3 Warning Signs of Bad or Failing Wheel Bearings

Your wheel bearings are part of what helps keep your wheels attached to your car and spinning freely without building up too much heat. Over time your wheel bearings can wear out. Typically, wheel bearings fail due to poor installation or damage from an accident, but whatever the reason, once they wear down they will need to be replaced. If left unreplaced or uncared for, they will eventually break and result in one or multiple wheels coming off completely during your drive.
The average car is made up of 30,000 parts, each one of them playing an important role in keeping you safe. Like many other key components in your car, the wheel bearings are small and easy to overlook or forget about, but vital to your vehicle’s safety. Your wheel bearings are part of what helps keep your wheels attached to your car and spinning freely without building up too much heat. Over time your wheel bearings can wear out. Typically, wheel bearings fail due to poor installation or damage from an accident, but whatever the reason, once they wear down they will need to be replaced. If left unreplaced or uncared for, they will eventually break and result in one or multiple wheels coming off completely during your drive.

Unfortunately, a failing wheel bearing can happen quickly and is often difficult to detect. However, there are a few ways to tell that your bearings have begun to fail and need to be replaced. During your drive, be sure to keep alert for the following warning signs:

  1. Unusual Noises – The most common indication of a bad wheel bearing are the noises they create. When your wheel bearings begin to wear down, excess heat can build up as lubricity is lost. This will often result in unusual noises coming from the tire area of your car. Keep your ear open for something that sounds like a knocking or grinding noise (which is likely the sound of metal-to-metal friction). It’s easy to mistake these sounds for engine noise, but do your best to listen carefully and make note of which side of the car the sound has originated from before speaking to a mechanic.
  2. Strange Movement or Vibrations – Another indication of issues with your wheel bearing will be vibrations in the steering wheel. Your steering and suspension system are tied close together and when your bearings become worn, a vibration will become noticeable in your steering wheel. It will be apparent at slower speeds before becoming progressively worse as your vehicle accelerates.
  3. Uneven Tire Wear – Issues with your wheel bearings can impact your tires as well. A broken wheel bearing can often result in uneven tire wear and let you know which tire has the issue. However, if there is a problem with one tire, you will need to replace the wheel bearing on the opposite side of the vehicle as well.

While some of this information may seem a bit overwhelming, it’s important to keep in mind if you suspect any issues with your wheel bearings. When you notice any of the abovementioned signs, do not delay and immediately have your vehicle checked by a trusted mechanic. Not only can wheel bearing problems compromise the smooth ride and drive of your car, but they can also put you and your passengers in danger. As such, at the first signs of trouble, be sure to contact Quic Transmission & Automotive Services to get professional assistance with your automotive concerns. Call us at 505-271-8000 or visit our website to schedule an appointment with our team: https://quictrans.com/

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