These are different from the engine bearings, as there is no constant source of lubrication for the bearings, which means they need to be tight enough to keep away water and road dust. They also support the entire vehicle weight while driving, which is why they suffer a lot of abuse from rough roads, potholes, as well as lateral forces when turning.
- When the seal on the bearing is broken or damaged, the noise starts out very faint and becomes louder over time. It sounds like the noise that your tires make when hitting a rumble strip on the highway, just not quite as loud, something like the sound of playing cards flapping against bicycle spokes.
- While driving down the road about 40 mph, sway the car side to side slowly, shifting the weight of the vehicle from one side to the other. Do not drive crazy or cause the car to spin out, just sway it gently. Notice whether the noise gets louder or softer. If the noise is a little less if you turn right, the damaged bearing may be on the right side, or vice versa.
- Note that tires that are “chopped” or “scalloped” (worn in patches) also make a rhythmic noise that increases in speed. This sounds very similar to a bad wheel bearing. Look at your tires as well if you hear this kind of noise.
- Faulty installation – inappropriate tools such as a hammer or an impact wrench can cause damage to the exterior and or interior of the wheel end bearing causing the wheel bearing to fail prematurely. Also, re-using the old accessories such as bolts, nuts, circlips, split pins, seals,… instead of replacing them with new ones can cause the wheel end bearing to operate under abnormal or unsafe conditions, increasing wheel end bearing wear and risk of a car accident.
- Impact damage or poor road quality – all impacts from driving through a pothole, driving over speed bumps or hitting the curbstone can damage a wheel bearing and reduce its lifespan.
- Poor quality wheel bearing – a wheel bearing is continuously under enormous pressure. Wheel bearings constructed of low-quality materials can have poor heat treatment, resulting in premature wear and failure.
- Driving conditions – driving through deep water or mud can cause your wheel bearings to fail. Water, mud or other contaminants such as dust or road salt could get past the seals and enter the bearing, polluting the grease and wearing away the bearings.
- Car modifications – fitting bigger or wider rims, tires with lower thread walls, stiffer shock absorbers and suspension springs cause higher loads on the wheel bearing and can accelerate wear. Stick to rims, tires, shock absorbers and springs that are specified by the car manufacturer to minimize the impact on the longevity of the wheel bearings.
At Advanced Mobile Autocare, we guarantee all our works and parts. We offer a convenient service to our customers when you need a wheel bearing done, but also we only use genuine parts that come with a warranty and an affordable price guarantee. Get a quote from us from today!
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