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Each wheel on your vehicle rotates by using wheel bearings. Every wheel bearing includes rollers that spin in a cage to carry the weight of the vehicle on the axles. Most rollers are tapered or angled so that they can bear the heavy load placed on the wheels when you make a left or right hand turn. If you regularly maintenance your wheel bearings by lubricating them during any type of brake service, your wheel bearings should stay in working order for over 100,000 miles. Unusual noises, such as clicks, rumbles, and groans that change with the vehicles speed may mean that the wheel bearing is worn and unable to carry the load. You can also check the status of the wheel bearing in question without disassembly by jacking up the wheel, grabbing it from either side, and trying to move it. It should allow for very little if any movement. If, upon inspection, you realize that you do need to replace a wheel bearing, you'll find the perfect replacement in our online catalog. We offer a huge wheel bearing selection and can fit almost any vehicle. Our catalog is set up to make finding the wheel bearing right for your vehicle a fast and easy experience. Our search engine provides you with the ability to enter the make and model of the vehicle you're driving so that you are directed to the parts that are specifically made for your car. All of our parts, including wheel bearings are priced at wholesale to provide you with the most affordable selection on the web.
Picking the Right Wheel Bearing for Your Ride
Wheel bearings are made to last 150,000 miles or more. However, they need to support the vehicle's weight, so constant load and over load will sure take their toll on them as well as on their grease and seals, causing the bearings to wear out prematurely. When the seal wears out and the grease starts to leak, your ride's bearings are in trouble. If you now hear unusual noises coming from the wheels, you'd better check your bearings immediately. If replacement is needed, don't hold back. You surely don't want your wheels to fly off your axle while you're driving, do you?
The different types of wheel bearing for your ride
Automotive wheel bearings come in many different kinds and designs. Among the types of bearings commonly used in automotive applications are:
- ball bearings
- roller bearings
- thrust ball bearings
- roller thrust bearings
- taper roller bearings
When purchasing a new one, it is wise to base your choice on the type and specifications of the bearing that needs replacement. This will help you avoid incompatibility issues, which can lead to more serious vehicle problems. You also need to consider other important factors, such as materials and the quantity they are sold.
Ceramic vs. stainless steel wheel bearings
Most wheel bearings are made of stainless steel because this material doesn't rust and has the ability to resist corrosive elements. They can work well even when subjected to high temperatures and yes, they can do that without showing signs of corrosion and degradation and without a need for lubrication.
Ceramic wheel bearings, on the other hand, are made from silicon nitride, which can lubricate itself. They are a great investment because they definitely last longer than steel bearings. Ceramic bearings are also stiffer, keeping your wheels pointed and able to spin and accelerate faster for better performance. Not only do they lessen rolling resistance, ceramic bearings also ensure lower friction, making the battery last longer and the engine run cooler. With these bearings, the driveline also becomes more efficient.
Wheel bearing kit vs. individual wheel bearing
Those who need to replace only one bearing can save bucks by getting a unit that's sold individually. But if you need several bearings plus other parts necessary for easy installation, a wheel bearing kit is right for you. A kit may include some or all of these things: bearing protector, bearing cover, split pin, seal, lock nut, circlip, o-ring, washer, and spacer.
10 DIY Steps on Replacing your Car's Wheel Bearing
A typical wheel bearing can last for an average of 100,000 miles, but eventually the stresses of the road will cause them to wear out. And since bad bearings can lead to groaning wheels or ? in a worst case scenario ? the wheels falling off, they must be replaced immediately as soon as they show signs of wear or damage.
Difficulty level: Moderate
- Jack and jack stands
- Seal and race driver set
Step 1: With the car parked on a level surface, jack up the car and place the jack stands under the frame for support.
Step 2: Remove the wheel and the brake caliper from the wheel hub. Clean the inside of the hub and spindle with rags.
Step 3: With your screw driver, gently pry the grease cup out from the hub. You can use the mallet to help loosen the cup.
Step 4: Remove the cotter pin, retaining ring and axle spindle nut. Next, grab the disc and take out the hub or rotor-hub assembly from the axle. At this point the outer wheel bearing should drop out.
Step 5: Knock the outer race out from the hub with a drift and hammer. Tap alternately on each side to prevent cracking the race. Once the outer race is removed, flip over the hub and use the same procedure to knock out the inner race, bearing and seal.
Step 6: Pack the replacement inner and outer wheel bearings. Make sure that the grease goes inside the cage and rollers.
Step 7: Using an amply-sized driver, drive in the inner race until it is seated all the way in. Put the bearing in the race, pack it in with grease, and use the driver again to seat the grease seal. Flip over the hub and repeat the process for the outer race. Make sure that all the races and seals are level.
Step 8: Fill the hub with just enough grease and place it on the spindle. Attach the wheel bearing, washer and axle nut.
Step 9: Replace the retaining ring and secure it with a new cotter pin. Replace the bearing grease cup and clean all the excess grease from outside of the hub.
Step 10: Re-install the calipers and wheel back into the hub and check for wheel play. If done correctly, the wheel should have little or no play when moved.