Bad wheel bearing replacement cost – 14 causes and symptoms

Knowing the wheel bearing replacement cost is important because it will help you plan for your car repairs. This way, you can take the time to do research and make sure you get a quote from a reputable mechanic so that you don’t end up paying more than necessary for the parts or labor involved in replacing them.

Wheel bearing replacement costs can vary depending on the type of vehicle and the make and model. However, the average wheel bearing replacement cost is $100 and $350.

The cost to replace a wheel bearing depends on several factors, including the make and model of your vehicle, which parts are needed, labor costs, and whether or not the job can be done at home or if you need to take your car into a mechanic.

wheel bearing replacement cost

What is a wheel bearing?

It is the part of your car that allows your wheels to spin smoothly. It’s usually located in the hub of each wheel, and it’s made up of a metal outer case and a rubber seal.

When you turn your steering wheel, the hub moves back and forth, which makes the wheel rotate. The wheel bearing transfers this motion from one side of the car to the other so that when one wheel turns, it doesn’t affect the other side. The bearing also helps reduce friction between parts inside your hub.

Some of the most common types of wheel bearings are:

Conventional tapered roller bearings use rolling elements to reduce friction between metal surfaces. These are typically found in older cars and trucks.

Spherical roller bearings contain two rows of balls that ride on their respective races (the part of a bearing that supports its load). These are widely used throughout the automotive industry.

Thrust ball bearings, use a ball that fits into a groove on the inner surface of the outer ring to support the load. These are used in high-speed applications.

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The role of wheel bearing in a car?

Wheel bearings are a critical part of your car’s suspension system, and they help your wheels spin freely. Most cars have a single, large bearing in each axle that supports the weight of the vehicle and ensures smooth rotation.

The role of wheel bearings is to support the weight of the vehicle as it moves over bumps and dips in the road, allowing the wheels to rotate freely without getting caught on irregularities in the pavement.

Wheel bearings are usually made out of steel or aluminum, but they can also be made from carbon fiber or ceramic materials if they’re going to be subjected to particularly high temperatures or loads.

What will a bad wheel bearing do to a car?

A bad wheel bearing can cause a lot of damage. First, it can make it hard to steer your car. If you’re driving and you feel like your car is pulling or veering to one side, that could be a sign of a bad wheel bearing.

The wheel bearing helps the wheels turn smoothly and straighten up when they’re rolling, but if it’s damaged or worn out, it won’t do its job as well. It can also make a clicking sound when you turn the steering wheel, and that’s one way to know if something is wrong with your bearings.

If your bearings are worn out or damaged, they might not be able to support the weight of your vehicle anymore. That means that even though you’re driving around on flat roads without hitting any bumps or potholes, there’s still a chance that your car will start leaning over on its own.

This could lead to serious injury from being thrown out of the window or from hitting another car. Finally, a bad wheel bearing can cause problems with other parts of your car because they need to work together as a system in order for everything to run smoothly.

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What are the types of wheel bearing?

There are several different types of wheel bearings, which can be classified by the type of movement they allow and the material used in their construction.

1. Ceramic Wheel Bearings:

These are made of ceramic and are very durable, but they’re also expensive. They’re perfect for heavy-duty use in racing cars or on trucks that haul heavy loads.

2. Sealed Wheel Bearings:

These have a rubber seal that protects the bearings from contaminants like dirt and water. This makes them great for all kinds of vehicles, including cars and trucks that drive on regular roads or on dirt tracks.

3. Semi-Sealed Wheel Bearings:

These have a metal shield around them to protect them from dirt and water, but they don’t have a rubber seal like sealed bearings do; instead, they rely on grease inside the bearing itself to keep out contaminants.

Semi-sealed bearings are often used in high-performance cars that need to be able to handle speeds up to 180 mph (290 km/h).

4. Unsealed bearings:

They usually cost less than their sealed counterparts but require more maintenance to keep them working properly without excessive wear. Unsealed bearings may have grooves in them that let water into the inner workings of the bearing, so it’s important to regularly clean these out using mild detergent or soap and water.

What causes wheel bearing damage?

Wheel bearings are the most common cause of tire and wheel damage. They can be damaged by a few different things, including:

1. Heat

Heat can cause the rubber to expand and contract over time, which can affect the size of the space between the bearing and the axle. This, in turn, causes damage to the bearing through friction.

2. Road hazards

If you hit a pothole or curb while driving, this can cause damage to your wheel bearings.

3. A worn-out tire

A worn-out tire will have less tread on it, which means that there is less rubber on the road surface when you drive. This creates more friction between your tires and road surface than normal, which can cause damage to your wheel bearings.

4. Water

Water enters the bearing through a crack or hole in the hub or drum (if it’s not sealed properly). Water then rusts out parts of the bearing, causing it to wear out faster than usual. The water also makes it harder for lubricants to be distributed evenly, which can cause them too to wear out quickly.

5. Accident

If you have had a recent accident or have noticed that your wheels are making abnormal noises, it could be time to check your wheel bearings.

If you fail to repair/replace worn-out bearings or their related components, this can lead to further costly repairs or even damage to your car’s suspension system, resulting in extensive and costly repair costs.

6. Imbalanced tires

The most common cause of wheel bearing damage is an imbalanced tire. When a vehicle drives down the road, each wheel rotates at different speeds. Due to slight imperfections in manufacturing and on-road use, each wheel will rotate at slightly different speeds.

The resulting difference in rotation causes friction between the tire and the road, which generates heat. This heat can cause damage to your rubber tire or alignment components over time.

8 Symptoms of bad wheel bearing

You could save yourself the stress and money of fixing your car damages if you can notice some early signs and symptoms of a failing wheel bearing. It is important that you act immediately once you notice any of the signs you are about to read below.

1. Humming noise

If your car makes a humming or grinding noise when you turn the steering wheel, this indicates that your wheel bearings need to be assessed and replaced if needed. If it’s not fixed, this can get worse and lead to serious damage to your front-end components that could cost you thousands of dollars in repairs.

2. Squealing sound

If your vehicle is making a squealing sound as you turn corners, or if it’s making noise when driving on rough surfaces but has been fine on other roads, one of the first things to check is the wheel hubs.

The bad wheel bearing causes this type of problem very often, so it is essential to get an auto shop to inspect your vehicle for this issue before moving on to bigger repairs.

3. Clicking Sound

The clicking sound from a bad wheel bearing usually comes from the front wheels, but sometimes it can come from the rear. This high-pitched sound is created when the hub shaft in your wheel bearing wears down and becomes misaligned with the axle housing creating roughness.

Also, worn-out wheel bearings are dangerous and could lead to damage to other suspension components, so it’s important to replace them before they cause any damage.

4. Wheel Wobble

The most common symptom of a bad wheel bearing is a vibration or wobble in your steering wheel. This usually occurs when you turn the steering wheel but can also occur as you drive down the road. Another symptom of a bad wheel bearing is a clunking noise from the front wheels of your vehicle when you stop to go or make turns.

5. ABS Failure

ABS failure is a sign that there is a problem with the wheel bearing. If your ABS light comes on, there may be a problem with your wheel bearing or axle.

If you notice that there seems to be less control when braking, or feel a grinding noise when you brake, then it’s possible that you have some problems with your wheel bearings and should have them checked out by an auto parts store.

6. Uneven Tire Wear

Uneven tire wear occurs when the crankshaft and/or the wheel bearings are having issues. When your car is pulling to one side when driving, or you’re hearing a rattling noise when driving over bumps and turning, then you may need to replace your vehicle’s wheel bearings.

7. Vehicle Pulls to One Side

A bad wheel bearing can cause the steering wheel to vibrate while driving and a clunking sound when your car hits a bump in the road or pull to one side. If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to get your vehicle serviced right away by a skilled technician.

8. Steering Wheel Vibration

When you feel a steering wheel vibration in your vehicle, it could be caused by a bad wheel bearing. The pressure from the tire and the force of cornering could cause the bearings to wear out over time, which can lead to vibrations while driving.

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Rear-wheel bearing replacement cost

Rear-wheel-bearing replacement costs can vary depending on the make, model, and year of your vehicle. The average cost to replace a rear wheel bearing is between $100 and $400.

The rear wheel bearing is a part of the rear axle assembly. It’s responsible for transferring power from the differential to the wheels. If you have any vibration while driving, this could be an indication that your rear wheel bearings need to be replaced.

Front-wheel bearing replacement cost

The average cost to replace a front wheel bearing is between $300 and $800, depending on your vehicle type, make and model. Costs for parts will vary depending on where you purchase them from.

Front-wheel bearing replacement cost is one of the most common repairs that your car will need. The front wheel bearings are small parts that connect the hub to the spindle and allow for proper rotation of the wheels.

While they may seem small and insignificant, they play an integral role in vehicle performance, braking, steering, and suspension.

When a front wheel bearing goes bad, it typically causes a grinding or clicking noise when you turn or a brake. If you have noticed this sound coming from your car but are not sure what it is, you should have your vehicle inspected by a mechanic as soon as possible.

Can bad alignment cause wheel bearing damage?

Yes, bad alignment can cause wheel bearing damage. When your vehicle is aligned, the wheels are set to the correct angle so that they are parallel to each other and perpendicular to the ground.

This is important because when a wheel is not aligned correctly, it can cause excessive wear on both the tires and brakes, as well as put stress on other parts of your vehicle’s suspension system.

Once there is enough damage to these parts of your car, you may start to notice some unexpected issues like excessive tire wear or squeaking brakes that weren’t there before. These are signs that something isn’t quite right with your car’s alignment and should be addressed by a professional mechanic as soon as possible.

The average life of wheel bearings

The average life of a wheel bearing is about 80,000 miles. That’s about three years of driving for the average driver.

As the owner of your vehicle, it’s important to understand what causes wheel bearings to fail and how you can prevent that failure.

Wheel bearings are designed to create a smooth surface for the rotor (the part with holes in it) to roll along. They’re also designed to hold the rotor in place when it spins around its axis.

When you have an issue with your wheel bearings, you’ll usually hear a loud noise coming from the front end of your vehicle. This noise will get louder as you accelerate or decelerate, and it may sound like something is grinding or scraping metal against metal.

Is a wheel bearing an expensive fix?

A wheel bearing is a component that sits between the outer part of the wheel and the hub. It helps to transfer power from the car’s engine, through the axle, and into the wheel’s rubber tire.

When a wheel bearing starts to fail, it can cause a variety of symptoms, including excessive noise while driving, vibration while driving, and even “shimmy” or shaking when braking or turning.

In some cases, you may be able to deal with this problem yourself by replacing your wheel bearing. However, other times you’ll need to bring your car in for professional service by a mechanic.

The cost of repairing a faulty wheel bearing varies widely depending on what type of car you have and where you live. On average, though, expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $1,000 depending on how far gone your bearings are and if there are other issues with your vehicle as well.

Front-wheel bearing noise symptoms

If you’re hearing a clicking or grinding sound when you turn the steering wheel of your car, it could be caused by a bad front wheel bearing.

Symptoms of a bad front wheel bearing include:

  • Loud clunking noise when turning the steering wheel
  • Grinding noise when turning the steering wheel
  • The car pulls to one side when driving straight

Can you replace just one wheel bearing?

Yes, you can replace just one wheel bearing. It’s a good idea to replace all the wheel bearings at once, but it’s also possible to replace just one. That said, it may not be worth the time and effort unless the other bearings are extremely worn and need replacing as well.

If your car is making a loud noise when you turn the wheel or if there is a vibration in your steering wheel when you’re driving at high speeds, then you should have your bearings checked out by a mechanic first. If they’re bad, then yes, you can replace them all.

Can you drive with a failing wheel bearing?

It depends. If you’re driving on a smooth road and there’s no vibration or other indication, then you’re probably fine to keep going. But if your car is making a loud screeching sound, or if there is a noticeable vibration in the wheel, then you should get it checked out.

While it’s possible to drive with a failing wheel bearing for a while, eventually, it will need to be replaced. In some cases, this can cause further problems like damage to other parts of the vehicle or injury to the driver or passengers.

Do wheel bearings affect brakes?

A wheel bearing is part of the suspension system for your car, which means it can definitely affect your brakes. If your wheel bearings are worn or damaged, that can lead to issues with your brakes because they have to compensate for the extra play in the suspension system.

If you hear a grinding or squeaking noise when you’re driving, that might be a sign that your wheel bearings need to be replaced. You should also replace your wheel bearings if they feel loose or stiff while you’re driving or if there’s a clicking sound when turning corners.

What does a worn wheel bearing sound like?

A worn wheel bearing can make a lot of different sounds, depending on the severity of the damage. If your car has a slightly worn wheel bearing, you might hear a grinding sound when you turn the steering wheel. This is usually accompanied by a vibration that gets worse when you’re driving over bumpy roads.

Also, a worn wheel bearing can make a growling noise. It’s usually more of a high-pitched squeal, but the sound can be lower if the wheel bearing is really worn out. The sound will be louder when the car is going faster.

The noise might get louder while you’re driving, and then it’ll go away when you stop. Or, it might get louder as your car goes faster and then go away as you slow down or come to a stop. If you experience this, you need to get to your mechanic for the right inspection.

How do you diagnose a bad wheel bearing while driving?

A bad wheel bearing can cause your car to shake, make a lot of noise, and even feel like you’re driving on a rough road.

If you’re wondering how to diagnose a bad wheel bearing while driving, here are some things to look for:

  1. Shaking
  2. Noise from the wheels or steering mechanism
  3. Pulling to one side when you drive

How do you check wheel bearings?

Checking your wheel bearings is a simple process that should be done once a year. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Take the wheels off your car
  2. Get a friend to help you hold up your car, or use jack stands if you don’t have anybody handy
  3. Place the tire on top of something soft, so you don’t scratch it (like concrete)
  4. Grab a hammer and hit on each side of the hubcap until it falls off (you might have to hit it pretty hard!)
  5. Now, look at the hubcap, which is what holds all of your wheel bearings together. You’ll see some grease around where they’re held in place by bolts, and you need to check these out too. If there are any cracks or holes in them, you’ll need to replace them right away because they won’t be able to hold as much weight anymore.

Is driving with a bad wheel bearing safe?

Driving with a bad wheel bearing isn’t safe. It could lead to problems that can cause you to lose control of your vehicle and cause an accident.

A wheel bearing is a device that allows your wheel to spin freely around the axle and support the weight of the car. When one or more-wheel bearings are damaged, this can cause damage to other parts of your vehicle, such as:

  • Steering components
  • Drivetrain components (axle shafts)
  • Tires

Therefore, you should never drive with a damaged or worn out because of the likely damages you will experience.

Conclusion

A wheel bearing is a device that allows a vehicle to turn. As the vehicle turns, the wheel bearing helps to keep the wheels from rubbing against each other. This keeps the vehicle’s turning action smooth and quiet.

Wheel bearings are usually made of rubber or plastic. They are located at each end of the axle shafts. The axle shafts are attached to the wheels on one side of a vehicle and extend into its hub on the other side. The bearings allow the axle shafts to rotate freely while providing support and protection for them during use.

Also, it can get damaged due to many factors which we have discussed above. Also, you need to know the wheel bearing replacement cost so that you can make the right budget for it.