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

asked by on December 02, 2016

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

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

what cable is connected to positive battery terminal from fuse box on 2003 toyota camry

In the Toyota parts catalog, the cable that you are referring to is simply called the "positive battery cable". If your Camry was built in Japan, the positive battery cable is Toyota OEM part no. 82122-33050. If your Camry was...

Wheel bearing going bad

A wheel bearing noise can be identified by a loud growling noise which can get louder with increased speed. A failed bearing can also be identified by jacking the vehicle up and checking for play or movement in the suspected...

How do I unlock the doors with the wireless remote control?

Your vehicle can be unlocked with the wireless remote control system, so that you don’t have to use a key. To unlock the doors, press the unlock button (an image of an opened padlock) on your wireless remote control, while...

Related articles

How Long Does an Axle / CV Shaft Assembly Last?
Axle Axle shafts, or CV (constant velocity) shafts, are essentially long metal poles that connect the wheels of your car to the transmission gears, and allows the wheels to rotate. The transmission works to rotate the axle shafts, which in...
Top Automotive News & Stories: September 24-September 30
Angry Civic Type R, 350 special edition Ferraris, Infiniti variable compression tech, Mercedes' electric future, and more.
The Best Used Cars to Buy If You Live in a Rainy Area
When When considering purchasing a used car, you have a lot of decisions to make. You need to consider price, size, gas mileage, how much cargo space you need, and of course the appearance of the car as well. And...