When we talk about vehicle maintenance and care, we often think of familiar topics such as oil changes or filter changes. One of the most important things that most drivers forget about is the stress on wheel bearings. If you want what’s best for your car and make it last longer than it’s expected lifespan, it is imperative that you learn about wheel bearing and how it can affect your driving experience.
A bearing’s role is essential to reduce the amount of friction present in mechanical devices that rotate. The part of your vehicle’s wheel bearing is quite similar to that was they reduce friction in your car’s wheels (which are in this case the mechanical devices which rotate) and allows them to move smoothly. You can find wheel bearings located in your car near the hub to which your vehicle’s wheels are bolted. Furthermore, this hub in which the wheel bearing is present is bolted to the suspension of the vehicle. These wheel bearings are made up of small steel balls that are encased within metal rings. These rings are filled with grease to ensure smooth operation. After a heavy usage of the vehicle, this grease dries out, and the wheel bearings suffer from excessive wear and tear. This is when you have to replace it with the right Parts Avatar’s wheel bearings.
The wearing and treating of wheel bearings can be caused by several factors. One of the most common factors sure to which wheel bearing often sustain damage is due to driving through waterlogged areas. The grease inside these wheel bearings is petroleum-based, and it doesn’t mix well with water. Thus, if you drive the vehicle through seriously waterlogged streets, it can cause additional damage to the wheel bearings. While nowadays, many sealed wheel bearings are out in the market. But this fact that they are sealed does not necessarily mean that those wheel bearings are waterproof and are immune to streets filled with water. Apart from this, wheel bearings can also get damaged via other factors such as driving through rough roads that are in bad condition and driving with unbalanced wheels and incorrect inflation.
When the bearings wear out, they can be either fixed or completely replaced. For the ones that have a sealed exterior, there is usually no means of repairing them, and they need to be replaced entirely. However, if the damage is not too severe for the ones that are not sealed, the parts can be opened up and checked for damage. If they are deemed to be serviceable, they can be assembled again with new and fresh grease to operate them and reinstall back to the vehicle.
You can find quite a few signs of your car misbehaving due to the damage to its wheels bearings. Here are two of the best and easiest ways you can figure out if the wheel bearings of your vehicle need to be replaced or not:
- Sound test
When the grease dries up and the steel ball inside the bearings corrode, the friction and all the wearing out emits a particular noise, which can sometimes be clearly audible. While the noise can be very subtle, it sounds almost like the howling of the wind.
- Wiggling of the wheel
If the wheel bearing of any wheel is damaged, that particular wheel will wiggle back and forth very prominently while driving. If you feel this wiggle in any of your wheels, then you should get your vehicle checked out for any signs of damage to your bearings.
It seems that we only remember that wheel bearings exist when a significant problem occurs. This might be because we cannot see wheel bearings in the exterior of the vehicle as it stays mostly hidden out of our vision. However, this hidden part of your car is one of the essential parts of your car, alongside the battery and the engine. The wheel bearings of your vehicle are the part that carries the total weight of your vehicle every time you use it, including the weight of the body as well as the occupants traveling in it.