All vehicles with wheels are bound to have wheel bearings. Not only will you find them on the wheels of cars, but also on the wheels of bicycles, wheelbarrows, and even airplanes. Wheel bearings are basically a group of balls which are attached to a metal ring. These components are located inside of the wheel hub. In case you don’t know, the wheel hub is the hollow metal area in the middle of the wheel. Your tires are bolted onto the wheel hub. As the wheels spin while you are driving the vehicle, the wheel bearings will help increase the speed of the spinning wheels. This reduces the friction and creates a much smoother driving experience.
The Top 5 Causes
Your wheel bearings get a little bit worn each second that you drive your vehicle. As the wheels are touching and moving on the road, it puts a lot of stress on the wheel bearings. It may eventually get to the point where your wheel bearings become too worn out. You will notice when this happens because there will be some unusual noises coming from them. This is a sign that they are damaged and need to be replaced right away. If you fail to do this promptly, it could have a severely negative impact on your driving ability.
Of course, wheel bearings don’t always go bad on their own. They can have a little help from various incidents that could arise. These are things that could prematurely damage your wheel bearings before old age strikes them.
Below are the top 5 causes of damaged and noisy wheel bearings.
Flooded Streets – Wheel bearings have a tough time dealing with water. If you are driving on a flooded street, the seals won’t be able to prevent water from entering into your bearings. The reason this causes damage to the bearings is due to the lubricant. All wheel bearings have already been lubricated by the manufacturer. This is usually a petroleum-based lubricant which doesn’t mix well with water. If your wheel bearings are exposed to water like this, then you will need to replace the bearings immediately. They won’t be able to get repaired.
Uneven Roads – There is so much pressure put on your wheel bearings as you drive. The more often that you drive over uneven roads and terrain, the more worn out and damaged your wheel bearings are going to become. Eventually, the steel balls of the bearings will develop small damaged areas and other imperfections which will limit their ability to reduce friction for the wheels.
Tires Not Balanced – Part of any good car maintenance routine is to get your tires balanced. Otherwise, certain wheel bearings will endure more pressure and stress than other wheel bearings of the car. This will cause them to wear out faster and become noisy and damaged. You need to keep your tires balanced to avoid this from happening.
Car Accident – If you have been involved in a car accident which has damaged your wheels or even slightly dented them, then your wheel bearings may have been impacted too. This could easily cause them to be damaged to the point where they’re malfunctioning and creating all those strange noises that you don’t want to hear.
Bad Installation – If you just recently had new wheel bearings installed and you’re already noticing strange noises and other problems, then it must mean that your wheel bearings were not installed properly. Either the mechanic was negligent, or they did not install the wheel bearings to the manufacturer’s specifications. In any event, the best thing you should do is go to the dealership where you purchased your vehicle and have them install the bearings correctly.