3 Warning Signs of Failing Wheel Bearings
Like many other vital components in your vehicle, the wheel bearings are small and it’s quite easy to forget about them, however, they are essential to the safety of your automobile. The wheel bearings help to keep your wheels attached to your car and allowing them to spin freely without accumulating too much heat. Like any other car component, over time, wheel bearings wear out. Usually, the failure of the wheel bearings is due to bad installation or damage from an accident. Once they wear down, they have to be replaced. If left uncared for, or unreplaced, they will eventually break and lead to one or several wheels coming off completely while driving.
Unfortunately, a failing wheel bearing can occur fast and is usually not easy to detect. However, several telltale signs indicate a possible failure of the wheel bearings:
Strange Noises – the most common indicator of a failing wheel bearing are the odd noises they make. When your wheel bearings start wearing down, as there’s no lubricity, excess heat can build up. This often leads to strange noises coming from your car’s tire area. Listen carefully for something that sounds like grinding or knocking noise. It’s possible to mistake these sounds for engine noise, but do your best and make sure you hear them.
Odd Movement or Vibrations – another common indicator for trouble with the wheel bearings are the vibrations coming from the steering wheel. The steering and suspension systems are tied closely together, so when your bearings finally wear out, you’ll notice a vibration in your steering wheel. It’s will be more obvious when you’re driving at slower speeds, before it begins to worsen, as your vehicle accelerates.
Uneven Tire Wear – wheel bearings issues can also impact your tires. A broken wheel bearing often results in uneven tire wear and tells you which tire is problematic. Keep in mind that if there’s a problem with one tire, you’ll have to replace the wheel bearing on the opposite side, as well.
When you notice any of the abovementioned signs, have your vehicle checked by a trusted mechanic immediately. Wheel bearing problems not only compromise the smooth ride and drive of your car, but they can also put you and your passengers in danger.