What are wheel bearings?
I can bet my last dollar that some of us had never heard of wheel bearings until our mechanic told us that they need replacing. Though they might seem inconsequential, you can never ignore the vital role that wheel bearings play in your car’s performance. So, what are wheel bearings?
Wheel bearings are sets of steel balls clasped together by a metallic ring known as a race. These bearings allow the wheels to spin quickly without a lot of friction. The wheel bearings ride on a metallic axle shaft, and they fit snugly in the hub. The hub is a hollow wedge of metal in the middle of the wheel, and it is the hub that grips the lug bolts that hold the tire to the wheel.
Symptoms of Bad Wheel Bearings
Wheel bearings are usually in both the back and front wheels. As every wheel has its wheel bearing, it is quite possible for a single bearing to become worn while others are still in superb condition.
There are specific ways in which you can tell if any wheel bearing is worn out. Here are some of them:
A standard indicator of bad wheel bearings is when your tires produce a loud grinding sound, especially when turning and shifting. It shows that the wheel bearings have lost their lubricity.
The vibration of the Steering Wheel
If the issue goes unchecked for long, the steering wheel will start vibrating, especially when you accelerate.
Car Pulling to One Side
A car with worn bearings lacks the smooth lining necessary for seamless performance. The rough surface gives rise to vibrations, and the vehicle tends to pull towards the side with the worn bearing.
Uneven Wearing of Tires
When wheel bearings get worn out, they do so unevenly compared to the others. This action will, in turn, make the concerned tire to wear out rapidly than the other tires.
Repairing or Replacing Bad Wheel Bearings: What is The Best Advice?
At the first sign that your vehicle’s wheel bearings are worn out, you should consult your mechanic for repairs or replacement.
While it is easy to ignore worn out wheel bearings and continue driving your car like you have no care in the world, after you read the following, you will think twice.
If you drive your car with worn out wheel bearings, you have to be ready to buy new tires now and then as their longevity will be affected. Besides, faulty bearings will affect the smoothness of the ride.
Other financial implications of driving with wheel bearings that have worn out are the repair costs for a wide array of car troubles. For instance, faulty wheel bearings place lots of stress on the CV joint, hub, and even the car’s transmission system.
Also, driving with worn-out wheel bearings can spell doom for you and any other person riding in the car with you. It is quite possible for the wheels in a vehicle with worn out bearings to abruptly stop when driving.
Wheel bearings play a vital role in ensuring that the wheel is attached to your vehicle. If the bearings are not replaced, the wheel can roll off while in motion, and that is a dangerous situation that you wouldn’t want to find yourself.
Vehicles that are driven with worn out wheel bearings usually tend to be unresponsive as compared to a car with perfect bearings.
How Much Does it Cost to Repair Damaged Wheel Bearings?
Similar to other kinds of vehicle repairs, the cost of repairing faulty or damaged wheel bearings vary in several ways. For instance, the repair fees will be significantly influenced by the mechanic handling the job.
- The complexity of the job and the total amount used to buy spare parts are also other variables that will influence the full fee for the repair exercise.
- Another issue that will affect the repair fee is the kind of environment that you have kept your wheels. Wheel bearings are located inside the wheel, and if there is massive rusting and corrosion in the wheel, then the mechanic will have additional work.
- Besides, other related sections of the vehicle, including the brakes system and suspension, might need to be checked.
- If you drive a front-wheel or four-wheel car, it might be necessary to move some vehicle parts out of the way before removing the faulty wheel bearings and installing new ones. By doing this, it might make the labor costs shoot through the ceiling, and you can part with anything from $150 to $300.
- Keeping in mind the year of manufacture, the model, and make of the vehicle, you need to be ready to pay from $100 to over $1,000 for the entire process.
To be on the safe side, get certified and affordable wheel bearing repair or replacement services, by calling several reputed repair shops, and getting estimates.
Why It’s better to Junk or Sell your Vehicle Instead of Fixing Faulty Wheel Bearings
The question that most car owners face is if it is worth the trouble and the money to replace worn out wheel bearings. Well, depending on the state of your car and whether it is roadworthy, then you bet it is worth fixing the wheel bearings.
If your vehicle is very ancient with a mileage that looks more like a phone number than the distance traveled, you might decide not to fix the wheel bearings and look for other solutions.
In case you get estimates for the wheel bearing job and find that the cost of repairs or replacements is higher than your car’s worth, then there is no need to fix the car.
Before you make this critical decision, make sure that you understand whether your car has any additional chronic issues that might necessitate repairs soon. If there are upcoming repairs or replacements soon, for instance, brake repairs and wheel replacement, then there is no need to fix the bearings.
After making up your mind, then you can either sell the vehicle or call us or your local junk car dealer for a deal. Most dealers will give you cash for your car instantly.
After all has been said and done, wheel bearings play an undeniably crucial role in how your car will perform. They are responsible for your safety while driving. This is why you should always be on the lookout for any of the symptoms of damaged or worn out wheel bearings and consult a qualified mechanic.