Bearing Wheel: Symptoms and Warning Signs of Wear and Tear

Bearing Wheel

Bearing Wheel: Symptoms and Warning Signs of Wear and Tear

If you want your car to be safe and run properly, you’ll need good, sturdy wheels. Some of you may not know this, but the wheel is actually quite complicated. A wheel is actually a very complex machine, with many components that must all work together. A wheel bearing is an integrated part of your wheels. It allows you to rotate the wheel with ease. They are also prone to abuse, so it’s vital to know the warning signs. In order to understand the negative impact a bad bearing wheel, have on a machine’s performance, you need to understand what they are.

What is a Bearing Wheel?

The wheel bearing is a set of steel balls held together by an outer ring. The center of your wheels has an empty metal section, called a hub. These hub assemblies have a perfect fit for the wheel bearings, and it spins smoothly on an axle shaft, reducing friction.

Wheel bearings can be different from engine bearings in that they do not have a constant source of lubrication. These tires support the vehicle’s weight and experience a lot of abuse from rough roads and potholes, as well as lateral forces when turning.

After a while, the wheel bearing will likely need to be replaced. There are several signs that indicate when it’s time to replace your bearing wheel.

How to Identify a Bad Bearing Wheel

Ball bearings tend to be the most commonly used type of wheel bearings. There are many types of ball bearings or roller bearings, and they all differ in how and where they’re used. Regardless of the type your vehicle has, be it front or rear-wheel drive, if you hear a bad sound like clicking while the car is in motion, there’s likely to be a bad bearing.

Here are a few points to keep in mind:

Most commonly, a bad wheel bearing will produce audible symptoms. Note the loud grinding or grating noise, especially as you accelerate.

  • A car that is hard to drive. Hard-to-Drive refers to a condition in which it takes more effort than usual to turn the steering wheel at low speeds. Loose steering can be caused by a problem with your car’s bearing wheel, but it can also be due to a worn down or bad wheel bearing.
  • Another example is pulling. Though it does not always indicate a problem with the wheel bearing, when your car veers in one direction, you should certainly check the wheel bearings.
  • And finally, invest in good tires. Continuous wheel rotation can help prevent uneven wear and tear, but if you find that you have extremely uneven tire wear, it may be an indication that the wheel bearings are failing.

A Guide to Identifying Problematic Bearing Wheel Noise

Whining Noises

Some sounds mean there is trouble, but it’s important to know what each sound means so that you can see the difference between them. Correctly diagnosing a humming noise is important because it’s the first step to determining what’s wrong. You’re hearing a rhythmic, pulsating noise. The first thing you should do is to check your tires for abnormalities or leaks.

Screechy & Howling

The classic sounds of a bad wheel bearing are cyclic chirping, squealing and/or growling noise. If you can hear it while driving, your wheel bearings are probably bad. The sound will change as you turn the dial, or it may disappear altogether for a moment.

Rear Differential Noise vs Wheel Bearing Noise

When the only time you hear a howling noise is when the wheel is coasting, a loose pinion-bearing preload is a pretty good indicator. The howling only occurs when the vehicle is accelerating. If the bearings are worn, they tend to make a disturbing howling noise. They also generate a droning sound as they rotate.

A bad wheel bearing can cause serious problems

Problems with wheel bearings can lead to safety concerns and compromise your ability to get where you need quickly. As such, it is important to have them inspected immediately.

Don’t underestimate the importance of this frequently ignored auto component. Be aware of any unusual vibrations from the wheels. Have a pro inspect your bearing wheel as soon as you detect a problem. Let us guide you and help you with all your bearing problems.

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