Lubrication is essential for the proper functioning of wheel bearings because it prevents friction, which can cause bearings to become prematurely damaged, or fail. Lubrication also shields against corrosion and contaminants that can badly damage bearings and other wheel components. Applied in the right quantities, lubricants extend the useful life of bearings to their optimum.
Reduction of Friction
The primary role of lubrication is to reduce the friction between bearing components and adjacent components such as the spindle or axle. The heat generated by friction can cause bearings to deteriorate in a number of ways, including the destruction of seals, balls or raceways, depending on the type of bearing in your vehicle. In some instances, a lack of lubrication and excessive friction can cause a vehicle to break down on the road, when least wanted or expected.
Prevention of Corrosion
Contaminants such as water, salt, and organic debris can cause wheel bearings to corrode and fail over time, especially if they become mixed together. Lubrication serves as a vital wall of protection against these materials, keeping the integrity of bearing structures intact. If bearing seals become loose, punctured, or otherwise damaged, seeping lubricant can allow contaminants into the bearing and cause multiple problems. That’s why it’s important to regularly inspect bearings and replace seals and lubricants as needed.
Stabilization of Bearing Structures
The structural integrity of bearings is of paramount importance, given the impact they have on wheel rotation, and the attachment of wheels and tires to vehicles. Bearing lubricants can help units hold up under different loads and act as a stabilizing agent for bearing structures. The stabilizing effect of lubricants differs depending on whether grease, oil, or synthetic lubricants are used to maintain the bearings. You can count on bearing lubricants to help reinforce the overall functionality and reliability of bearings.
Lubrication is one of the most important factors impacting wheel bearings, which is why it is critical to inspect, maintain, and monitor bearing function on a regular basis. Without effective lubrication, drivers are being setup for potential breakdowns and accidents.