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Q: I hear an abnormal noise from front driver's side wheel. It sounds like a wheel bearing but not sure.

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I hear an abnormal noise from front driver's side wheel. It sounds like a wheel bearing but not sure. I did a search for wheel bearings at Autozone and they have two parts that look different but are both called wheel bearings. Confusing to a non-mechanic! If the wheel bearing needs replacement, do I have to replace the hub assembly as well? What is the hub assembly? How do the bearing and assembly relate to each other? (I am extremely financially challenged, a single mother and receive assistance for health care and food. I have no excess funds for car repairs. This car is a reliable little one that I have maintained with oil changes etc. That said it has to be safe.)

My car has 139000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

Hi there. If the noise is a grinding noise and occurs on the driver side only, then yes the wheel bearing is damaged and probably dry from oil or grease. The wheel bearings are part of the wheel hub assembly. All you will need to do is raise up the vehicle and remove the wheel and tire. Remove the brakes and rotor from the wheel you are working on. Remove the 3 bolts that secure the wheel hub to the vehicle. Then disconnect the ABS sensor wire that is attached to the wheel hub. Install a new wheel hub and put the brakes back on. Then put the wheel and tire back on. If you need further assistance with replacing the wheel hub assembly, then seek out a professional, such as one from Your Mechanic, to help you.

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A wheel bearing noise can be different between vehicles as some designs may vary a little. The most common is a roaring noise that may change when going around turns. It may be louder going in one direction or the other or just make a loud noise all of the time. The wheel hub presses into the wheel bearing. The hub is where the studs are for the wheel to be bolted onto the steering knuckle and the bearing provides the support for the wheel and weight of the vehicle. Consider hiring an experienced technician like one from YourMechanic who can come out and take a closer look at your wheel bearing noise to offer a more personal diagnosis.

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