Q: Replacing a hub bearing

asked by on September 12, 2016

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?
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

lights on for power steering and stabilitrack on

Hello. Thank you for writing in. The electronic power steering system can absolutely be replaced. Due to the fact the light is on the system is obviously detecting an issue, and a diagnostic scan of the vehicle can be done...

When I fill my taknk up gas is on the ground under my car

Of course it is possible that a leak in a steel fuel supply line (due to corrosion), or a rubber hose, occurred after the pump was put in, but that would be quite a coincidence. More likely, if the leak...

Car starts but dies in 2 seconds.

It sounds like you have a bad Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor if you can disconnect the MAF sensor, having it running, and can drive it. Especially in this case of having some drive symptoms but it acting better disconnected....

Related articles

How Do Sensors Get Dirty or Damaged?
Car sensors measure and relay vital information to the ECU. Some sensors can get dirty from normal use, or fail if the car overheats or has a problem.
How Do Sensors Get Dirty or Damaged?
Car sensors measure and relay vital information to the ECU. Some sensors can get dirty from normal use, or fail if the car overheats or has a problem.
How Long Does a Wheel Hub Assembly Last?
The The wheels that are on a vehicle are vital in its overall level of functionality. There are a variety of things that help to make this part of a car run, namely the wheel hub assembly and the wheel...