Wheel bearings allow rotation of the wheels while supporting the weight of the vehicle. A wheel bearing enables the wheel hub to rotate on the spindle or turn with an axle shaft, depending on the application.
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.