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.

A: Each front wheel has a unitized hub/bearing...

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

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: My driver side wheel on my car will not move at all.

Hi there. Check the brakes and see if they are locked on the driver side. If the brakes are free, then raise up the vehicle and try to move the wheel by hand. If the wheel is lock up, then...

Q: Wheel bearing sound

Hi! Yes, there actually is a way to track down the bearing. Wheel bearing noise will generally change as the vehicle shifts weight, shifting the load onto and away from the bearing. Noise while turning left generally points to a...

Q: Engine idle fluctuates

This may be a result of a dirty or failing idle air control valve. The idle air control valve reads the air intake as it is mixed with fuel prior to being injected into the engine at low speeds and...

Related articles

P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
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...