As you are undoubtedly aware, a car cannot operate securely or correctly without strong, reliable wheels. You might be surprised to learn that the wheel is anything but a basic part. Actually, the design of a wheel involves many intricate details and multiple interdependent parts that need to work as a unit.
The wheel bearing is a prime illustration of this. Wheel bearings are essential to the proper operation of your wheels, more specifically to the proper operation of the hub, tire, and assemblies. It’s important to recognize the warning indicators because they can be abused. So, stay tuned as we uncover the most common symptoms of a bad wheel bearing.
What Are The Symptoms Of a Bad Wheel Bearing?
Your car will alert you when a wheel bearing needs to be replaced. Keep an eye out for and pay attention to the following signs:
Noisy wheel bearings are the most easily recognized and prevalent symptom. It can be confusing, though. For instance, other problems like tires and the CV joint may be the cause of a humming noise.
Growling or Squealing
Wheel bearings that are worn out often make screaming and/or snarling noises. As the speed of the car increases, the sound gets louder. Make an effort to locate the noise, as this will indicate where the worn-out bearings are.
Tire Wear Unevenly
Wheel bearing wear may be indicated if one tire wears out more quickly than the others. It might also indicate that the tires are misaligned, the vehicle’s suspension parts are worn out or broken, or the tire is incorrectly inflated (i.e., either too much or too little air pressure).
Car Pulls Over to One Side
When applying brakes, a car may pull to the left or right due to worn bearings. The direction in which the vehicle pulls indicates either the left or right side of the vehicle, depending on which bearings are worn. This, however, may potentially indicate issues with the braking calipers or rotors.
Vibrating Steering Wheel
The steering wheel vibrating may be the result of faulty wheel bearings. As the car accelerates and makes left or right turns, the intensity rises as well. Nonetheless, an out-of-round tire (which can have a flat patch) or an unbalanced tire could be the cause of the vibration. Worn-out or damaged suspension parts are another factor.
Worn bearings may be the source of the issue if there is excessive play in the steering, which makes the steering appear less accurate or responsive than usual. This can also indicate that the wheels of the car need to be aligned. Visit a dealer service or vehicle repair shop if you see any of the above-mentioned indicators.
A Clicking Noise
There can be an issue with the wheel hub assembly if you hear a clicking sound that gets louder when the car speeds.
In the event that the wheel, tire, or ring wobbles or sways, the wheel’s speed sensor malfunctions, or the ABS operates intermittently or not at all, the anti-lock warning light may illuminate. For repairs, consult a specialist.
By raising the car and manually examining the wheels, technicians can detect wheel sway. Normally, shaking the wheel and tire would be impossible. If it moves, though, the hub assembly has to be fixed right away. If you don’t repair your vehicle, the tire and wheel could literally come off at any time and at any speed.
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To sum up, a functional wheel bearing is essential to the safe and seamless running of your car. Even though noisy wheel bearings are the most prevalent and obvious sign of problems, it’s important to be aware of other possible indicators of bearing degradation. It’s important to pay attention to uneven tire wear, steering problems, and vibrating steering wheels.
If you notice any of these symptoms, you should have your car checked by a certified mechanic as soon as possible. Ignoring wheel bearing problems can result in more serious and expensive damage, endangering your car’s performance as well as your safety.
Keep in mind that routine maintenance and the early identification of wheel bearing issues can prevent future accidents and costly repairs. Pay close attention to these warning indicators and put your car’s health and safety before your own while driving.