A wheel bearing refers to a circle of ball bearings that ensure how well your car’s wheels are rolling on the road. So if you have bad wheel bearings in the car, you must repair them immediately to avoid any unwanted accident. But first, you need to know how much it will take to repair the bearing.
As wheel bearings are an important part of the car that helps in safe driving, you must not drive with unstable wheel bearings. Here in this article, we will discuss how you can identify the symptoms of bad bearings and how much they usually cost.
What is a Wheel Bearing?
Wheel bearing indicates a group of balls that is located in the center hole of the wheel. A ring and riding on the axle are connecting those balls in the wheel. The part which is responsible for making sure that the wheel of the car is rolling on the road is a wheel bearing.
Wheel bearings also support the heavyweight. It ensures that the motor of the Wheel is turning smoothly without having any friction between the interior parts. Another thing that wheel bearings do is ensure that the wheels are attached tightly to the car.
There are a few car models that have sealed wheel bearings in a particular way to preserve them from water infiltration and heat. High heat and water moisture are the reasons for the breakdown of the wheel bearing.
Wheel bearings are attached to both back and front wheels. If one of these bearings has any issue doesn’t mean all the bearings are having problems. That’s why you need to be careful while dealing with a dishonest mechanic who will try to get some extra money by giving you a fake condition of the wheels.
How to Tell When Wheel Bearings Go Bad?
There are few things that can tell when wheel bearings go bad. These bearings are an essential part that makes the car roll safe on the road. Here are a few common things that indicate bad wheel bearings:
- One of the most common and easiest ways to identify whether you have a bad wheel bearing or not is the grinding sound. If the sound comes from the wheels or tires, it must be the bad bearing that caused grinding noise. It is confirmed to have bad bearings if the sound is louder when the vehicle accelerates.
- Another good sign of identifying a bad wheel is feeling loose as you drive the car. Looseness basically refers to a scenario where you find your vehicle less responsible while steering the car.
- If you feel you are pulling to a side while driving, the reason behind it must be poor wheel bearing. Vibration may appear on the wheel due to bad bearing, and this is what causes the car to pull toward the worn side.
- Another way of recognizing bad wheel bearing is by paying attention to the tires. Rotating tires regularly is a good way to reduce wear. But if you find that you are having uneven wear while rotating the tire, check your wheel bearings.
Well, all of these things can indicate bad bearings, but sometimes it can be other issues too. So it would be best if you call a mechanic and give your car proper treatment according to its problem.
What are The Symptoms of Bad Bearing?
There are a few ways that show you the symptoms of bad wheel bearings. Here are the top 5 symptoms that are more frequent to show up:
Uneven Tire Wear
Bad wheel bearings tend to wear out unevenly while other bearings can turn smoothly. This will lead the similar tires to have abnormal wear from the other tires.
When your wheel bearings are good, they will literally be worn out even with a simple drive over them. So when you experience an uneven drive on steering wheels, it means your car has bad wheel bearings.
But don’t assume that your bearings are bad when you have a bad wheel alignment, unbalanced tires, and other things that create uneven tire wear. You can only be sure of it if you experience other signs of having bad bearing too.
A common scenario is your tires making loud grinding noises when you have a bad bearing. It happens when your bearings lose their lubricity and create high heat inside them. The noise is like two metal pieces grinding against each other. The sound usually comes from one wheel instead of every wheel in the vehicle. Basically, this noise creates while turning or shifting the steering wheel.
Steering Wheel Vibrates
If the issue in your bearing gets worse, then the steering wheels will start vibrating. These vibrations are most noticeable while driving at low speeds. The majority of people think that it happens due to unbalanced tires. But the vibration of the unbalanced tires occurs while driving at high speeds. However, it would be better if you take your car to a repair shop or call the mechanic to verify the problem.
Vehicle Pulls to One Side
The smooth line of the bearings will be gone when your car’s wheel bearing is bad and becomes pitted. It will create a rough surface that will make vibration on that specific tire which may lead your vehicle to pull a bit on the worn bearing side. Your car may pull on a side while working with the brake. Again here, people think that they have a bad brake system, but the truth is it can be caused by wheel bearings.
Excess Wobble or Play in Wheels
This option is a bit tricky to figure out because it occurs when your car is in a hydraulic lift. It can also appear when your car’s wheels are on jack stands. When you will lift the car, try spinning one wheel back and forth and notice how much spinning it has.
Now, you require to repeat it on a wheel at the end of the axle. If you notice your wheels are wobbles while rocking the wheels, it means you have a bad wheel bearing. However, if you don’t notice any wobble while spinning the wheel, it means your car has good wheel bearings.
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Is it Safe to Drive With a Bad Wheel Bearing?
No, it’s not safe to drive with a bad wheel bearing. It is not a good idea for a few reasons. Here are they:
- There is no surety exactly how far you can go with these bearings.
- If the wheel bearing is damaged by an impact, then your car is almost totally damaged.
- Bad wheel bearings are responsible for destroying your car’s brake, tires, and other suspension parts. It can lead you to a fatal accident.
- When wheel bearings are bad, it can create a dangerous situation by detaching the wheels from the var. Sometimes wheels get locked as well.
So it is necessary to change the wheel as soon as you detect that your car’s wheel bearings are bad. Sometimes it’s better to take action immediately instead of regret it later.
What Can Happen if You Have a Bad Wheel Bearing?
As we mentioned earlier that the Wheel bearings are the main part of the car that makes sure the wheels are rolling fine and tightly attached with the car. They are also the part that carries the heavyweight of the car.
It’s not like that you can’t drive a car with bad wheel bearings, but you won’t be able to drive for a longer time. Besides, the more you will keep the issue in your wheel bearings, the issue gets more complicated. Significant damage can be caused to the parts of your car by having lousy wheel bearings; thus, it will cost you more money for repair.
So, it is highly advisable to call a mechanic immediately to fix that particular issue on your wheel bearing. You never know what can happen if you let your car keep getting worse. The bad wheel bearings can detach the wheels of the vehicle and cause a big accident.
Bad bearings can also destroy the brake of your car, and you must know how important brakes are. So there is no chance to drive a car that may have a damaged brake system.
In short, if your car’s bearings have issues, then there is a chance where you will lose control over the steering wheels. It is very risky, and we are sure you don’t want to put yourself in a dangerous scene.
How Much Does it Cost to Replace a Wheel Bearing?
The first thing that comes to your mind when you want to change is how much it costs to replace a wheel bearing and how long it will take. Your car has a wheel bearing in both front and rear wheels. Here are the expenses of repairing wheel bearings:
Front Wheel Bearings
The steering knuckle arm assembly is the place where the front wheel bearing is located. And they are connected with the drive axle components of the car. You can use them without replacing them for many years. The cost of replacing both front bearings is somewhere between $380 to $480.
Only the parts of the front wheel bearing cost around $120 to $200 alone. And the labor cost is a bit expensive, ranging from around $140 to $280. These are just assumptions; the exact cost lies on your local repair shop and the model of your car. But the cost will be higher for large trucks, luxury cars, and sports cars.
If your car has a bad bearing on one side, then you just need to repair that particular, and the cost will be half of both front bearing repairs. The total cost of the repair is near $130 to $200. And the parts of the wheel are ranging about $70 to $100, and the labor cost is near $70 to $150.
Rear Wheel Bearings
The repairing cost of the rear wheel bearing is a bit cheaper than the front wheel bearings. But the total cost is depending on the car’s model and how your car was created. The total sum of repairing the rear bearing is raging around $240 to $460. The other parts of the wheels are near $100 to $180, and the labor cost is near $140 to $280.
If the issue is only on one side, then you will need to repair one side, and it will cost near $120 to $250 for the whole work to be done. And for parts, it’s $50 to $100; for labor, it’s $60 to $140. Again, the exact cost totally depends on the local repair shop in your area. But the good part is you don’t have to repair the wheel bearing often.
Rear Hub Bearings
Few vehicles come with a sealed rear hub bearing, and they are installed as a complete unit. That’s why you can’t just simply replace the wheel bearings, and you must change the whole rear hub bearings. And it is natural that the price of repairing rear hub bearings will cost more than the front and rear wheel bearings.
To replace both sides of your axle, you may need to pay around $400 to $800. The price of the parts depends on how much advanced your bearings are. And for labor cost, it is relatively less than the normal rear wheel bearing replacement.
If your car is experiencing a bad wheel bearing, then you need to repair them immediately if you don’t want to increase the damage and repair cost. You know an approximate amount to replace a wheel bearing, so you can prepare yourself according to it.
Well, the replacement costs may be high, but it is better to fix the issue as soon as possible. Otherwise, it will cost you more money to repair. We would be glad to know that this article was helpful for you to learn how much money you may need to repair the bearings.