Q: Can a poorly installed wheel bearing cause extensive damage when driven on?

asked by on

I drive a Toyota Prius 2012 for reference. We had a wheel bearing replaced recently. A week or so later I heard strange noises coming from the same area of the car (front drivers side). We took it to a mechanic and he explained that there was extensive damage to the wheel: "Axle shaft leaking, steering knuckle, lower ball joint, lower control arm, front strut and wheel bearing all parts are damaged due to accident."

We haven't been in an accident or hit anything or been hit. The exterior of the car is fine. Could this much damage be the result of the wheel-bearing replacement? I drive about 121 miles a day, so the car has been driven quite a bit since the repair. Please advise.

Hi there:

It’s highly unlikely that the installation of a wheel bearing causes mechanical damage that the mechanic has listed above. Typically those components (Axle shaft leaking, steering knuckle, lower ball joint, lower control arm, front strut) are not touched during a wheel bearing replacement. However, it is very possible that the diagnosis of damage due to accident is simply wear and tear, which tends to happen on Toyota Prius’ quite often and usually around 50,000 miles.

Was this answer helpful?

Hello there, many fault will cause the extensive damage to your wheel, axle shaft, steering knuckle, lower ball joint, lower control arm, front strut and wheel bearing of your 2012 Toyota Prius. This extent of damage is only typically seen on vehicle involved in an accident, or when a catastrophic failure occurs. It is possible that an improperly installed wheel bearing, or a faulty wheel bearing could cause this type of damage. Other possible causes are the CV axle, balljoint failure, or strut mount failure. A qualified Technician such as one from YourMechanic will be able to diagnose your wheel bearing issues and determine if they caused the damage or not.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Can a poorly installed wheel bearing cause extensive damage when driven on?

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: My front right tire is smoking, and we are driving in the free way? What's going on?

You may have a wheel bearing gone bad or there is a problem from the brakes. Inspect the back of wheel to see if any road debris like a plastic bag did not get on brakes? If no debris then...

Q: Concern wether my 2 front axles really needs replacement?

Generally, the leaking from the axle shaft area is caused when the boots crack and the fluid is leaked out. The tricky part about identifying this is knowing when the boots actually cracked, when they began leaking and to what...

Q: Recently changed rear shocks, now one side sits lower than the other and bangs going over speed bumps

With a typical spring compressor, it would be difficult to over compress the spring to the point of damaging it so that seems unlikely. Nevertheless, if no other cause is found, you may have to measure the free height of...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.