What is a wheel bearing?

A wheel bearing is a part made up of metal balls surrounded by a metal hoop which holds it together. In short, they are what makes the wheels rotate and control the amount of friction and speed occuring when the wheels spin. This is an essential job; they support the weight of the car on the wheels and allow the car to accelerate, break and turn safely. As you can imagine, it is critical that the wheel bearings are operating properly which is why they should be replaced immediately if they are no longer safe.

How do you know if you need to replace your wheel bearing?

Now, you may be wondering how you would know that your wheel bearings are failing. Luckily, if you get your car routinely serviced your mechanic should recommend a wheel bearing replacement when it is necessary. Otherwise, it can sometimes be difficult to diagnose a failing wheel bearing, but there are some signs to be on the look out for:

  • Noisy wheels when driving. The noise is best described as grinding. You may notice that it gets more or less loud depending on the speed; usually

    Wheel bearing and hub.

    louder when you go faster. This is because when your car accelerates, the wheel bearing is controling the friction. When they get worn, that friction gets harder on the wheel bearing causing the grating sound.

  • Less control when steering. Another symptom you might notice is that when driving, the car feels as if it is steering to one side or the other without your control. This is related to your wheel bearing getting worn down. If you notice this is happening it is likely that your wheel bearing is allowing some of the friction it is supposed to control to move through the tyres instead. This could be caused by steering or suspension issues as well; see here for more information about the cause. 
  • Loose wheels. Your wheel bearings are connected to hubs (see here for a full explanation of the parts in your car wheels) in your tyres by being fit in very tightly. If your wheel bearing has gotten more loose over time, you may notice this while driving. While on the road, you may feel that the wheels are loose especially when turning.

For an extended list of possible symptoms, see here. 

What happens if you don’t replace your wheel bearing?

The most important reason you should get your wheel bearings replaced when needed is because it is critical for safety. In the procress of the wheel bearing breaking down, control of steering and breaking/acceleration is reduced making driving more dangerous. Additionally, if you wait until the wheel bearing completely fails, the tyre could stop functioning altogether which would be extremely dangerous on the road. Apart from safety, it could also cause other damage that costs more money, such as uneven tyre wear or damage to the brake pads.

Wheel bearing replacement in Hamilton

At Grimmer Motors, we can quickly replace your wheel bearings for you, reducing the stress on your tyres and allowing for a quieter, safer drive. All of our mechanics are highly trustworthy and experienced, guaranteeing thorough and reliable service every time. For quick and honest services, contact us now and book a wheel bearing replacement in Hamilton!

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