Getting Your Bearings

Wheel Bearings

 

A “wheel bearing,” which is one of the most important parts of a vehicle’s suspension system, is composed of a set of metal balls that is held in place in a metal ring called a “race.” Fitting tightly inside the hub of each wheel, the bearings allow the wheels to spin smoothly.

Problems with wheel bearings

Problems may arise, however, when dirt or water enters a damaged seal. Initial symptoms of a bad bearing include a noisy rubbing sound that increases as the vehicle gains speed.

Address concerns

Without a repair, as the bearings become more worn, the noise of a bad bearing can be augmented with vague steering, vibrating suspension, and lurching behavior from the suspension as the wheel moves unevenly around the bearing.

TIP: Bearing maintenance requires regular checks (including when a brake job is needed) and repacking with a generous amount of bearing grease every 20,000 to 30,000 miles.

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Written by Maryann Croce

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