The wheel bearings in your vehicle are the central part of your tire's hub, and work to reduce the amount of friction that your tires experience while you are driving. Wheel bearings are thus under quite a bit of pressure, and their failure can cause all sorts of serious complications for the tire that they are attached to, which can be a serious safety concern. Over time, as their lubricating oil is dried up and their physical integrity degrades with age and wear, your wheel bearings may begin to exhibit a number of warning signs. Being able to identify these signs can help you determine when you should have a mechanic inspect and replace your car's bearings before they fail completely.
Vibrations in the Steering Wheel
The first sign of damage or wear to your wheel bearings that you are likely to notice is a vibrating or shaking that will come through the wheel that may be worse while turning your car. A certain amount of shaking is normal, especially if you are driving over a rough surface or while traveling at high speeds, but a vibration that is constant no matter your speed or the surface that you are driving on is likely caused by bearings that need to be replaced immediately.
Another relatively obvious sign that there may be something wrong with your wheel bearings is a grinding sound coming from the tires. This points to bearings that are no longer properly lubricated and able to turn freely. Keep in mind that if this happens, a single bearing is likely to be at fault at a time, and as such the noise will be localized to the tire that has the offending bearing. A loud and all-encompassing grinding sound is more likely to indicate that there is a mechanical problem under the hood, usually with the engine or transmission.
Finally, the last common indication that your wheel bearings have worn out and are nearing complete failure is if you find that your vehicle has lost responsiveness. This is a sort of wobbling or floating feeling when it comes to translating the motion of your steering wheel to the direction your tires are facing in. Keep in mind that this sort of reduced responsiveness can also indicate that your power steering fluid needs to be flushed, that your tires have been worn down asymmetrically, or that your vehicle needs to be realigned – but if either of the two warning signs mentioned above occur as well, your wheel bearings are the most likely culprit.
Contact a mechanic to schedule a wheel bearing repair today.Share
27 February 2019
Hello. My name’s Samuel Jacobs. I retired from my job as an auto mechanic last year. During my years as a mechanic, I had the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life. Some have remained friends to this day. When I was working, there is one thing that I came across at least weekly. That is how uneducated people are when it comes to their vehicle’s tires. Properly cared for tires are crucial to the safety of your vehicle. Without them, your car isn’t going anywhere. If they give out on you while you are driving, there is the potential for serious injury. I’m going to share some tire safety information here. Things like the importance of correct inflation, how to check the tread, when to replace tires, tire rotation, and what to do in case of a blow-out. I hope you find this information to be helpful.