The front wheel bearings on any vehicle must be kept in perfect condition, otherwise the stability and safety of the car will be seriously jeopardized. The front wheel hubs serve multiple purposes; they hold the bearing, the wheel and the sensor for the anti-lock braking system. Although there is no fixed number, front wheel bearing installation will need to take place at about 150 thousand miles.
Although both the front wheels and the rear wheels run on hub bearings, it is normally the front wheels that require attention first; the front wheels are subjected to a great deal more stress than the rear wheels. When the time comes to replace the front wheel hub bearing there are a number of predictable steps that must be taken.
- Step 1: It is important that the car be parked on a level surface; the best is a paved or concrete drive. Once the vehicle is properly located, put the gear lever in park and apply the emergency brake. As the rear wheels are not involved and will not leave the ground it is important that they be chocked.
- Step 2: Place a jack on a strong and stable area of the vehicle frame on the side of the car where the wheel hub bearing will be replaced. If you are unsure of where to place the jack refer to the car owner’s manual.
- Step 3: Remove the lug nuts holding the wheel on, remove the wheel. Locate the fasteners holding the brake caliper on and remove them. Once the caliper has been released from the disc, suspend it with a wire to ensure it does not put unnecessary stress on the brake hose.
- Step 4: Disconnect the wire leading from the hub, this is the ABS control. Remove the brake rotor, this may be a little difficult but a tap with a rubber mallet usually loosens it. It is now time to remove the spindle nut and the wheel bearing assembly nuts as well as the backing plate.
- Step 5: Make the surfaces are clean replace the backing plate and locate the new hub bearing properly. Ensure that the hub bearing and the ABS connector are properly aligned. Reassemble the wheel hub bearing and tighten all the fasteners, lastly reinstall the spindle nut.
Once you have reached this point the front wheel bearing installation is complete. All that is left is to reinstall the brakes and the front wheel. Once the wheel chocks have been removed and the car lowered to the ground the job is done.