Do you have a bad Wheel Bearing?
Wheel bearings aren’t thought about often –until they start to make some noise or give you some trouble. The wheel bearings are designed to reduce friction as your wheels are spinning. Without them, your wheels would seize up, causing an accident. The thing about wheel bearings is they start “talking” to you when they begin to wear out.
Each wheel of your vehicle has a set of wheel bearings that consist of steel balls held together by a metal ring and packed with grease. As mentioned, they reduce friction so your wheels can spin with ease. When one or more of the wheel bearings begins to wear out, you will start to notice certain signs. If you ignore the signs, it will become quite dangerous to drive as the wheel(s) with the bad bearing(s) could seize up causing a serious accident.
Symptoms of a wheel bearing that’s going bad:
- You hear a grinding or grating nose coming from the area of the wheels. The thing to note about this noise is that it will get louder as you accelerate. It happening because the bearings have gone bad (some may have even fallen out) and metal is grinding on metal.
- The tires begin to wear unevenly. There are any number of things that can cause uneven tire wear. Worn wheel bearings is one of them. The reason they cause uneven tire wear is because a faulty wheel bearing will allow the wheel to be loose and vibrate more.
- You notice problems with the steering while driving. Faulty wheel bearings can cause a vibration in your steering. It could also cause the vehicle to pull more toward one side.
- The steering wheel feels “loose.” A broken wheel bearing will cause the steering to have a little more play which meats it will feel looser. One way to tell is by trying to rock the wheel when it’s up on a lift. If the wheel wobbles or moves back and forth, there’s a bad wheel bearing.
How dangerous is it to drive with a broken wheel bearing?
A faulty wheel bearing will put pressure on other steering and suspension components. It could cause damage to the hub, CV joint, and axle. Even worse than that is the damage that could happen to you and others if the wheel bearing causes the wheel to seize while driving.