A Complete Overview: How Long Do Wheel Bearings Last?
If you want to resist any ambiguity while driving, you must assess the wheel bearing. Wheel bearings have a life expectancy of 136,000 to 16,000 km, as per the rule of thumb. Furthermore, experts claim that the life expectancy of a wheel bearing is determined by the operating condition and the wheel’s reliability. You can minimize the likelihood of wheel bearing failure if you preserve your wheel correctly and avoid pointless modifications. Symptoms can also give you an idea of what’s wrong. As a result, you can diagnose it quickly and have your vehicle repaired before it builds up a significant issue. For example, if your vehicle has a problem with car bearings, such as a front wheel bearing, you will notice a vibration in the steering wheel.
Let’s dive deep into the details.
What Is A Wheel Bearing?
Have you ever had a blank expression on your face when your mechanic asks if your wheel bearings need to be replaced? And you have no idea what a wheel bearing is. A wheel bearing is a series of ball bearings held together by a ring called a ‘race.’ It allows your wheel to flip with the least amount of friction, resulting in a seamless and safe journey. You have wheel bearings in all of your vehicles, along with cars, trucks, and planes. It spins on the axle ends and fits nicely into the wheel hub. This hub appears to be a cup-shaped part. This component can be found in the center of each wheel. These wheel bearings are critical for safe driving.
What Is The Bad Wheel Bearing?
A horrible wheel bearing appears to be a problem with the wheel by causing vibration and wheel looseness. It pertains to a massive amount of wheel play. Furthermore, it started to deteriorate and exhibit wobbles. They demonstrate looseness within the wheel hub, indicating that it is better to upgrade the wheel for a safe journey.
Types of Wheel Bearing
- The term “wheel bearing” pertains to the needless friction caused by the wheels’ loud bang. This significant resistance has an impact on the vehicle’s operation. Bearings are classified into four types: ball bearings, precision ball bearings, roller bearings, and tapered roller bearings.
- For starters, ball bearings can absorb both thrust and radial loads. Thrust loads denote cornering pressure, while radical loads denote the amount of weight placed on the wheel.
- Second, precision reduces friction and thus the amount of heat produced. Precision bearings have a faster rotational speed than standard bearings for significant thrust and extreme loads.
- Third, roller bearings are suitable for weight handling but not for cornering. However, roller bearings are not as well suited to medium to high speed as ball bearings. Roller bearings are not flexible, but they can be used in grocery carts or hand trucks.
- Fourth, tapered roller bearings are frequently used in cone-shaped car and truck wheels. Because the thrust loads are substantial, this reduces friction while cornering. Furthermore, it eliminates the need for grinding while shifting.
Does The Lousy Wheel Bearing Risk Life?
Yes, it can be risky to one’s life. To save your life, it is firmly advised to avoid driving with a worn wheel bearing. A suitable wheel bearing is essential for connecting your wheel to your vehicle because any looseness can cause any instability.
Reasons Why Wheel Bearing Fail
The main reason is that when inadequately lubricated bearings become extremely hot, irreversible damage occurs. For example, if the wheel-bearing steel is destroyed for any reason, water and other debris can enter the components and cause them to fail. The steering wheel will begin to vibrate and make noise as a result of this. This can have serious consequences. But there are other reasons as well.
Faulty installation results in a poor hammer impact and the reuse of old accessories such as bolts, nuts, circlips, split pins, and seals. This can cause the automobile to be in an unusual and unsafe condition and expand wheel-end bearing wear. This will eventually result in an accident.
When we modify a vehicle, we resist using the manufacturer’s parts and instead install parts of our preference. Fitting larger or broader rims and tires with lower thread walls is part of this activity. You can avoid lousy wheel bearings if you stick to the original rims, tires, shock absorbers, and springs.
Poor roads and deep water
Over speed bumps and potholes or striking the curbstone can harm a wheel bearing and decrease life expectancy. Moreover, if you drive in deep water or mud, it can also result in your vehicle’s wheel bearings failing. Pollution of all kinds, along with soil, salt, and water past the seals, pollutes the grease and wears away the bearings.
What Are The Symptoms Of Wheel Bearing?
A faulty wheel bearing is not as simple as it appears. It can endanger your life if you are involved in an accident or have less control over your steering. Here are some indicators to help you identify the problem and resolve it promptly to have a safe journey.
When you are driving, and you hear a loud grinding noise from your wheel, that means the issue has occurred in the wheel. This noise is like that two metal pieces are being rubbed with each other with tremendous force. Moreover, you will also feel that this noise is so loud and cannot be ignored, especially when you shift or turn.
Uneven appearance of tire wear
Do not confuse wheel bearing with lousy wheel alignment or unbalanced tire. These are different things from the wheel bearing. When you compare the problematic tire with a normal one, you observe that it is pretty out of a normal one. This uneven appearance means that it is terrible wheel wearing. This abnormal tire could tear and risk your life, as well.
Wobble or excess play of the wheel
This is yet another method for inspecting the wheel bearing. You only need to raise your wheels through the jack stand to check the wheel play’s wobble and number. So, put your car on a hydraulic lift or raise the wheels in any way that is possible. Lifting is now being used to diagnose the problem. Lift the wheel and try rocking it back and forth. Take note of the amount of wheel play or movement of the wheel. Excessive play or wobble in the wheel implies a faulty wheel bearing in your vehicle.
The vibration of the steering wheel
The vibration of the steering wheel indicates the bad wheel bearing. This can lead to an unbalanced drive and pose a severe threat to your life. Sometimes people mix bad wheel bearing issues with unbalanced tires on the vehicles, but bad wheel bearing shows enormous signs. For instance, when you increase the vehicle’s speed, the problem worsens with extensive vibration on the steering wheel and unevenly balanced tires. So, diagnose your problem in time to save your precious lives.
Pull one side
Wheel bearing symptoms are a little bit confusing because these sometimes match with other issue’s symptoms but not entirely. Like, if your vehicle has vibration on the rough surface while driving and does not have smooth running with speed. That means it has a bad wheel bearing problem. Moreover, you will observe that your vehicle slightly pulls to the side of the worn bearing with vibration. Also, when you apply brakes on your vehicle, your car pulling to one side instantly. So these are symptoms to diagnose lousy wheel bearing.
Every problem has an equal and opposite solution. We need to find the right path. Let us share some ideas with you. The first and most straightforward option is to hire a mechanic to do it for you. We will advise you not to compromise on quality to save money because any malpractice or lack of expertise can endanger your life. So, resolve your issue wisely. You should make sure that your vehicle has an advanced wheel bearing that is easier to install than the preceding version. Get the right tools and make sure they’re long-lasting and safe. That professional ensures the best fitting with high-quality parts due to extensive knowledge in this field. You can also search online websites to get an instant approach at your doorstep for long-lasting solutions.
A wheel bearing is critical to understanding for a safe and sound journey. If you don’t know where to start, this blog will be a huge help. I have explained all of the pertinent information to assist you in this regard. If the steering wheel shivers or vibrates, this is a sign of poor wheel bearing. Also, we have explained the reasons and solutions to help you.
Lucas James is associated with Xtreme Mudder Wheels as a blogger. He has been writing for the past ten years. Lucas has been showcasing his talent in education, artificial intelligence, forestry, media, languages, history, and politics. He has a degree from The University of Paris.