The wheel bearings are an essential part of your car, yet they are often overlooked when it comes to maintenance. However, if you take the time to check them regularly, you can spot any signs that they need changing before more serious damage occurs. So, what do you need to be on the lookout for?
What is a Wheel Bearing?
A bearing is essentially a set of steel balls or rollers held together by a metal ring that facilitates smooth rotation between the inner and outer race of the hub assembly. It helps support the weight of your car as well as provide smooth movement when you turn. It's a remarkable device that is crucial to the operation of your vehicle.
Signs That Your Wheel Bearings Need Replacing
Several telltale signs indicate when your wheel bearings need replacing, such as:
- Unusual noises while driving, such as grinding or humming sounds
- A sudden increase in vibration from the steering wheel or floorboard
- Wobbling or shaking from one side of the car
- Uneven wear on either tyre
You should also have your bearings inspected periodically as part of regular maintenance, even if there aren't any noticeable symptoms yet. An experienced mechanic will be able to tell you if it is indeed time for new bearings.
How To Replace Wheel Bearings?
If you find that your bearings need replacing then it's important to act quickly to prevent further damage caused by worn parts or lack of lubrication. Replacing them yourself requires specialist tools and knowledge, which means it's best left to an experienced mechanic who can do the job safely and correctly without damaging other parts.
A mechanic will usually start by removing the brake caliper and disc before taking out the old bearing using a press tool. They can then fit a new one with new seals and lubricant where necessary. Many mechanics will choose to replace the bearings on the opposite side of the vehicle as well to avoid similar issues in the near future.
What to Do Now
It's essential to maintain your wheels and bearings properly if you want to keep your car running smoothly and safely. It's also good to know some warning signs to spot any problems early on before they become larger issues down the line saving both time and money. So, if you suspect issues with any of your bearings (or other mechanical components), contact auto repair services for further advice.