Symptoms of Bad or Failing Wheel Bearings

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Cost of Replacing Bad or Failing Wheel Bearings

Common signs include abnormal tire wear, grinding or roaring noise from the tire area, vibration in the steering wheel, and play in the wheels. Our certified technicians can come to you and diagnose the problem. You will receive a $30 credit towards any follow-up repairs that result from the diagnostic. Following are example prices for Wheel Bearings Replacement. Click on the button below to get an upfront quote for your car.

Cars Estimate Parts Cost Labor Cost Savings Average Dealer Price
2008 Dodge Caliber $216 $145.97 $70.00 14% $253.47
2010 Dodge Ram 2500 $459 $368.38 $91.00 9% $508.13
2011 Volvo XC60 $324 $253.77 $70.00 10% $361.27
2009 BMW 328i $244 $167.48 $77.00 14% $285.73
2010 Lincoln MKX $218 $106.23 $112.00 21% $278.23
2004 Jaguar S-Type $252 $182.16 $70.00 12% $289.66
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How to Diagnose Bad or Failing Wheel Bearings?

wheel bearing

One of the most overlooked yet highly critical parts of the drive-axle and steering assembly are the wheel bearings. Every wheel on your car is attached to a hub and inside this hub is a set of lubricated wheel bearings that allows your tires and wheels to spin freely without building up too much heat. They are engineered to last a very long time, however, eventually they will lose their lubricity, wear out, and need to be replaced. If they break entirely, it can cause a wheel/tire combination to fall off the car while at speed, leading to a very unsafe driving situation.

Prior to 1997, most cars, trucks and SUV's manufactured and sold in the US had an inner and outer bearing on each wheel that is recommended to be serviced every 30,000 miles. As technology improved, newer vehicle were equipped with a "maintenance free" single wheel bearing that was designed to extend the life of wheel bearings without having to be serviced. From time to time, these "indestructible" wheel bearings will wear out and need to be replaced before they break.

There are a few warning signs that are rather simple to recognize indicating a wheel bearing is wearing out and needs to be replaced.

1. Abnormal tire wear

There are many individual mechanical problems that can lead to abnormal tire wear including:

  • Under or over inflated tires
  • CV Joints
  • Struts and Shocks
  • Misaligned Suspension

However, one of the most common sources of uneven tire wear is worn out wheel bearings. It's very rare for wheel bearings to wear evenly. As such, if the left tire is showing more wear, it might indicate a problem with the left wheel bearing. However, wheel bearings need to be replaced together; if there is a problem with one side, you need to replace the other wheel bearing on the same axle. If you or a tire technician notice that one side of your vehicle's tires are wearing out quicker than the other, contact a local ASE certified mechanic so they can road test and diagnose the cause of this tire wear. In many cases it can be something different or minor, but you don't want to risk having a wheel bearing break.

2. Grinding or roaring noise coming from the tire area

It's very difficult to detect a failing wheel bearing as it does not happen very often and when they do wear out, it can happen rather quickly. However, one warning sign of a wearing out wheel bearing is a loud grinding or roaring sound that comes from the tire area of your car. This is caused by excess heat that has built up inside the wheel bearing and losing a lot of its lubricity. Essentially it's a metal-to-metal sound that you're hearing. It's also common that you'll hear this from one, specific wheel and not both sides at the same time. Like the above issue, if you notice this warning sign, contact a local ASE certified mechanic as soon as possible so they can diagnose the source of this sound and fix it before it becomes a safety issue.

3. Vibration in the steering wheel

Another common symptom with other mechanical problems in the drive and steering assembly, a vibration in the steering wheel can be caused by worn out wheel bearings. Unlike a tire balance problem that typically shows up at higher speeds, a vibration in the steering wheel thanks to a worn out wheel bearing will be noticed at slower speeds and progressively get worse as the vehicle accelerates.

4. Additional play in the wheels

This is not very common for normal car owners to diagnose. However, if you have the tire jacked up or the vehicle is on a hydraulic lift, you can check this one out yourself. Grab the wheel on opposite sides and attempt to rock it back and forth. If the wheel bearings are good, the wheel won't "wobble". However, if the tire/wheel assembly moves back and forth, this is most likely due to worn out wheel bearings that need to be replaced as soon as possible.

Additionally, if you notice that the vehicle has a hard time rolling while the clutch is depressed or the vehicle is in neutral gear, it can be caused by wheel bearings that are worn out, creating friction and could be failing.

Anytime you notice any of the above symptoms of a worn out or failing wheel bearing, contact a dependable and local ASE certified mechanic who will road test, diagnose and replace the wheel bearings if needed.

wheel hub assembly

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YourMechanic Wheel Bearings Replacement Service

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Number of Reviews

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Jennifer

16 years of experience
65 reviews
Jennifer
16 years of experience
He was a very wonderful. Person. Warm and caring person. I would recommend him to other people and family.
2007 CHEVROLET IMPALA - WHEEL BEARINGS REPLACEMENT (PASSENGER SIDE FRONT) - NORTH LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

Abdul

8 years of experience
279 reviews
Abdul
8 years of experience
Abdul did a great job, took care of my truck quickly and without any issues.
2007 FORD F-150 - WHEEL BEARINGS REPLACEMENT (DRIVER SIDE FRONT, PASSENGER SIDE FRONT) - ATLANTA, GEORGIA

Chris

17 years of experience
309 reviews
Chris
17 years of experience
Great quick worker done right
2003 NISSAN FRONTIER - WHEEL BEARINGS REPLACEMENT (DRIVER SIDE FRONT) - VANCOUVER, WASHINGTON

Richard

10 years of experience
419 reviews
Richard
10 years of experience
Richard was on time & very professional. Job was done at the estimated time I was given. Will book again.
2006 NISSAN ALTIMA - WHEEL BEARINGS REPLACEMENT (DRIVER SIDE FRONT) - NORTH LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

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