Q: Hi, I have a question about my wheel bearing. How would I know if I needed just the driver side replaced?

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Hi, I have a question about my wheel bearing. How would I know if I needed just the driver side replaced?

My car has 185000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi There, Generally, one way to tell if a wheel bearing needs to be replaced is to place the car on a lift and spin the wheel freely to see how easily it spins. Another sign of needing to be replaced is when the moving the wheel back and forth while suspended in the air. If there is a large amount of play in the wheel, this also usually suggests that it may need to be replaced. A wheel bearing will usually fail due to pitting or small damage on the surface of the rollers or the bearing race. Both the surface of the rollers and the race is precision machined to tight tolerances and highly polished to allow the rollers to pass easily over the race with the addition of bearing grease for lubrication and cooling. Over time the bearing will wear slightly, allowing microscopic pieces of metal into the grease. These microscopic pieces of metal, as well as any contamination that gets into the bearing, will wear away at the highly polished surfaces causing pitting and deformation. Since so much weight is riding on your wheel bearings, and so much load is put on them in corners, even the smallest amount of surface damage to your bearing can cause a lot of noise. Bearing damage usually happens slowly over the course of days or weeks or maybe even months. You may notice the noise getting louder and louder over 50-100 miles. Make sure you replace a worn bearing quickly, but it may be ok to drive for a few days to verify you have a bearing problem. A worn bearing will generate more heat than a good bearing so you can sometimes find a worn bearing by feel your vehicle’s wheels near the lug nuts. If one wheel is significantly hotter than the others, it may have a bad bearing. I would suggest having a professional from YourMechanic come to your location to diagnose and inspect your vehicle.

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