Wheel Bearings Cost
After reading about or hearing about wheel bearings, the cost to replace a wheel bearing may have crossed your mind. Where do wheel bearings come from? Bearings sit inside a hollow piece of metal at the middle of your wheels, enclosed in a ring of steel balls or rollers. A wheel bearing fits on the axle shaft of your car, thereby reducing friction during wheel rotation.
Each car has wheel bearings on every wheel, and every car needs wheel bearings to run smoothly. We will discuss various types of wheel bearings below. During driving, wheel bearings are subject to abuse since they support the vehicle’s weight. A rough and bumpy road with many potholes is perilous. The wheel bearing can be excessively eroded over time if excessive water or mud is present on the road.
What types of wheel bearings are available?
Wheel bearings are manufactured in various ways by different manufacturers for a variety of reasons. Some types are easier to manufacture, and others allow for more excellent performance. These are the most common types of wheel bearings:
1. BALL BEARINGS
They are very versatile and straightforward, making them one of the most common bearings. The radial load (the car loading on the wheel) and the thrust load (cornering pressure) can be handled reasonably well by these wheels. The wheels of most cars, bikes and even roller skates are made this way.
2. HIGH-PERFORMANCE BALL BEARINGS
Like ball bearings, these are cylindrical bearings. In contrast, fastball bearings reduce friction, reducing heat generation and allowing them to support considerably more weight and pressure than standard ball bearings.
Car performance increases because of this. In extreme or demanding applications, they can handle higher pressures. Various kinds of cars, including race, performance, and aircraft, utilize these bearings.
3. ROLLER BEARINGS
The bearings in this type of motor vehicle won’t handle cornering pressure very well, so you won’t find them in motor vehicles. These bearings are designed for medium-to-low speeds. Shopper carts and hand trucks typically use them.
4. BEARINGS WITH TAPERED ENDS
Automobiles and trucks also use tapered roller bearings. Cone-shaped roller bearings will be used instead of balls to relieve cornering pressure. In general, tapered roller bearings are favored over standard roller bearings for this reason.
Damaged wheel bearings
You would need to take apart your suspension assembly if you wanted to inspect your ball bearings physically.
Many people lack either the skills or the time needed to check the condition of their car’s wheel bearing physically. In addition to looking for telltale signs, there are other ways to tell whether your car’s wheel bearings are worn or damaged. Take note of the following signs:
1. UNEVENNING TIRES
If your wheel bearing is worn out or damaged, your wheel may be loose or vibrate more as you drive. Consequently, each wheel will experience different vibration levels, resulting in uneven tire wear. The loose wheels also cause the tires to wear unevenly as they sit differently from the others.
Whenever you rotate your tires or change them, if you suspect you have a bad wheel bearing, make sure to check each tire. As well as unbalanced tires, uneven tires can be caused by unbalanced tires. You may also experience uneven tire wear because of improper wheel alignments. Be sure that the other symptoms match up before assuming that it’s a bad wheel bearing.
2. Avoid a hum or grinding noise
The tires may also make loud noises when the wheel bearings are bad. In poor wheel bearings, lubrication is lost, leading to increased friction and noise. It usually sounds like metal rubbing against metal as you drive, which often produces a humming sound. Wheel bearings that are malfunctioning lose lubricity, causing friction and noises. The wheel bearing is likely making the noise when you drive faster.
If you hear a loud, strange, and persistent noise while driving, you should have your vehicle checked. Even though cars are supposed to make noises while driving, there is no reason to do so. Engine noise, wind noise, and tire noise are the only reasons cars make noises while driving.
3. Vibrations in the steering wheel
Your steering wheel will likely vibrate if the wheel bearings are bad. It usually occurs at low speeds and gets louder as you drive further, like grinding noises. Be aware that unbalanced tires may also cause steering wheel vibration. Unbalanced tires, however, typically cause vibrations at high speeds, typically over 60mph or on highways. The steering wheel can vibrate when a lousy bearing is present at lower speeds.
You may need to balance your tires if you are experiencing steering wheel vibration. Bad wheel bearings may be the cause of the vibration. As a result, you don’t need to balance your tires if you’ve recently done so. The steering wheel vibrates again after a tire balancing usually takes a year or two.
One of the other symptoms detected from the steering wheel is a loose feel in the vehicle. It’s a bit more challenging to explain this one, and you might not even notice it unless you’re a keen driver. However, a bad wheel bearing will lead to a car feeling loose, lacking precision in handling.
4. Excessive bouncing or playing on the wheels
Having all four wheels on jack stands will allow you to diagnose this symptom. Try rocking each wheel back and forth when lifted. There is likely a bad wheel bearing if you notice any wobble or excess “play” in the wheels.
Car wheels should usually remain firmly when rocked; they shouldn’t wobble. If they do, then you should get them checked. It is dangerous to drive with excess wheel wobble for any reason. In addition to these symptoms, you should also check your dashboard for the ABS light if you drive a newer car. A few things can cause the ABS light to turn on, usually brake-related. The ABS light can also indicate a wheel bearing problem.
This could mean your ABS light is on, so you should take your vehicle to a repair shop if you notice those symptoms. Diagnosing and resolving the issue as quickly as possible would be beneficial.
Wheel bearing replacement cost
The wheel bearing replacement cost varies from one car to another due to the different wheel bearings that cars have. A local dealership or a local repair shop will be able to provide you with the best estimate of the actual cost.
For example, let’s consider a 2018 Toyota Camry. If you were to replace the front wheel bearing assembly and hub assembly, the MSRP would be $363. You’ll have to pay $574 for a rear wheel hub and bearing. Please note that this is Toyota’s original equipment manufacturer price and does not include labor.
The front bearings and hub assemblies are $397, while the rear one is $298 for the Toyota Corolla, the Camry’s compact little brother.
When a wheel bearing is destroyed, can you still drive?
No. It can be dangerous to drive with a worn-out bearing, especially if the wheel stops while you’re driving. A damaged wheel bearing also puts a lot of pressure on the hub, CV joint, and transmission’s actual working parts.