Home Diagnosis and TroubleshootingWheels and Rims How To Tell If Wheel Bearing Is Bad: Common Signs & Symptoms

How To Tell If Wheel Bearing Is Bad: Common Signs & Symptoms

by Alex Turner
How To Tell If Wheel Bearing Is Bad

How to Diagnose a Bad Wheel Bearing: Warning Signs and Symptoms

A bad wheel bearing can be a serious issue for any vehicle. It is important to diagnose the problem (and figure out how to tell if wheel bearing is bad) as soon as possible in order to avoid further damage and costly repairs. There are several warning signs and symptoms that can indicate a bad wheel bearing, including:

1. Unusual noises coming from the wheels: A bad wheel bearing will often produce a grinding or growling noise that increases with speed. This noise may also be accompanied by vibrations felt through the steering wheel or floorboard of the vehicle.

2. Uneven tire wear: If one side of your tires is wearing more quickly than the other, it could be an indication of a bad wheel bearing causing an imbalance in your suspension system. This includes cases of inner tire wear, as well as inside tire wear, or if you’re noticing that the outside of the front tires are wearing, in addition to what causes tire wear on the inside.

3. Difficulty turning: If you experience difficulty turning your vehicle, it could be due to excessive friction caused by a damaged or worn-out wheel bearing.

4. Loose steering: A loose feeling when turning your car could also indicate that one or more of your bearings have gone bad and need replacing immediately before further damage occurs to other components in your suspension system such as tie rods and ball joints.

If you notice any of these warning signs, it is important to take action right away and have your vehicle inspected by a qualified mechanic who can properly diagnose the issue and recommend necessary repairs if needed (including both the front wheel bearing and the rear wheel bearing).

What Are the Causes of a Bad Wheel Bearing?

A bad wheel bearing can be caused by a variety of factors, including wear and tear, improper installation, or damage due to an accident. Wear and tear is the most common cause of a bad wheel bearing. Over time, the bearing can become worn down due to friction from regular use. This can lead to increased noise and vibration when driving.

Improper installation is another potential cause of a bad wheel bearing. If the bearing is not installed correctly or with the correct tools, it may not be able to handle the load it was designed for and will eventually fail prematurely.

Finally, damage due to an accident can also lead to a bad wheel bearing. If your vehicle has been in an accident that has caused significant damage to one or more wheels, then it’s possible that the bearings have been damaged as well. In this case, they will need to be replaced for your vehicle’s wheels to function properly again.

How to Check for a Faulty Wheel Bearing

A faulty wheel bearing can cause a variety of issues with your vehicle, including increased noise (otherwise known as the bad wheel bearing noise), vibration, and decreased handling. It is important to check for a faulty wheel bearing as soon as possible to prevent further damage and ensure the safety of you and your passengers.

  1. To check for a faulty wheel bearing, begin by jacking up the vehicle and removing the tire. Once the tire is removed, inspect the hub assembly for any signs of wear or damage. If there are any visible signs of wear or damage, it is likely that the wheel bearing needs to be replaced.
  2. Next, grab hold of each side of the hub assembly and attempt to move it back and forth in an up-and-down motion. If there is any play in this motion or if you hear any grinding noises coming from within the hub assembly then it is likely that your wheel bearing has gone bad.
  3. Finally, use a dial indicator gauge to measure how much play exists between each side of the hub assembly when moved back and forth in an up-and-down motion. If there is more than 0.005 inches (0.127 mm) worth of play then it is likely that your wheel bearing has gone bad and needs to be replaced immediately for safety reasons.

If you suspect that your vehicle’s wheel bearings may be faulty (and have learned how to tell if wheel bearing is bad) then it’s best to take it to a qualified mechanic who can properly diagnose and repair them if necessary.

The Benefits of Replacing Your Wheel Bearings Regularly

Replacing your wheel bearings regularly is an important part of vehicle maintenance. Wheel bearings are essential components that help keep your wheels spinning smoothly and safely. They are located between the axle and the wheel, and they allow the wheel to rotate freely while supporting its weight.

Regularly replacing your wheel bearings can provide a number of benefits for your vehicle, including improved safety, better performance, and increased longevity.

  • One of the most important benefits of regularly replacing your wheel bearings is improved safety. Over time, worn-out or damaged wheel bearings can cause excessive vibration in the steering system or brakes, which can lead to dangerous driving conditions. Replacing them on a regular basis ensures that they remain in good condition and do not pose any risk to you or other drivers on the road.
  • In addition to improved safety, regularly replacing your wheel bearings can also improve performance by reducing friction between moving parts in the suspension system. This reduces wear on other components such as shocks and struts which helps maintain optimal handling characteristics for smoother rides over rough terrain or during cornering maneuvers at higher speeds.
  • Finally, regular replacement of worn-out or damaged wheel bearings will also increase longevity by preventing further damage from occurring due to excessive wear or corrosion caused by exposure to moisture or dirt particles over time. This helps ensure that all parts remain in good working order for longer periods of time so you don’t have to worry about costly repairs down the line (not to mention the wheel bearing replacement cost) due to neglecting routine maintenance tasks like this one.

Overall, it’s clear that there are many benefits associated with regularly replacing your vehicle’s wheel bearings – from improved safety and performance all the way through increased longevity – so make sure you stay up-to-date with this important task.

Common Problems with Worn or Damaged Wheel Bearings

How To Tell If Wheel Bearing Is Bad

Wheel bearings are an essential component of a vehicle’s suspension system, providing support and allowing the wheels to rotate freely. Over time, wheel bearings can become worn or damaged due to normal wear and tear, leading to a variety of problems (which can be diagnosed by learning how to tell if wheel bearing is bad).

  • Common issues associated with worn or damaged wheel bearings include increased noise from the wheels, vibration in the steering wheel or floorboard, difficulty turning corners, and uneven tire wear.
  • If left unchecked, these problems can lead to more serious issues such as premature tire failure or even complete bearing failure. In some cases, this can cause catastrophic damage to other components of the suspension system as well as other parts of the vehicle.
  • To prevent these issues from occurring it is important that regular maintenance be performed on your vehicle’s wheel bearings to ensure they are functioning properly. This includes checking for signs of wear such as excessive play in the bearing itself or any visible damage on its surface.
  • If any signs of wear are detected it is important that they be addressed immediately by replacing the affected bearing with a new one.
  • In addition to regular maintenance, it is also important that you inspect your vehicle’s wheel bearings after any off-road driving or other activities which may have caused them undue stress and strain. Doing so will help ensure that your vehicle remains safe and reliable for years to come by preventing further damage from occurring due to worn-out components.

What Are the Dangers of Driving with a Bad Wheel Bearing?

Driving with a bad wheel bearing can be extremely dangerous and should be avoided at all costs. A wheel bearing is an essential part of the vehicle’s suspension system, as it helps to keep the wheels in place and allows them to rotate freely.

When a wheel bearing fails, it can cause excessive wear on other components of the suspension system, such as the tires and brakes. Additionally, a bad wheel bearing can cause vibrations that make driving difficult and uncomfortable. In extreme cases, it can even lead to a complete loss of control over the vehicle due to instability or sudden failure of one or more wheels.

To prevent these dangers from occurring, drivers should have their vehicles inspected regularly by a qualified mechanic who will check for any signs of wear or damage in the wheel bearings. If any issues are found, they should be addressed immediately before further damage occurs.

Additionally, drivers should pay attention to any unusual noises (aka the bad wheel bearing sound) coming from their vehicles while driving; this could indicate that there is an issue with one or more wheel bearings that needs attention right away.

How to Choose the Right Replacement Parts for Your Vehicle’s Wheel Bearings

When it comes to replacing the wheel bearings on your vehicle, it is important to choose the right parts for the job. The wrong parts can lead to premature wear and tear, as well as potential safety issues. Here are some tips for choosing the right replacement parts for your vehicle’s wheel bearings (once you’ve understood how to tell if wheel bearing is bad):

1. Determine Your Vehicle’s Make and Model: Before you start shopping for replacement parts, you need to know what type of vehicle you have. This will help you narrow down your search and ensure that you get the correct part for your car or truck.

2. Check Your Owner’s Manual: Once you know what type of vehicle you have, consult its owner’s manual or service manual to determine which specific wheel bearing part is needed for your make and model of car or truck. This will help ensure that you get a compatible part that fits properly in place of the old one.

3. Consider Quality: When selecting a new wheel bearing part, be sure to consider quality over price when making a purchase decision. High-quality components are designed with precision engineering and made from durable materials that can withstand extreme temperatures and road conditions without wearing out prematurely or failing unexpectedly while driving at high speeds on highways or other roads with rough terrain conditions such as potholes or gravel roads.

4. Choose OEM Parts Whenever Possible: If possible, try to purchase original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts whenever possible instead of aftermarket components from third-party suppliers who may not use quality materials in their products. OEM parts are designed specifically by automakers for their vehicles so they fit perfectly into place without any modifications required during installation.

5. Research Online Reviews: Before making a purchase decision, research online reviews about different brands offering replacement wheel-bearing components. This will give you an idea about how reliable each brand is, how long their products last, and whether customers have had any problems with them in terms of performance or durability.

By following these tips when selecting replacement parts for your vehicle’s wheel bearings, you can be sure that they will provide reliable performance over time while keeping both yourself and other drivers safe on the roadways.

Tips for Maintaining Your Vehicle’s Wheel Bearings

Here’s how to maintain your wheel bearings and prevent needing to know how to tell if wheel bearing is bad:

1. Check the wheel bearings regularly for signs of wear and tear. Look for any unusual noises, vibrations, or looseness in the wheel when driving.

2. Make sure to keep your vehicle’s wheel bearings properly lubricated at all times. This will help reduce friction and wear on the bearing surfaces, as well as prevent corrosion from occurring.

3. Inspect your vehicle’s brakes regularly to ensure that they are functioning properly and not causing excessive strain on the wheel bearings. If you notice any issues with your brakes, have them serviced immediately by a qualified mechanic to avoid further damage to the wheel bearings or other components of your vehicle’s suspension system.

4. Have a professional mechanic inspect and service your vehicle’s wheel bearings at least once a year or every 10,000 miles (whichever comes first). This will help ensure that they are in good condition and functioning correctly at all times.

5. When replacing worn-out or damaged wheel bearings, make sure to use only high-quality parts that meet OEM specifications for the best results and long-term reliability of your vehicle’s suspension system components.


1. How can I tell if my wheel bearing is bad?

A: You can tell if your wheel bearing is bad by listening for a grinding or humming noise coming from the wheel area, feeling for excessive play in the wheel, or noticing that your steering wheel vibrates when you drive.

You may also like

Leave a Comment