4 Essential Tips to Prevent Premature Wheel Bearing Damage

4 Essential Tips to Prevent Premature Wheel Bearing Damage

 

Wheel bearings are steel balls (typically coming in pairs) that are contained by a race or a metal ring. These bearings assist your car’s wheels in revolving as quickly as possible with minimal friction. Likewise, they also help to support the weight of the vehicle. 

In other words, despite being considered as basic parts, wheel bearings are essential components of your car and need to be looked after properly so that your vehicle can continue operating as smoothly and as safely as possible. 

To learn more about them, here are four crucial tips to prevent premature wheel bearing damage:

1. Bearing diagnosis

The three principal causes of wheel bearing failure are poor installation, a broken wheel bearing seal, and damage from a collision

2. Maintain your wheel bearings 

One of the best ways to prevent premature wheel bearing damage is to maintain them adequately. You can do this by ensuring that you are only using clean tools and are in a clean environment when working on your vehicle’s brakes. Otherwise, dirt can jeopardize the function of your bearings by exposing it to external dirt and dust.

Additionally, ensure you are always following the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations when it comes to maintenance checks (usually every 25,000 to 30,000 miles) and by using only the recommended grease type for your bearings. Incorrect lubrication accounts for about 50% of bearing failures that results in malfunctions.

Consulting your owner’s manual will help you maintain the good condition of your wheel bearings for as long as possible. By doing preventive measures such as regular checking and diagnosis of your wheel bearings and the rest of your vehicle, you are decreasing the possibility of exposing yourself and your car to inconveniences and risks related to these parts. This will assist you in avoiding expensive repairs and undesirable vehicle downtime.

3. Utilize high-quality products 

Generally, wheel bearings that are constructed from high-quality steel (and are appropriately maintained) can last up to 100,000 miles, which should demonstrate why it is crucial to utilize high-quality products in your car. On the other hand, cheap wheel bearings made from low-quality steel with poor heat-treating frequently fail prematurely. 

In addition, to ensure your wheel bearings’ longer life span, you have to make sure you are only using high-quality grease that is specifically designed to function in high temperatures and within specific environments. This helps in minimizing the amount of friction your bearings get exposed at. However, keep in mind the amount of grease you apply in your application as too much of it might quickly generate overheating. 

To ensure that you’re using the right type of grease, it’s always better to have a direct consultation with your trusted technical service provider for you to be aware of the best grease to use for your car.

4. Stay alert for wheel bearing damage 

When wheel bearings are damaged, they have their own ways of letting you know as this reduces your car’s mobility. Some of the most common signs of wheel bearing damage include odd noises (such as a recurring chirping, growling, or thundering noise), breakage or shoulder dents (due to off-centered bearing mounting and improper handling), faulty steering, overheating, and vibrations. On the other hand, you may feel your brakes pulsating and pulling due to broken wheel bearings. If this is happening, it may also be accompanied by an audible clicking sound as the vehicle accelerates.

If you feel a vibrating sensation through the steering wheel (particularly when cruising at a slow speed or when accelerating), then this is likely due to a wheel bearing problem. If your car doesn’t feel secure, responsive and controlled when you are maneuvering it, then immediately take it to a professional mechanic or trusted technical professionals who can investigate the problem and ascertain whether its your wheel bearings that are causing it or not. 

If you have limited knowledge when it comes to repairing or replacing wheel bearings, it’s not advisable to just self-diagnose it and do guess work. Any uncertain actions done towards your bearings and application might cause more harm than good. It is still highly recommended that you find an experienced technician who knows what they are doing and who have mastered their craft in the field of technical repair services. Otherwise, you are risking permanently ruining your bearings as even those made of the highest quality materials can easily be damaged by someone who doesn’t know how to handle it properly and install it safely. 

AUTHOR BIO

Hassanein Alwan is the Managing Director of Mineral Circles Bearings with more than 10 years’ experience in the bearing industry’s technical support division, sales and marketing, plus strategic business development consultancy.                                                                                                            

About author

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