Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Replacing a hub bearing

asked by on

How to replace a hub bearing on a 94 buick regal
My car has an automatic transmission.

Each front wheel has a unitized hub/bearing assembly that is bolted onto the steering knuckle. To get to it you have to remove the brake caliper, torque plate, and drive axle. Unless you have a high capacity (250 foot pounds) torque wrench and a front hub spindle removing tool (designated J-28733-A or equivalent), this is not a recommended DIY job. In particular, the new axle nut has to be torqued to 184 ft. lbs, no more, no less.

One of the most common problems we see with post installation DIY failures involving these unitized hub/bearing assemblies is the bearings are destroyed after a few thousand miles because the installer fails to properly and accurately torque that axle nut. The nut is critical because it establishes the pre-load on the new bearings and we are talking about clearances measured in less than thousandths of inch. With too much preload you basically destroy the new bearing by grinding the balls into the race. With tool little torque, the bearing will cock and you will have looseness. On a car of this age, it is likely the unitized assembly is rusted shut to the steering knuckle so you don’t want to get stuck at that point (there are techniques to free it without destroying the knuckle).

YourMechanic performs hundreds of these replacements and can do it more economically than you can once you add up the cost of the tools. We would be pleased to first confirm that you do indeed have a bad bearing and then if so, replace the wheel bearing for you. If you still elect to do it yourself, remember that the vehicle must be supported on sturdy jack stands (hydraulic jacks alone can fail with NO warning) and you must wear safety glasses.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Replacing a hub bearing

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: Noise in power steering and wheel difficult to handle

The power steering is not giving enough pressure from a leak or a defective pump or rack and pinion, depending on if whether it is leaking. If the pump works better when warm, then you may need to have the...

Q: What would cause my 2008 Ford Escape to growl at 40 mph and what would it cost to repair.

Hello. From what you are saying it does sound like you have a bearing failure. When they fail they will make a growling beginning at higher speed. You will then get it at lower speeds the more you drive with...

Q: 1986 Chevy s10 with 171000 miles. Automatic with manual 4wd. Knocking/grinding noise when driving, any speed, worse when going straight.

Hi there. Look under the vehicle and see if the frame bracket is loose and dragging under the vehicle. If there is nothing dragging under the vehicle, then either the brakes are sticking and rubbing on the rotors or the...

Related articles

P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...
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.