How Do You Know Your Car Needs New Wheel Bearings
Wheel bearings are one of the crucial components in your car’s suspension system. It enables the wheels to rotate smoothly and reduces friction between the wheel and the axle. Over time, wheel bearings can wear out and cause problems that affect your vehicle’s performance and safety. This is why, you must keep a check on signs that your car needs new wheel bearings.
Following we’ll discuss the common signs that indicate your car needs new wheel bearings and what to do about it. If you notice any of these signs, it is important to take action as soon as possible.
What are Wheel Bearings and their Function
The wheel hub is a critical component of your car that contributes to the safe operation of your vehicle by facilitating optimal wheel rotation. Within the hub assembly are wheel bearings that aid your car’s steering, braking and suspension systems.
The wheel bearings are made up of small metal balls or tapers that are held together by rings. It is designed to reduce friction between the drive axle and brake disc or drum. The bearings are located within tightly-sealed, grease-filled waterproof rings and encased in a housing, known as a ‘race’.
Although the wheel hub connects the wheel to the vehicle’s body, it is the bearings that enable the wheels to rotate smoothly. Wheel bearings are an essential component of a car’s safety and performance. This is why they need to be regularly maintained and replaced when necessary to prevent damage or failure.
Signs Your Car Needs New Wheel Bearings
Fortunately, identifying and replacing worn out wheel bearings is a simple process. It can be done in advance before they completely break down. This guide will tell you how to know if your wheel bearing is bad, making it easy for you to recognise repair needs.
One of the most common signs of worn-out wheel bearings is persistent grinding sounds coming from the wheels while driving. A wheel bearing comprises rotating rings with small ball bearings located between them, allowing smooth rotation. Due to this constant movement, there is a lot of friction and to prevent damage, the bearing is filled with grease.
However, if the grease leaks or degrades, the ball bearings can grind against each other, causing heat and stress that can harm them over time. This usually occurs when the bearing’s seal wears out, resulting in unusual noises such as growling or intermittent squeaking as the wheel bearings rub against each other.
The noise may also vary depending on the driving speed. The sound may become louder as you accelerate or turn. If you hear any unusual noises from your wheels, it is important to have them checked by a mechanic.
Uneven Tyre Wear
Worn-out wheel bearings can cause an uneven type of tyre tread wear, which is visible as tread wear. When wheel bearings deteriorate, they create a loose connection within the component where they are located. This also causes your vehicle’s wheels to move back and forth while driving called bearing play. Initially, this movement may not be felt in the steering wheel but it can be seen in the uneven wear of the tyre tread.
If one side of the tread appears to be more worn out than the other, it could be a sign of faulty wheel bearings. However, this could also be a result of incorrect wheel alignment or balancing. Therefore, it is advisable to have a mechanic inspect your vehicle to determine the cause of the uneven tread wear.
Pulling to One Side
Loose wheel bearings can also cause the vehicle to pull to one side while driving because they allow the wheels to move around more than they should. Wheel bearings are designed to keep the wheels aligned and spinning smoothly on the axle.
However, when they become loose or worn, they can’t do their job effectively. This can cause the wheels to wobble or move out of alignment and the vehicle drifts or pulls to one side while driving, making it difficult to steer straight or maintain a straight line. The degree of drifting or pulling can vary depending on the severity of the bearing play and which wheel is affected.
Another sign your car needs new wheel bearings is vibration in the steering wheel or the vehicle’s body. This may occur when driving at higher speeds or when making turns. If you notice any vibrations, it is important to get your car checked by a professional.
A loose wheel can be a sign of loose bearing wheels because the wheel bearings are responsible for holding the wheel assembly securely to the vehicle’s axle bearings. When the wheel bearings become worn or damaged, they can allow the wheel assembly to move around and become loose. This movement can cause the wheel to wobble, which can create a noticeable vibration in the vehicle and lead to uneven tyre wear. If the problem is not addressed promptly, the wheel could become completely detached from the vehicle while extremely dangerous driving.
If you feel any looseness in the wheels or hear any clicking or clunking sounds when driving, it is important to have your car inspected immediately.
ABS Warning Light
Some modern cars have an anti-lock braking system (ABS) that detects issues with the wheel bearings. If the ABS warning light comes on, it could be a sign that the wheel bearings are worn out.
With this, we end our list of signs that tell you when to change the wheel bearings of your car. Loose-bearing wheels in a car can lead to common car issues, including uneven tyre wear and drifting while driving. However, it is important to keep an eye out for any signs of loose wheel bearings and address them promptly to ensure your safety on the road.
If you notice any of the symptoms we discussed here, be sure to have your vehicle inspected by a professional to identify and fix any problems with your car’s wheel bearings.
By staying vigilant and proactive, you can help ensure the optimal performance and longevity of your car’s wheels and bearings. Before you seal the deal on a used car in the UAE, it is crucial to conduct a thorough check of all its systems to ensure you’re making a wise purchase.
Stay in touch with dubizzle’s autos blog for some DIY hacks that will help you fix or swap out car parts like a pro.