To start with, some of the most important components of your car are the wheels. Without an excellent, durable wheel, it is impossible for your car to function safely and optimally. Look beyond how simple the wheel looks. In a real sense, the design of the wheel looks more complex than it looks.
It involves the integration of various components. One of the components of the wheel is the wheel bearing. The wheel bearing ensures the wheels of your car can function as one. It ensures the hub, tire, and other parts can function together.
A wheel bearing is known as a group of steel balls which are housed or connected together in the race- a metal ring. At the center of your car wheels is the hub. The hub serves as the home of the wheel bearing.
The hub houses the wheel bearing by making sure it sits tightly in it. The wheel bearing drives or moves on a metal axle shaft, a component that brings a reduction to friction whenever the wheel rotates.
While thinking about the amazing functions of the wheel bearing, it is also important to know that when not properly maintained, they can break down easily. As a result of this, it is important to get yourself familiarized with some of the symptoms of a bad wheel bearing.
The most popular wheel bearings you can find around today are the ball bearings and the roller bearings. Talking about versatility, the ball bearing stands out ahead of the roller bearing. Apart from these two most common bearings, other wheel bearings you can see around are the precision ball bearings (which are specially made for powerful radial loads), and the tapered roller bearings which can mainly be found in Lorries or trucks.
The following are some of the symptoms or signs of bad wheel bearings. Make sure you keep these signs in mind at all time.
Strange or unusual noise & vibration
To know if your wheel bearing is bad, the first thing to do is to listen to the sounds coming from your wheels. The easiest symptom of finding a bad wheel bearing is it produces loud sound.
In case you observe a strange noise, either a grating or grinding sound coming from the wheel or tire of your car, the most likely reason for such noise is as a result of a bad wheel bearing. You will notice that the noise get louder and disturbing as you increase the speed of the car.
When the car is at a slow pace or a slow speed, instead of the humming or loud sound, what you will notice are unusual vibrations.
Looseness while driving
This is another symptom or sign of a bad wheel bearing. You will notice that your car responds slower than unusual while steering it. When you notice that your steering acts in an unusual manner, then you should consider looking at the wheel bearing.
Although loose steering is not an actual prediction of a bad wheel bearing. In most cases, loose steering is a function of a bad wheel bearing. Whenever the wheel bearings become bad or get worn out, it results in the detachment of the wheel bearing within the wheel compartment.
Unusual Pulling or swinging
Have you ever experience driving but it feels like you are not the one controlling the car? This could be as a result of a bad wheel bearing. Whenever you experience your car moving or driving towards an unintended direction, then you should have your wheel bearing checked.
A car doesn’t have a mind of its own, a bad bearing could be the culprit whenever your car acts like it’s on an auto-pilot. Although this symptom doesn’t automatically relate to a bad wheel bearing, in most cases, they can be the reason for the unusual pulling or swing.
Check out for unusual or uneven wears on your tires
Should in case you experience unusual wear on your tires, it is time for you to have your wheel bearings checked. At all times, pay attention to the tires of your car. This way, you can easily know if something is wrong.
Also, when you regularly rotate your car’s tires, it can help with the prevention of wear- This times in the absence of a bad wheel bearing. It is important to know that in the case of a bad wheel bearing, rotating your tires on a regular basis is not the remedy.
The remedy is to take your car where the wheel bearing will be thoroughly checked and possibly replaced.
The solutions to a bad wheel bearing
Remember, when you have a bad wheel bearing, if you do not pay close attention to the signs and symptoms, your car’s wheel can totally detach or fall off while driving. At any point in time you experience any of the above-listed symptoms or signs, make sure you get your wheel bearing checked to confirm if it is the actual problem.
A bad wheel bearing needs to be changed or replaced. Replacing a bad wheel bearing is a standard job, and it should be executed only by professionals. The cost of a wheel bearing varies from one car to another. The cost is dependent on the year of manufacture of your car, the model, and the manufacturer.
Also, in case other issues or problems are discovered while changing your wheel bearing, it could attract some additional charges. Lastly, whenever your wheel bearing gest bad or gets worn out, it renders your car unsafe to drive. Do not put such a car on the road until the wheel bearing is fixed.