A wheel bearing is a crucial part of wheel assembly which connects the wheel and the axle. It consists of a set of steel balls held together by a metal ring. The concept behind a wheel bearing is simple: things roll better than they slide. Basically, the wheel bearing enables the wheel to rotate smoothly and with minimum friction.
Wheel bearings are safety-critical components, so they need to be replaced when they stop working properly. There are a few signs to watch out for when your wheel bearing starts to go bad or is missing:
- Noise: a humming, rumbling or growling noise that gets louder as the vehicle accelerates or while turning.
- “Loose” car: excessive play in the steering wheel, which makes the vehicle feel loose while steering.
- Vibration: steering wheel vibration, which may feel like it is “pulling” to one side or the other.
- Uneven tire wear: looseness in the wheel and a vibration cause the tires to wear unevenly, meaning that you are more likely to have to invest in new tires sooner.
It’s rare for wheel bearings to fail immediately after the few first symptoms. However, it is best to avoid driving on a faulty one for too long. A wheel bearing failure can have serious consequences, especially if it occurs while driving at highway speeds and if the vehicle loses a wheel. That’s why you should have a certified technician inspect your wheel bearings at least annually.
THE MAIN REASONS THAT A WHEEL BEARING FAILS ARE:
- Impact damage: hitting a pothole or a curb as well as driving over speed bumps can easily damage a wheel bearing and reduce its lifespan. Sometimes you may notice the symptoms quickly, but other times failure may take months after an impact.
- Poor quality: a wheel bearing is continuously under enormous pressure. Wheel bearings made of low-quality materials can have poor heattreatment, resulting in premature wear and failure.
- Driving conditions: water, mud, dust or road salt could get past the seals and enter the bearing, causing the wheel bearings to fail.
If you suspect you are driving around Hamilton ON with a broken, or nearly broken, wheel bearing, give us a call at (905) 512-0748 or contact us online. Our team of trained technicians have the skills and the tools to do the job, and we install only quality parts!