What You Need To Know About Wheel Bearings And Wheel Bearing Noises
Firstly, let us get to know and understand what exactly wheel bearings are and why they are such an essential part of your vehicle. Then we will look at the key warning signs of bad wheel bearings and the accompanying wheel bearing noises.
What Are Wheel Bearings?
Each wheel in your vehicle comes with a wheel bearing which is a set of steel balls (rollers) encased in a metal ring, known as a “race” and then greased, to protect the parts from wear and tear. The wheel bearings lie inside of the hub assembly. The hub (or driveshaft) holding the wheel is attached to one side, allowing it to rotate freely with as minimal friction as possible.
What Is The Purpose Of Wheel Bearings?
The main purpose of wheel bearings is to reduce the friction and heat caused by the spinning wheels and in so doing they protect the wheels and tyres. By allowing the wheels to spin with minimal friction, wheel bearings help to save fuel, reduce wear and increase the performance of the vehicle.
Driving With Bad Wheel Bearings?
You may ask if it is safe to drive when you suspect there is a problem with your wheel bearings and the answer is NO, it is not safe at all! In fact, it can be extremely hazardous to drive. The wheel bearings play a crucial role in keeping the wheel attached to your vehicle. Without wheel bearings, or bad wheel bearings, your wheel could stop whilst you are driving, or the wheel could fall off completely and you will lose control of the vehicle!
Loose or worn wheel bearings can compromise your safety on the road and could lead to several potentially dangerous situations for you and other drivers. Your vehicle will not be as responsive as it should be and as mentioned you may completely lose control of the vehicle.
Bad wheel bearings will also compromise the longevity of your tyres, the comfort of your ride, and put a lot of stress on the hub, the CV joint, and the transmission itself which could lead to further damage and more expensive repairs.
Please be attuned to the most common warning signs listed below and have the wheel bearings inspected and replaced as soon as you become aware of any of the following signs:
The Most Common Warning Signs Of A Bad Wheel Bearing:
1. Wheel Bearing Noise
Listen!! The most common symptom of a bad wheel bearing is audible so listen out for unusual sounds that could indicate a problem with the wheel bearings.
Grinding or Grating noise (metal rubbing on metal) coming from the wheel or tyre, increasing in volume as the car accelerates and gains speed indicates a problem with the wheel bearings
Humming Noises whilst driving could be caused by several issues: CV joint, tyres, or bad wheel bearings
Squealing/Chirping And/Or Growling Noises. If this sound changes in proportion to the speed of the vehicle, then it is more than likely to be bad wheel bearings
Howling Noise/Rumbling sound when turning could indicate issues with the wheel bearings
2. Shaky And Wobbly Steering And/or Clicking Noise
If the car feels loose as you drive it, is less responsive than usual, the steering feels shaky and wobbly or you can feel a vibration on the steering wheel, then it’s really time to get the wheel bearings replaced as it will affect the handling of the car.
3. The Car Pulling Or Veering In A Particular Direction
Is another indicator of bad wheel bearings and could become dangerous.
4. Pay Attention To Your Tyres And Look For Uneven Tyre Wear
If the tyres are wearing unevenly, it is more than likely a wheel bearing to blame. It is time to get the vehicle checked and whilst you are at it, it is also a good time to rotate your tyres and sort out the alignment. If your vehicle exhibits any of these symptoms of failed or worn wheel bearings, please attend to them immediately.
Wheel Bearing Wear And Tear
As with most auto components, wheel bearings will eventually become loose or worn and will need replacement at some stage. Often wear and tear will be accelerated if some grease has leaked out or if dirt, debris, or moisture has found its way inside.
Often it is worth replacing the entire wheel bearing kit along with the complete hub assembly.
Where To Source Wheel Bearing Parts?
It is not difficult to source wheel bearing kits or complete hub assemblies. There are many local auto stockists, or your mechanic may be able to source them for you. The most viable option these days is to source the parts online, which is fast becoming the most popular way to buy car parts. Africaboyz Online is a reputable online company, stockists of new parts for all cars - all brands, all makes and models.
The price of parts depends on a variety of factors but you will be pleasantly surprised when you visit our online shop www.africaboyzonline.com. We offer amazing discounted prices on all our parts without compromising on quality.
Ordering with us is easy, fast, and reliable. AfricaBoyz Online will match any part you order with your vehicle’s VIN NUMBER to ensure that the part will fit correctly and then we will deliver it to you via our trusted courier service. What could be easier?