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How to Troubleshoot Problems with Wheel Hub Assemblies

Wheel hub assemblies can fail or require maintenance for a number of reasons, making it important to troubleshoot problems once warning signs occur. This includes listening for unusual noises, rotating tires to detect resistance or excessive amounts of play, and examining tires for abnormal amounts of wear and tear. All of these troubleshooting methods can lead you in the right direction.

Unusual Noises

Whistling, howling, grinding and squeaking are all indicative of problems with wheel hub assemblies, making strange sounds a useful troubleshooting tool. Wheel hubs or wheel bearings can make noise due to a lack of lubrication or because of excessive friction, each of which is a serious problem that requires maintenance. Listening for unusual noises can be done when a vehicle is in motion, which makes it simple to troubleshoot using this technique.

Rotation Problems

Lifting a vehicle and rotating a tire by hand is an effective way to determine if wheel hub assemblies are functioning properly. Rotating a tire clockwise, or counterclockwise can reveal problems indicative of damaged wheel bearings or wheel hubs. If it seems like the tire is loosely connected to the vehicle, then major problems may exist with the wheel studs. Hand rotation is not 100% effective at troubleshooting maintenance issues, but it will give you a good indication of potential problems.

Tire Wear & Tear

Abnormal wear and tear on tire treads can be indicative of multiple mechanical failures and maintenance issues, including damaged wheel hub assemblies. Physically inspecting tires by looking for abnormal wear patterns is a straightforward process, but it’s one that can be revealing and help you hone in on trouble spots, without making you spend hours looking for root causes. If tires show the signs of uneven wear, it’s time to inspect wheel hub assemblies for maintenance issues.

Troubleshooting problems with wheel hub assemblies is an important process that can help you correct minor deficiencies before they turn into major problems that can cause accidents or breakdowns. Unusual noises, rotation problems and excessive wear on tires are all effective warning signs.