Do you have any idea how much wheel bearing replacement cost? Are you familiar with the functions of your car’s wheel bearings? Did you even realize that your car had wheel bearings?
These components are little, but they play an important function in keeping your wheels spinning smoothly so that your car can continue to roll down the road for years to come.
Wheel bearings deteriorate over time and must be replaced. A deteriorating wheel bearing usually shows indicators of failure before it completely fails.
You can protect your steering components, suspension system, wheels and tires from further damage if you notice it early enough. Keep reading if you need a wheel bearing replaced to learn more about what these parts do and how much replacing them will cost you.
The majority of individuals underestimate the importance of their wheel bearings. Wheel bearings, however, play a considerably larger role than most people assume.
Driving with poor wheel bearings is not only unsafe, but it can also cause major damage to your car.
I am sure you are thinking that replacing your wheel bearings will break the bank.
In this post, we will discuss wheel bearing replacement costs, how to recognize faulty wheel bearings, and how to choose your next set of wheel bearings.
Let’s get this started.
Wheel Bearings: What Are They and How Does It Work?
A wheel bearing is a metal ring containing a set of ball bearings that allows your wheel to spin with the least amount of friction possible.
Bearings are utilized in a wide range of applications and always serve to reduce friction. Your wheel bearing’s ball bearings are typically composed of steel, and the wheel bearing itself can come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
A typical wheel bearing is circular and contains round ball bearings. Modern automobiles, on the other hand, frequently use a variety of wheel bearings to better handle the constant pressures of driving.
Types Of Wheel Bearings
Ball bearings and Roller bearings are the two types of wheel bearings available. You can choose between the two depending on your vehicle and demands.
1. Ball Bearings
The most common form of wheel bearing is a ball bearing. On most autos, these are the standard options.
Because of their outstanding ability to handle both thrust and radial loads, these bearings are the usual option. This implies they can withstand twisting pressure as well as overall weight.
Ball bearings function well on tiny vehicles and at greater speeds if you want a more specialized alternative.
If you have a small car or frequently drive on freeways, this is a great alternative.
2. Bearings on Rollers
Roller bearings work similarly to ball bearings, but instead of balls, they employ long rollers to reduce friction. Although in stock automobiles, these roller bearings are less common.
Larger vehicles with bigger loads, such as SUVs and trucks, are frequently fitted with them.
How Much Does It Cost to Replace One-Sided Wheel Bearings?
You should expect to pay between $130 and $220 to replace just one wheel bearing.
This is roughly half the cost of replacing two wheels. You only have to spend half the cost of parts and a fraction of the labor charges when only replacing one wheel bearing.
While you can always replace one wheel bearing, it is usually recommended that you fix both.
This is because if one wheel bearing starts to wear down, the other one would most certainly fail soon after.
Cost of Front Wheel Bearing Replacement
The cost of replacing your front wheel bearing and hub assembly will range from $400 to $650.
The cost of replacing a front wheel bearing can be divided into two categories: parts and labor.
Depending on the quality of the wheel bearing you buy, parts to replace a wheel bearing might cost anywhere from $50 to $200.
The average pricing for various quality wheel bearings and hub assemblies are listed below:
- Budget wheel bearings replacement costs range from $30 to $60.
- Mid-range wheel bearings replacement costs range from $70 to $120.
- Premium wheel bearings replacement costs range from $140 to $220.
Both your wheel bearing and the related wheel hub assembly should be replaced at the same time. When you utilize a new wheel bearing with an old or worn-out wheel hub, your new wheel bearing will wear out faster.
Note: Even if you only have one problematic front wheel bearing, replacing both front wheel bearings are usually suggested. This is because if one wheel bearing fails, the other is likely to have uneven wear or would soon succumb to the same ailment.
How Much Does Rear Wheel Bearing Replacement Cost?
Rear-wheel bearings will cost between $200 and $500 to replace.
The cost of replacing a rear wheel bearing is also divided into two components: labor and parts.
Replacement parts for the rear wheel bearing and hub assembly will cost between $125 and $350. The cost of the parts is usually determined by the quality of the rear wheel bearing you choose.
There may be a restricted selection of wheel bearings available at mechanic shops. You can buy wheel bearings online if you want a larger selection.
The projected costs of the various kinds of rear wheel bearings are listed below:
- Low-cost wheel bearings.
- Mid-priced wheel bearings.
- High-end wheel bearings.
The Signs and Symptoms of Faulty Wheel Bearings
1. Handling Reduction
Wheel bearings are important for your vehicle’s control. When your wheel bearings start to fail, your automobile will become more difficult to drive.
The following are some of the most common signs of poor handling:
- While driving, your vehicle will tug left or right, giving you a swinging sensation.
- The vehicle’s steering of the car will be off and slow when turning.
- Your vehicle’s wheels may not feel entirely linked to the vehicle, reducing driver confidence.
2. Noises from the Wheel Bearings
When a poor wheel bearing starts to produce noise, it is one of the most prevalent symptoms that it is about to fail.
There are a variety of noises that your wheel bearing might make that indicate a problem. These include;
- Grinding noise.
- Clicking noise.
- Snapping noise.
- Humming noise.
- Growling noise.
The noise produced by your wheel bearings varies depending on the type of wear and tear they have.
When you turn or increase your speed, these noises will usually become more noticeable. You may also hear clunking or groaning noises when driving over bumps in the road.
When you turn sharply, you will usually hear popping noises. Excessive play in the entire wheel assembly may cause this popping noise.
3. Uneven Tire Wear
Uneven tire wear on the side with a defective wheel bearing might be caused by a bad wheel bearing.
Inspect your wheel bearings if you see unusual wear on one tire.
Excessive wear on the edges of your tire is common. This usually occurs when the wheel is wobbling and not flat on the ground.
Another reason for uneven tire wear is that the vehicle’s weight is no longer distributed equally.
As a result, the side with a faulty wheel bearing will be without bearing support. This will result in more weight on your tires as well as uneven tire wear.
4. Play on the Tire or Wobbling
A shaky tire or tire play is another common indicator of a damaged wheel bearing.
When driving, a shaky tire is always evident. You can have someone evaluate your automobile while you’re driving if you are not sure that your tire is shaky.
At greater speeds, the tire wobble will usually become more noticeable.
Play in the wheel is another sign of a faulty wheel bearing and is frequently linked with a wobbling tire. The wheel will jitter or move if you use a jack to lift the vehicle and pull on the sides of the tire.
In many circumstances, this play will result in a weak or unstable tire, which is far more dangerous.
5. Smoke from The Wheels
The wheel bearing’s primary duty is to reduce friction and ensure that your car can turn smoothly.
The friction inside your wheel bearings will rise if your wheel bearings quit working properly.
When the friction is extreme, smoke may begin to emerge from your tires. Typically, the smoke will emanate from your rim or the area around the tire. Before the smoke appears, you’ll probably hear loud grinding noises.
6. Separation of Your Car’s Wheels
You have overlooked all other indicators of a failing wheel bearing when this happens. If you have a bad ball bearing, this is one of the worst things that may happen.
Your ball bearing and bearing wheel hub are fully ruined at this stage, and your car has disintegrated.
You may check to discover whether your wheel bearings are bad in a variety of methods.
1. Put your hand on the Steering Wheel
If you tug on your tire and feel movement or play, it is a sign that your wheel bearing needs to be replaced.
2. Check for Bad Wheel Bearings by Listening or Feeling Them
This is one approach to check your wheel bearings if you hear screaming or knocking noises. The quicker you go, the louder these sounds become.
3. Make Use of an OBD Scanner
This strategy is usually only applicable to newer vehicles. A sensor in the wheel hub bearing is required by the vehicle. This will help you to quickly assess if a wheel bearing problem exists.
4. Have A Mechanic Inspect Your Vehicle
This is the simplest method of inspecting your wheel bearings, but it is also the most expensive. If you are not knowledgeable about vehicles or do not have the tools you will need to complete the other tasks, you can hire an expert.
Do All of The Wheel Bearings Need to Be Replaced?
No, you do not have to replace all of your wheel bearings at once. If only one set of bearings has failed, then, only that set needs to be replaced. Your other bearings should last a long time, although you should get your mechanic to inspect them to make sure they are all in good operating order.
Changing a wheel bearing is a difficult task, so if a set of bearings other than the failed set is appearing (or sounding) worn, it may be a good idea to have them replaced at the same time.
Is It Possible to Drive with A Bad Wheel Bearing?
It is not a good idea to drive with a bad wheel bearing. Driving your car in this condition will endanger it even more.
You will be generating a lot of heat, which will harm your brake rotors and pads. If that happens, you will have to pay for new brake pads as well.
If your wheel wobbles too much, it can harm your axle and/or wheel.
How Often Should Your Wheel Bearings Be Replaced?
Wheel bearings are frequently only replaced after they fail. As part of a preventative maintenance routine, these parts are rarely changed.
Keep an eye out for signs of faulty front or rear wheel bearings so you know when it is time to get your automobile checked out by a professional. If you discover the problem early enough, it will be manageable.
If it goes too far and damages other parts, you may be better off selling your automobile rather than trying to pay for everything.
Is It True That Wheel Bearings Have an Impact on Performance?
Other tire issues that cause excessive vibration frequently manifest themselves at high speeds. A failing wheel bearing, on the other hand, might generate vibrations at low speeds that only get worse as your car speeds up.
Wheel bearing failure can also cause a wheel to wobble back and forth while moving.
What is a Wheel Bearing’s Life Expectancy?
Wheel bearings should last between 80,000 and 125,000 kilometers on average. This will take most people anywhere from 7 to 10 years to achieve.
The quality of your wheel bearing and your regular driving conditions will determine how long it lasts.
Wheel bearings of higher quality last longer.
Similarly, driving in quiet conditions will lengthen the life of your wheel bearings.
Your vehicle’s wheel bearings, whether it is a Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Chevrolet or Silverado, will ultimately wear out.
Fortunately, these parts often last a long time, so you would not have to worry about this maintenance very often. A single bearing replacement can cost a few hundred dollars, but replacing all four can cost $1,000 or more.