Auto Systems and Repair: Wheel Bearing

Symptoms of Part Failure

  • Wheels may make a groaning or rumbling sound at speeds above 15mph or when turning
  • Failing wheel bearings may become loose and develop excess clearance or play
  • Vehicle may move to the side when braking
  • Increased vehicle vibration; in severe cases, vibration may be felt in the steering wheel

Related Repair Advice

  • The wheel bearing may be an integrated part of the vehicle's suspension. If so, the suspension or wheel hub may need to be removed to replace the wheel bearing.
  • There are several types of wheel bearings. Some require no maintenance; others can be disassembled, cleaned, and inspected for wear.
  • Most modern vehicles use bearings that are one piece, pre-assembled, and permanently-sealed. These bearings can neither be inspected nor repaired; replacing the entire sealed bearing is the only service option.