Is it Safe to Drive With a Wheel Bearing Gone?

The wheel bearings in your vehicle work 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.

It is not safe to drive with a missing wheel bearing. Driving without a wheel bearing is dangerous, so if you experience any of the 3 signs below, contact a mechanic as soon as possible. One of your wheel bearings may be about to fall off, and the symptoms themselves pose dangerous to driving.

  1. Loud Noise Coming from the Tire or Wheel 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.

  2. Steering Wheel Feels Loose If the steering of your vehicle feels loose, meaning the steering wheel wobbles excessively, it 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.

  3. Tires Wearing Out Faster A potential downfall of a bad or missing wheel bearing is your tires wearing out faster than if you had your wheel bearings replaced when they first showed signs of trouble. 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 on tires and peace of mind.

If a wheel bearing is missing, it is not recommended you drive the vehicle at all as the wheel can fall off entirely while the vehicle is in motion. The wheel bearing is an essential part in keeping the wheel attached to your car, so without it, the wheel has nothing to hold it on. This is a dangerous situation to be in, especially if you are driving down the highway, as you can lose control of your car and the tire can cause an obstruction to other drivers. Have the wheel bearing replaced as soon as possible.


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Walter

46 years of experience
341 reviews
Walter
46 years of experience
Chevrolet Cruze L4-1.4L Turbo - Wheel Bearings Replacement (Driver Side Rear, Passenger Side Rear) - Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Very nice man and did work in a timely manner. Also spent time talking with me about other car issues I have.
Dodge Dakota - Wheel Bearings Replacement (Driver Side Front) - Jenks, Oklahoma
Walt did good work and was fairly quick. Clearly YourMechanic is way overbooking though, because he arrived 5 hours after the appointment time.

John

27 years of experience
1019 reviews
John
27 years of experience
Mini Cooper L4-1.6L Turbo - Wheel Bearings Replacement (Driver Side Front, Passenger Side Front) - Pearland, Texas
Always Great every time I use your mechanic and John comes out his knowledge and expertise is exceptional. I love his work and he will be the only mechanic that I will use going forward.
Subaru XV Crosstrek - Wheel Bearings Replacement (Driver Side Rear, Passenger Side Rear) - Pearland, Texas
Great professional and friendly service. I was a little skeptic about getting service from an online page and John have change my vision of it. Definetly I will use his services again. I was trying to find a good shop or mechanic for a long time and I just found a great mechanic.

Eliud

23 years of experience
200 reviews
Eliud
23 years of experience
Jeep Grand Cherokee V8-5.2L - Wheel Bearings Replacement (Passenger Side Front) - Grayson, Georgia
Service was great. Mr Hernandez is professional, efficient, courteous, and someone who takes pride in his work. Vehicle and work area were left clean and swept up as if no one had been there. Thanks, highly recommended.
Kia Rondo - Wheel Bearings Replacement (Passenger Side Front) - Lawrenceville, Georgia
Excellent. Scheduled on a Saturday afternoon. Came on Sunday morning, on time. Quick and professional.

Ben

41 years of experience
1410 reviews
Ben
41 years of experience
Kia Spectra L4-2.0L - Wheel Bearings Replacement (Driver Side Front) - Houston, Texas
Wow!! Thank yu Ben, Kia drives like a new car! Let's keep fingers crossed she keeps me going. Appreciate all yu did and thanks for showing me parts n pics.
Kia Rio5 - Wheel Bearings Replacement (Driver Side Front) - Houston, Texas
Ben was absolutely a delight! He was so patient and friendly with me, knew exactly what to do with my car, and genuinely listened to my questions and explained everything to me.

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