Astoria Mechanic | Collision Repair | Tolimas Auto Center

Tolima's Auto Wheel Bearing Noise

Wheel Bearing Noise

If you drive your car and suddenly start hearing a whirring rotational noise you might be hearing a bad wheel bearing noise. Wheel bearings are some of the most critical parts of your suspension as they literally support a quarter of your vehicle’s weight. The wheel bearing assembly is one of the most stressed and critical components of your car. Your wheel bearing assemblies take the stress of all your braking, accelerating, and potholes. All these variables factor into how long a wheel bearing will last. When your wheel bearing starts making noise it is on its way out and should be replaced as soon as possible.

What causes a wheel bearing to fail?

The bearings are sealed inside the bearing assembly in the wheel hub. The ball bearings are packed with a high temperature bearing grease. Over time the seals will fail, the grease will leak out, and contaminants will get inside. The contaminants could be brake dust, dirt, sand, or water and these contaminants will add extra friction to the bearings inside causing them to fail sooner. As the grease leaks out the bearings will start to overheat and corrode as well, accelerating failure and making more noise.

How long do wheel bearings last?

The quality of wheel bearings vary significantly between different manufacturers and proper installation is also important to making them last a long time. There are economy wheels bearings with 1 year warranties and there are premium wheel bearings with 3 to 5 year warranties. As you can imagine economy wheel bearings might only be good for up to one year. At Tolima’s Auto Center, we only install premium wheel bearings as our warranty is 2 years or 24,000 miles. Installation is critical too as there is a vehicle specific tightness (torque spec) for the axle nut that holds in the bearings, so it doesn’t crush them. If the axle nut is too tight the bearings and the bearing seals can get crushed and all fail prematurely. Generally the longevity of wheel bearings depends on how well they are made (premium or economy), the conditions of the roads the car drives on, and proper installation. Cars in stop and go traffic on bad roads (New York City) will cause wheel bearings to fail sooner rather than later.

What happens when you don’t get your wheel bearings replaced?

If the whirring noise continues to get louder and the wheel bearing were to completely fail then it is quite possible the wheel and tire could completely separate from the vehicle. This can also cause major damage to the fenders, brake system, and suspension of the car. This is one of those repairs that if the repair is not in your budget then you should avoid driving the car as much as possible. If you have a suspension noise that you suspect might be a wheel bearing noise get your suspension inspected to confirm. If you are wondering what the price to replace a wheel bearing in your car might cost feel free to use our repair estimator.

Call Now ButtonTap to Call