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How To Determine If You Need To Replace Front Wheel Bearings

A faulty wheel bearing or a bearing which is out of adjustment can jeopardize not only the bearing but is can reduce the expected service life of other wheel components including the spindle.


It is the wheel bearings that ensure the wheels on a car rotate smoothly; this smooth action reduces any friction in the bearing and keeps the temperature of the bearing well within acceptable limits. It is necessary for proper function of the wheels that the wheel bearings are in good condition, if not, front wheel bearing repair may be needed. Even if you believe the wheel bearings in your car are fine, it is always a good idea to have your mechanic check them periodically.

The wheel bearings are critical to the safe and proper function of the car. The wheel bearings are different between the front wheels and the rear wheels but they are all located in a hub in the centre of the wheel.

Bearing types:

The greatest majority of cars today are front wheel drive; these vehicles use a hub style bearing arrangement. The bearings are sealed and lifetime lubricated with high quality, high temperature grease. The assembly consists of a housing which has a flange on one side that attaches to the suspension and a flange on the other side that the wheel attaches to.

The condition of the hub impacts the condition of the wheel bearing, this is the primary reason why any front wheel bearing repair should include the complete hub, not just the bearing.
The wheel bearing also plays an important role when it comes to the vehicle braking system. It is the bearing that ensures the wheel and the brake rotor is in the right position relative to the caliper.

Wheel bearing seal:

Although there is very little that can be done to improve the condition of the roads there is something that can be done to protect the hub and bearing from external damage, that is to ensure the integrity of the bearing seal. This is another thing that should be part of routine service as the seal can run dry which will allow it to become overheated and fail.

When it does become necessary to undertake front wheel bearing repair, avoid low cost bearings. To the untrained eye all bearings may look alike but this is not necessarily true, inferior products often are made from inferior material or poor manufacturing and quality control.