bearing noise have to do with its life span? 


What is a Wheel Bearing?

Do you ever wonder why other cars' tires run faster than yours? Well, it's maybe because of the wheel bearing. Wheel bearing is a set of metal balls attached in place by a steel ring called a race. They necessarily help the car's wheels to spin faster, maintaining as little friction as possible. Wheel bearing can be seen in all types of vehicles: cars, airplanes, and even a bicycle.

On a car, however, a wheel bearing is attached to a metal shaft that is fully in placed inside a hub, a hollow piece of metal located at the center of the wheel. Furthermore, the hub is also responsible for holding the lug bolts that are necessarily used to connect the tire to the wheel. The wheel bearing is attached to the hub from the back.

One of the many features of the wheel bearing is that it’s made and engineered to last for a long while. However, just like any other car part, the wheel bearing might eventually depreciate its lubricity, may be worn out and thus, needed to be replaced. Once these car parts break entirely, it could cause the wheels of the tire to fall from the car while driving at speed and will eventually lead to a very dangerous driving situation.

Symptoms of Worn-out Wheel Bearing

During the 90s, most vehicle manufacturers sold in the United States had both inner and outer wheel bearing placed on each tire that could be used for 30,000 miles, at best. Because times have changed and technology has improved, most of the car manufacturers designed a "maintenance free" wheel bearing that could "last a lifetime." But, nothing in this world is indestructible.

These wheel bearings might be working in a longer span of time, but it would eventually wear out, cause damage and hence, needs replacement. You don't want to be seen driving recklessly. That's why you need to have a regular car check-up, see whether there are damages, in particular on the wheel bearing and replace anything that could cause your driving situation to be dangerous and fatal.

#1 Unconventional Tire Wear

There are a lot of factors that could lead a tire wear to be abnormal. For example, it may be because of an over or under inflated tires, because of misaligned suspension or perhaps because of the CV joints. But, one of the most common reasons why there is an uneven tire wear is that of a worn out and overused wheel bearings.

Wheel bearings will rarely wear in even. That is, in some instances, the left tire is more worn out than the right tire or vice versa. However, you should always remember that when you are planning to replace wheel bearings, it should be changed together. Meaning, even if the problem is graver to the left tire than the other, you need to always replace the other as well.

This is because to ensure that both wheel bearings will function well in the future. Whatever the reasons may be, you should never risk having broken wheel bearings.

#2 Roaring Noise Coming from the Tires

Detecting a broken wheel bearing could be a headache because it doesn't necessarily happen always and when they get fully broken, it happens rather fast. But, there are signs and symptoms that you could feel whenever a wheel bearing is about to wear out.

For example, one warning that your wheel bearing is wearing out is the loud roaring or thriving noise that your car's tire area produce. That is perhaps because of the excessive heat build-up within the wheel bearing or because it loses lots its lubricity. Meaning, you could hear a loud metallic noise when the wheel bearing is wearing out.

It is conservative to catch this kind of sound even just in one particular wheel and not on other wheels at the same time. When you do hear this, call on a professional mechanic at once before it becomes a rather more pressing problem in the future.

#3 Abnormal Vibrations in the Steering Wheel

One of the most common symptoms you could feel as a driver whenever your wheel bearing is worn out is the strange shaking or vibration of the steering wheel. Unlike when you have a tire balance dilemma that is experienced in higher speeds, abnormal vibration, and shaking of the steering wheel could easily be assumed, thanks to the wearing out of wheel borrow, even in slower speeds. Of course, as you accelerate in your drive, this abnormal vibration will have to get worse.

#4 Wheel Tricks You Could Do to Check Whether Wheel Bearing is Worn Out

One additional trick that you could do yourself is to ‘shake' the wheels. It is done when you jack up or have some hydraulic lift on your vehicle, then grabbing the wheel on both sides and through rocking it back and forth. If the wheel assembly easily moves back and forth and starts to ‘wobble,' this could be a sign that your wheel bearing is worn out needs replacement as early as possible.

The wheel bearing is important especially in all the driving situations that you involve yourself. As a responsible driver, you should always ensure that most if not all parts of your car are stable and not getting broken to have a safe drive in the future. When you hear grinding and roaring wheel bearing noise, you should contact a professional mechanic to help you check whether your car's tires are in condition to run.

This reminder is not only for your safety, but this is also for the other cars and people that you encounter on the road. Remember, professionals, recommend that you have to get your car checked by professional mechanics every once in a while, to avoid any unnecessary events and even accidents. Once you notice any of these symptoms mentioned above, have your car checked as soon as possible and avoid driving it until you know what's happening to it.

I hope that you find this article informative, so the next time you’re going to check your wheel bearings you could look out for the mentioned symptoms. If you have inquires and comments, please tell us in the comment section below.

About the Author Chris Lawrence

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