Q: How long can I drive with a bad wheel bearing? How much does it cost to fix, not including labor?

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My mechanic told me my front wheel bearing is going bad and that's why it's making a rumbling noise when I turn and accelerate. How long can I drive with it like that? What happens if it isn't fixed? Should I wait for the noise to get louder and then go in to fix it or does that only mean it got worse?

Wheel bearing noise will always be dependent on vehicle speed, meaning as you speed up or slow down the noise should change frequency or loudness. Cornering may affect the noise from a damaged front wheel bearing and is usually more pronounced as you make turns. I would not recommend driving with your wheel bearings in this condition too much longer. As the noise gets louder, this generally means it is getting worse. Depending on how badly they are damaged, eventually if not replaced, they can cause the wheel to lock up which can be very dangerous and may cause an accident. I would suggest having a professional, such as one from YourMechanic, come to your home to take a look at the car and check your wheel bearings for failure.

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