Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Is it Safe to Drive With a Wheel Bearing Gone?

Wheel Bearing

The wheel bearing of your vehicle works with the tire, hub, and wheel to make a smooth ride while you are driving down the road. If a wheel bearing goes bad, more friction will be placed on the wheel, and the wheel will start to wobble. There are a few signs to watch out for when your wheel bearing starts to go bad or is missing.

Here are some of the major symptoms and safety concerns of driving with a missing or bad wheel bearing:

  • The most common symptom with a bad wheel bearing is a loud noise coming from the tire or wheel of the vehicle. It will sound like metal grinding on metal and will get louder as the vehicle goes faster. If you hear noises coming from the wheel, contact a mechanic right away.

  • If the steering of your vehicle feels loose, meaning the steering wheel wobbles excessively, this can be another sign of a wheel bearing gone bad. This is an unsafe situation to be in because the vehicle will not be as responsive as it should be, and the wheel has the potential to come off.

  • A potential downfall of a wheel bearing is your tires going bad faster than if you had your wheel bearings replaced when they first showed signs. A bad wheel bearing can lead to uneven tire wear, which means you will have to purchase tires sooner. If you suspect your wheel bearing is going bad, it is best to have the bearing replaced before the tires go bad to save both money and peace of mind.

  • If the wheel bearing is gone, it is not recommended you drive the vehicle as the tire can fall off. The wheel bearing is an essential part to keep the wheel on your car, so without it, the tire has nothing to hold it on. This is a dangerous situation to be in, especially if you are driving down the highway, as the tire can cause an obstruction and you can lose control of your car.

Do not drive with a bad wheel bearing or a wheel bearing that's missing. Driving with a missing wheel bearing is a dangerous operation, so if you experience any of the signs above, contact a mechanic as soon as possible. The wheel bearing is an essential part of your vehicle that helps keep the wheel on. Don't put yourself or others at risk - have the wheel bearing replaced as soon as possible.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.


Post a question and get free advice from our certified mechanics.


More related articles

Insurance Requirements for Car Registration in Kentucky
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet requires that all drivers in Kentucky carry liability automotive insurance, or “financial responsibility” in order to operate a vehicle legally and maintain vehicle...
How to Transfer a Car Title in Idaho
In order to prove ownership of a car, you must have the title. However, when a car is sold, given away or inherited, the title needs...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...

Related questions

Q: Can no longer accelerate

This concern could be caused by a number of problems. It could be related to the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system or the throttle-by-wire system. If there are no lights illuminating on the dash, it may be tricky to diagnose...

Q: Wheel Hub Assembly

Hi there. Every tire and wheel on your vehicle is secured to the wheel hub assembly. If the wheel bearings or the hub itself are damaged, then it can break, causing the wheel and tires to literally fall off your...

Q: What does the electric stability control (ESC) indicator mean?

The electric stability control (ESC) indicator is located on the instrument panel. When the ESC light blinks, then system has detected adverse driving conditions, and the ESC is turned on. If the indicator illuminates and stays lit, then the ESC...