Top 5 Bad Wheel Bearing Symptoms
To determine the condition of your wheel bearings, there are 5 common signs you can look out for. Take your vehicle into Platinum Plus Auto Repair to have your assessed today.
#1 – Uneven Tire Wear
When wheel bearings wear out, they tend to wear out unevenly from the rest of them. This will cause the corresponding tire to have abnormal tire wear compared to the others.In a normal situation where your tires wear out, they would all be evenly worn out from simply driving on them. So if they are unevenly worn out, it could very well be to a bad wheel bearing.
Of course, other issues such as a bad wheel alignment, unbalanced tires, and others could also be causes of uneven tire wear so don’t assume it’s the wheel bearings unless other symptoms match up.
#2 – Grinding Noise
A common symptom of bad wheel bearings is when your tires have a loud grinding noise coming from them. This is caused when the wheel bearings lose their lubricity and build up a lot of heat inside of them instead.
It will almost be like hearing two pieces of metal grinding together. Usually, you’ll only hear the sound coming from one wheel rather than all of them because of how the wheels wear out unevenly. The noise is most noticeable while shifting or turning.
#3 – Steering Wheel Vibrates
If the problem gets really bad then your steering wheel will start to vibrate. You’ll notice this vibration when you drive at slower speeds but the problem will get worse as you step on the gas pedal and accelerate the vehicle.
A lot of people think this symptom has to do with unbalanced tires on their vehicle. While the symptoms of both are similar, vibrations from an unevenly balanced tires occur at high speeds. But in any case, you should take your vehicle to a mechanic and have them officially diagnose the problem.
#4 – Vehicle Pulls to One Side
When a wheel bearing is worn and becomes corroded or pitted, the smooth lining which bearings require is no longer there and the rough surface causes vibration to that tire. This vibration may cause your vehicle to slightly pull to the side of the worn bearing.
You may also experience your car pulling to the side when applying your brakes. While this is a typical symptom of bad brake rotors or calipers, the actual cause may be the wheel bearings themselves because of the excessive amount of runout which they cause.
#5 – Excess Wobble or Play in Wheels
This one is a bit trickier to diagnose since you need to have your car on a hydraulic lift or both wheels of an axle up on jack stands. When lifted, grab one of the wheels and try rocking it back and forth and notice how much “play” or movement the wheel has. Now repeat this on the wheel at the other end of the axle.
If the wheel wobbles or moves back and forth when you rock it, you likely have bad wheel bearings. Good wheel bearings mean the wheel has almost no wobble or excess play.