It is critical to have good wheel bearings in order for the wheels on your vehicle to work together – more specifically, for the assemblies, tire, and hub to work in harmony. They also are prone to be abused, which is why it is so important to be aware of the warning signs. However, it is also important to understand what wheel bearings are exactly before delving deeper into the symptoms, costs, and impact of bad bearings.
What Are Wheel Bearings?
Wheel bearings are sets of steel balls with a metal ring holding them together which is called a race. There is a hub, or hollow metal piece, in the middle of the wheel. Wheel bearing fit inside of the hub tightly, and ride on top of the metal axle shaft, to help reduce friction as the wheel is spinning.
They are not the same thing as the engine bearings since the wheel bearings do not have any constant lubrication source. That means they must be tight enough in order to keep away road dust and water.
How You Can Tell When Wheel Bearings Have Gone Bad
The following are a couple of things to consider:
The most easily identifiable and most common symptom of a wheel bearing that has gone bad is an audible sign. If you notice any grating or grinding noises coming from the tire or wheel, there is a good chance that a bad wheel bearing is causing it – especially when the noise grows loud as the car accelerates.
Another telling sign of having bad wheel bearings is when your car feels loose while you are driving it.
Pulling is a related phenomenon. As you are driving, does your vehicle go where you direct it to or does it appear to have a mind of its own and veer in a specific direction?
The final thing is to pay close attention to the tires on your car. Rotating your tires on a regular basis can help to prevent wear. However, if you discover that your tires have very uneven wear, you might want to have the wheel bearings checked.
How Bad Wheel Bearing Noises Can Be Distinguished
A vehicle can have many different sounds coming from it that ca be cause for concern. That is why it is critical to be able to differentiate between them so that you can avoid misdiagnosing them. It is easy for noises to be misleading. There are several different issues that can cause a humming sound while you are driving, which starts with the tires but can also be the CV joint or wheel bearing.
Growling and Squealing
Classic noises made by a bad wheel bearing include growling, squealing, and cyclic chirping sounds. Another way you can tell if the sound relates to the wheel bearings is if the sound changes with the speed of the vehicle.
Wheel Bearing Noise vs Rear Differential Noise
A howling sound that only happens during deceleration is a fairly good indicator of having a loose pinion-bearing preload. If howling occurs at different speeds under acceleration, then worn out gears is most likely the problem.
Bad Wheel Bearings Are A Serious Problem
You should not take this frequently ignored car component for granted. Stay tuned in to the warning signs discussed in this article. If you notice any signs of trouble, make sure to take your car in to have a professional check the wheel bearings right away. A bad wheel bearing can be fixed by our professionals .Call us today we will take care of all your vehicle repairs.