It’s probable that you’re having a wheel bearing malfunction if you notice a bizarre, unexpected noise coming from your car while driving. Wheel bearings are crucial safety components that are designed to withstand axial and radial loads generated by braking, accelerating, and cornering. Problems with wheel bearings, which are an important aspect of your vehicle’s proper operation, must be rectified soon to avoid further damage.
WHEEL BEARINGS AND THEIR FUNCTION IN YOUR VEHICLE
Wheel bearings are metal rings that hold a set of steel balls or tapers together. They allow the wheels to spin smoothly and with little friction. Hubs are hollow metal pieces that sit in the centre of a vehicle’s wheels. Wheel bearings are snugly fitted within hubs and ride on metal axle shafts, reducing friction while the wheels spin.
There is no consistent source of lubrication for wheel bearings, unlike engine bearings. This means that wheel bearings must be properly tightened to prevent debris, water, and dust out. Furthermore, they sustain the full vehicle’s weight while it is in operation, which is why they are subjected to a great deal of wear and strain.
WHEEL BEARING MALFUNCTION HAS WHAT CAUSES IT?
Wheel bearings can fail for a variety of causes. Some of the most prevalent reasons for wheel bearing failure are listed below.
Conditions for Driving
Wheel bearing failure can be caused by driving through mud, water, or road salt on a regular basis. Contaminants can pass through the seals and into the bearings, polluting the grease and causing bearing failure.
The quality of the wheel bearing, like every other automotive component, determines how long it will last. Bearings are precise items that necessitate lengthy production processes. Poor heat-treating in low-quality steel can cause it to spall and wear prematurely, as well as include hard or soft metal, which can lead to failure. It is critical to contact a reputable mechanic to ensure that your vehicle is equipped with strong, long-lasting wheel bearings.
Roads that are uneven
The more often you travel on uneven terrains, the more likely your wheel bearings may be damaged and worn out. The steel balls will develop damaged areas over time, limiting their capacity to minimise wheel friction. It is then required to take your car to an auto repair shop.
The simplest errors, such as using the incorrect tools, might result in damage to the wheel end bearing’s exterior or inside. As a result, the wheel bearing wears out prematurely. Reusing outdated accessories like nuts, bolts, splint pins, and seals can cause wheel end bearings to malfunction, increasing the danger of an accident.
Tyres that are unbalanced
Making sure your vehicle’s tyres are balanced is an important part of any decent car maintenance programme. If not, some wheel bearings will be subjected to higher pressure and stress than others, perhaps resulting in damage. If you feel your tyres are unbalanced, take your automobile to a garage and have a professional look at it.
Any portion of a vehicle, including wheel bearings, can be damaged in an automotive collision. Even a minor ding on them can cause them to malfunction. Damage to wheel bearings can be caused by potholes, speed bumps, and even hitting curbs, which can be diagnosed by an auto mechanic.
WHEEL BEARINGS: HOW DO THEY AFFECT CAR PERFORMANCE?
The performance of a vehicle is dependent on its wheel bearings. They are critical to the safe operation of any vehicle since they aid in the smooth rotation of the wheel. Wheel bearings are also required to reduce friction caused by other components of the drivetrain system. When they are broken or need to be changed, major issues might arise, which can be quite costly in the long run. Furthermore, damage can become even worse if wheel bearings are not replaced by a professional mechanic with the correct tools.
Wheel bearings typically last between 85,000 and 100,000 kilometres. If you hear weird noises in your car, such as humming, growling, or rumbling noises that get louder as you accelerate, have your automobile checked out by an auto repair professional as soon as possible. During acceleration and deceleration, you can hear a howling sound, which could indicate a problem with the gears or differential pinion bearing preload. This could be accompanied by a rumbling sound, indicating that the bearings are failing to adequately support the gears.
Driving with worn wheel bearings can cause a lot of damage to your vehicle drive axel and steering system, as well as a very significant safety risk. Driving on a faulty wheel bearing puts strain on the hub and CV joint of your vehicle, as well as brake system components and, eventually, the transmission. Wheel bearing replacement is a difficult task that necessitates the assistance of a specialist.
ISSUES WITH COMMON BRANDING
There are issues that come specifically or commonly to certain brands of cars, we will use Jeep as an example for this:
Jeep – Wheel bearing problems are common in some Jeep models. The wheels will make unusual rumbling noises, which the operators will notice. This is frequently a symptom that the wheel bearings are worn out. When the car is travelling at speeds greater than 30 mph and turning bends at low speeds, this noise will be most noticeable. The problem is usually solved by replacing faulty or worn out wheel bearings.
GET IN TOUCH WITH US
If you require wheel bearing replacement or any other maintenance or tyres, give us a call and discuss your issues and get booked in for an appointment with our friendly team. We provide a broad range of auto mechanic services, as well as routine vehicle maintenance and repair.