What causes wheel bearing noise? (Professionals recommend)

Over time these bearings can become loose or worn. This wear will be accelerated if the grease has leaked out or dirt, grit or water have found their way inside. You may also notice a clicking noise and perhaps a vibration through the steering wheel, caused because the worn bearing allows the wheel to wobble.

What sound does a bad wheel bearing make?

  • As wheel bearings become worn a driver may notice sound coming from the wheel. Bad wheel bearings often make a rumbling noise that may be noticed at one speed and not another. The noise will often correspond to the vehicles speed becoming louder or more steady at higher speeds.

Can I drive on a noisy wheel bearing?

It is safe to drive with a bad wheel bearing only if you just started to hear a humming, whining, grinding, or growling sound coming from the front or rear wheels. This indicates that the wheel bearing has begun failing and you would need to replace it as soon as possible.

Can you drive with a bad wheel bearing?

Q: Is it safe to drive with a bad wheel bearing? A: No. It can, in fact, be very dangerous to drive if one of your bearings is worn out, especially since it may cause the wheel to stop while driving. Additionally, a damaged wheel bearing puts a lot of stress on the hub, the CV joint, and the transmission itself.

What causes a bad wheel bearing?

The main reasons that a wheel bearing fails are: Impact damage or poor road quality – all impacts from driving through a pothole, driving over speed bumps or hitting the curbstone can damage a wheel bearing and reduce its lifespan. Poor quality wheel bearing – a wheel bearing is continuously under enormous pressure.

How do I know when my wheel bearings are going bad?

Top Warning Signs Your Wheel Bearings Need Replacement

  1. Humming Noise. The most easily identifiable and most common symptom of bad wheel bearings is an audible one.
  2. Squealing, Growling.
  3. Clicking Sound.
  4. Wheel Wobble.
  5. ABS Failure.
  6. Uneven Tire Wear.
  7. Vehicle Pulls to One Side.
  8. Steering Wheel Vibration.

How expensive is it to replace a wheel bearing?

The labor cost for a wheel bearing replacement also varies and will generally cost anywhere from $60 to $300. It should take between 1 to 1.5 labor hours to change the wheel bearing. In total, the cost to replace a wheel bearing is around $150 to $800.

How much does it cost to fix a wheel bearing?

The national average is about $350 to fix the wheel bearings at one wheel. As you might imagine, however, luxury brands cost more. Please note: If the wheel bearings need replacing at one wheel, you don’t necessary need to replace the bearings at the other wheel on the same axle.

How long can a noisy wheel bearing last?

Typically, a wheel bearing should last roughly 1,000 to 1,500 miles after it starts making noise. This doesn’t mean you should keep driving since a noisy wheel bearing is always a risk. When your wheel bearings are making noise, it’s a sign that something is not working properly and might fail when you’re driving.

How long does it take a mechanic to change a wheel bearing?

The time taken to replace a wheel bearing is also slightly different depending on whether the bearing is on the front or rear wheel. A front wheel bearing replacement on average takes around 90 minutes, whereas a rear wheel bearing replacement takes on average just under 1 hour.

Do wheel bearings affect brakes?

We found significant play in the bearing, which can lead to a soft brake pedal. Brake rotors are held in alignment by wheel bearings. If you have a faulty or loose wheel bearing, the rotor will wobble on its axis. Now, when you hit the brake pedal, the piston has to travel farther than normal to apply the brakes.

How often do wheel bearings need to be replaced?

Most serviceable wheel bearings need maintenance every 25,000 to 30,000 miles, or during every brake service. But, the average life of a sealed wheel bearing and hub assembly is about 85,000 to 100,000 miles, without the opportunity for a technician to repack the bearings.

Should you replace wheel bearings in pairs?

Both wheel bearings have racked up the same number of miles, so it’s logical to conclude that both sides have probably experienced the same amount of wear. Based on this line of thinking, it would make sense to recommend replacing both wheel bearing hubs at the same time even though only one has obviously failed.

Can bad alignment cause wheel bearing damage?

Poor alignment can cause tire wear. The alignment can be pushed out of place due to the vulnerability of the metal components in the make-up of the system. Joint components and rubber bushings are not as effective as they used to be.

How hard is it to replace a wheel bearing?

Is it easy to replace a wheel bearing at home? Replacing a wheel bearing that comes as an assembly with the hub and bolts to the spindle or steering knuckle is not very difficult if you have proper skills, tools and the manual. Of course, the large axle nut is very tight and can be difficult to remove.

Top 5 Causes of Wheel Bearing Noise (and What it Sounds Like)

The most recent update was made on November 8, 2020. Due to the fact that wheel bearing noise might be mistaken for tire noise, diagnosing wheel bearing noise can be difficult. Even when a noisy wheel bearing is the root cause of the problem, it might be difficult to pinpoint which wheel is the source of the problem. Are you looking for a reliable online repair manual? The top five choices may be found by clicking here. The primary function of a wheel bearing is to allow the wheels to revolve with the least amount of friction possible.

The seals should be able to keep the vacuum from escaping.

Bearing damage and noise may happen as a result of this.

What Causes Noise From Wheel Bearings?

Wheel bearings are affixed to the wheel and are in continual motion to provide traction. Due to the fact that the wheels are in contact with the road when driving, there might be a multitude of reasons why the wheel bearing is generating these weird noises or has become damaged. Here are the top 5 causes of loud wheel bearings, in no particular order.

1 – Improper Installation

Located on the wheel and continually moving, wheel bearings help to keep the wheels in place. The fact that the wheels are in contact with the road when driving means that there might be a multitude of reasons why the wheel bearing is generating these weird noises or becoming worn. Here are the top 5 causes of loud wheel bearings, in order of importance: 1.

2 – Driving Through Deep Water

In order for the pressure to exit the wheel bearings, engineers construct wheel bearing seals in such a way that it does so. They are lubricated with a petroleum-based lubricant when they are fitted in the manufacture. The sole disadvantage is that this lubricant is unable to prevent water from passing through it. This implies that if you were to drive your automobile on a roadway that was inundated with water, the moisture would get into your bearings and cause them to fail. That occurs because it combines with the lubrication and renders it useless, leading the bearings to experience excessive friction and eventually being destroyed.

The only way to prevent water damage from occurring is to totally replace the wheel bearing.

3 – Driving On The Rough Roads

The wheel bearings are subjected to the full force of the vehicle’s weight as it rolls. It is possible for the wheel bearing to be damaged relatively simply if you drive over a rough curb or pothole. When you strike anything, the balls of the bearing are likely to be driven into the race, which is the grooved ring in which the bearing is housed. Small defects in the bearings will develop as a result of this. As you continue to drive the automobile with these faulty bearings, the heat and friction generated will increase significantly.

Soon after, the heat will cause microscopic bits to break off, contaminating the lubrication in the wheel bearing and causing it to fail much more quickly than before. The failure, however, may not become apparent for several months, depending on the circumstances.

4 – Unbalanced Tires or Bad Shocks

The wheel system is comprised of the wheel bearing, tire, lower arm, lower joint, knuckle arm, and shock, among other components. When your tires are out of balance, it is possible that some of the other components will be damaged, resulting in noise coming from the wheel bearing.

5 – Accident On or Near the Wheel Area

In continual motion, wheel bearings are coupled to all of the other components outlined in the preceding section to form a wheel assembly. So, if an accident occurs in the wheel region, it is possible that the wheel bearing will be injured as well, resulting in the formation of noise.

What Does a Bad Wheel Bearing Sound Like?

When you have a damaged or fractured wheel bearing, it may sound as if you are driving over a rumble strip on the shoulder of a busy interstate. It will not be extremely loud at first, but it will become more audible as the quality of the bearing deteriorates over time. It’s also possible to characterize wheel bearing noise as being similar to riding a bicycle as a child on which there was a playing card attached to the wheel, which hit the spokes as the wheel revolved. If you’re driving at 30 to 40 miles per hour on an empty road, spin your steering wheel slightly left and right, almost as if you’re carefully weaving in and out of your lane.

The information gained from this may also be used to determine which wheel is making the noise and which wheel bearing is in need of replacement.

It’s possible that you’ll have to crank up your volume to hear well.

How to Diagnose Damaged or Noisy Wheel Bearings

Take a jack and raise the car off the ground until the tire is completely off the ground. Then, try moving the tire in a vertical direction for a few seconds, and then in a horizontal direction. If the wheel wobbles or has some play in it, it is possible that the bearing has been damaged in some way. This video demonstrates how to execute this wheel bearing examination, which we created for your convenience. Just keep in mind that the noise you hear from the wheel bearing will fluctuate from time to time.

The noise produced by the wheel bearing may also be influenced by the speed of the vehicle.

This is only likely to occur if there is only a minor amount of damage to the bearing.

You will only be able to determine whether there is excessive play if you feel for it, as indicated above.

It is important to send your vehicle to a repair facility or tire shop if you see the wheel moving about when pushing and pulling on it. They can determine if there is damage to the wheel bearing or if another component, such as the wheel rim or the tire, has been damaged.

What Are Wheel Bearings and What Causes Wheel Bearing Malfunction?

In the event that you are driving and you notice a strange or odd noise emanating from your automobile, it’s conceivable that you are having a wheel bearing issue. In the automotive industry, wheel bearings are considered safety-critical components because they are intended to endure axial and radial stresses induced by breaking, accelerating, and cornering. Wheel bearings are a critical component of your vehicle’s proper operation, and any problems with them must be fixed immediately to avoid additional damage.

  • Steel balls or tapers are used in wheel bearings, which are kept together by a metal ring.
  • The hubs of a vehicle’s wheels are hollow pieces of metal that are located in the middle of the wheels.
  • The difference between wheel bearings and engine bearings is that there is no consistent source of lubrication for wheel bearings.
  • Additionally, they bear the weight of the entire vehicle while it is in motion, which is why they are subjected to a great deal of wear and strain.

What Causes Wheel Bearing Malfunction?

It is possible for wheel bearings to fail for a variety of reasons. The following are some of the most often encountered reasons of wheel bearing failure.

Driving Conditions

It is possible for wheel bearings to fail for a variety of different causes. Listed below are a few of the most prevalent reasons why wheel bearings fail:


The quality of the wheel bearing, like with every other automobile component, makes a significant influence in how long it will endure. Due to the fact that bearings are precision items, complicated production methods are required. Low-quality steel frequently has inadequate heat-treating, which can cause it to spall and wear prematurely, as well as containing hard or soft metal, which can result in failure. It is important to seek the advice of a reputable auto technician to ensure that your vehicle is equipped with robust, long-lasting wheel bearings.

Uneven Roads

In addition, the more the frequency with which you drive over uneven terrains, the greater the likelihood that your wheel bearings will become damaged and worn. After some time, the damaged portions on the steel balls become visible, reducing the steel balls’ capacity to reduce friction for wheels. It will be required to take your vehicle to an auto repair shop at that moment.

Poor Installation

Some of the most basic mistakes, such as using the incorrect tools, can result in damage to either the outside or inside of the wheel end bearing.

As a result, the wheel bearing fails far sooner than expected. It is also possible that reusing obsolete accessories such as nuts, bolts, splint pins, and seals can cause wheel end bearings to work in an unsafe manner, increasing the likelihood of an accident.

Imbalanced tires

In order to maintain a decent automotive maintenance regimen, it is necessary to ensure that your vehicle’s tires are properly balanced. If this is not done, some wheel bearings may be subjected to greater strain and stress than others, resulting in damage. If you feel that your tires are uneven, take your vehicle to a car garage and have a car mechanic examine it.

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The wheel bearings of a car might be damaged as a result of an automobile accident since they are exposed to the elements. They can be damaged even slightly by a collision, and this might result in a malfunction. The impact of potholes, speed bumps, and even hitting curbs can cause damage to wheel bearings, which can be detected by a professional vehicle technician.

How Do Wheel Bearings Affect Car Performance?

When it comes to vehicle performance, wheel bearings are essential. They are critical to the proper operation of any vehicle since they assist in the smooth rotation of the wheel. Additionally, wheel bearings are required for the reduction of friction generated by many other components of the powertrain system, such as the transmission. When they get damaged or need to be changed, major difficulties can arise, which can be extremely expensive to resolve in the long run. Damage might also worsen if wheel bearings are not replaced by a qualified auto technician who has access to the right tools for the job.

  • The earliest you may get your automobile evaluated by an auto repair professional is if you hear peculiar noises, such as humming or growling, that rise in volume as the vehicle is being driven.
  • When accompanied by a rumbling sound, this might indicate that the bearings are not providing adequate support for the gears.
  • It is possible to cause substantial damage to your drive-axle and steering assembly when driving with worn wheel bearings, which can result in a serious safety concern.
  • Because replacing wheel bearings is a difficult procedure, it is recommended that you seek expert assistance.

Common Brand Issues

  • Jeep – Wheel bearing problems are a common occurrence in some Jeep models. Strange rumbling noises will be heard emanating from the wheels, which will be noticed by the operators. In most cases, this is a symptom of worn out wheel bearings. This noise will be most noticeable when the vehicle is traveling at speeds more than 30 mph and when the vehicle is rounding corners at low speeds. The majority of the time, replacing defective or worn out wheel bearings will resolve the issue. Subaru –Subarus are also prone to having problems with their wheel bearings. On other types, the bearings are bolted in place, either completely replacing the unit hub or transferring the load to the hub itself. Subaru has increased the guarantee on rear wheel bearings to 100,000 miles on some cars, so it’s crucial to know what type of problems your vehicle’s make and model may be prone to before purchasing one. If you are unsure whether or not your Subaru is susceptible to wheel bearing failure, consult with your local technician.

Contact Us

In the event that you require a wheel bearing replacement in Baltimore, Maryland or the surrounding regions, contact Hollenshade’s now at 410-983-6265 or fill out our fast form and someone will contact you within 24 hours. Besides providing a wide range of comprehensive auto mechanic services, we also provide routine car maintenance and repair services.

Wheel Bearing Noise. Do I Have A Bad Bearing?

In the event that you require a wheel bearing replacement in Baltimore, Maryland or the surrounding regions, contact Hollenshade’s now at 410-983-6265 or fill out our simple formand someone will contact you within 24 hours.

Among the many services we provide are a complete selection of car mechanic services, as well as continuous vehicle maintenance and repair.

What Happens When a Wheel Bearing Goes Out?

Due to the fact that a wheel bearing must perform all of these functions for hundreds of thousands of kilometers, it is not unexpected that they wear down from time to time. Wheel bearing wear and tear can occur for a variety of causes, which we’ll discuss in more detail later. A faulty wheel bearing sound is typically characterized by a loud hum emanating from the wheel, similar to the loud road noise produced by damaged tires. A similar noise can be caused by damaged bearings in your transmission or simply by a low quantity of transmission fluid in your transmission.

On antique automobiles, wheel bearings were either a set of tapered roller bearings on the non-drive wheel or a straight bearing supporting the axle of the drive wheel, depending on the use.

These unit bearings are sealed units, which means they cannot be repaired or replaced.

The disadvantage is that once the bearings are worn out, they cannot be repaired, cleaned, or re-greased; instead, the entire bearing assembly must be discarded and a new bearing assembly must be fitted.

How do You Know if You Have a Bad Wheel Bearing?

The symptoms of a faulty wheel bearing are the same regardless of the type of bearing you have. A wheel bearing will often fail as a result of pitting or minor damage to the surface of the rollers or the inner race of the bearing. Rollers and race surfaces are both carefully machined to tight tolerances and highly polished to allow the rollers and race to slide effortlessly over one another, with bearing grease being used for lubrication and cooling purposes. After a period of time, the bearing will begin to show signs of wear, releasing minute bits of metal into the grease.

Because so much weight is placed on your wheel bearings, and because so much load is placed on them in corners, even the smallest amount of surface damage to your bearing can result in a significant amount of noise, such as growling or humming, or in some cases, a grinding noise, when your vehicle is in motion.

What Does Bad Wheel Bearing Noise Sound Like?

Trying to figure out whether you have a failing wheel bearing in your automobile can be a challenging chore on many occasions. Because a failed bearing sounds very similar to excessive road noise, it might be difficult to determine if you have just worn tires or a damaged wheel bearing while doing a wheel bearing noise diagnosis. The same is true for the numerous different noises that your suspension might produce, making it difficult to determine what is really going on down near your wheels.

We propose that you start by rotating your tires to check whether the noise disappears or becomes more noticeable.

If this is the case, you most likely have unevenly worn tires. If it does not, it is possible that you have a faulty wheel bearing. The following are some other noises and symptoms of faulty wheel hub bearings:

  • The process of determining whether or not you have a failing wheel bearing in your automobile can be time-consuming and tough to complete. Because a failed bearing sounds very similar to excessive road noise, it might be difficult to determine if you have worn tires or a damaged wheel bearing while doing a wheel bearing noise diagnosis. The same is true for the several different noises that your suspension might produce, making it difficult to discern what is really going on down near your wheels. It is often simpler to rule out other problems with your automobile that might produce noise in order to determine whether or not you truly have a broken wheel bearing in some instances. If the issue persists, we recommend that you rotate your tires to see if the problem may be resolved. This indicates that your tires are wearing unevenly. A faulty wheel bearing may be the cause of this problem. The following are some more noises and symptoms of faulty wheel hub bearings.

Do Bad Wheel Bearings Cause Vibrations?

Many individuals are curious as to whether vibrations are a frequent indicator of a faulty wheel bearing. When it comes to vibrations when driving, the answer is yes if the race or rollers in your bearing have gotten pitted as a result of wear or water entering into the bearing. It’s interesting to note that the vibrations fluctuate depending on the speed of your car. When traveling at very low speeds (less than 5 miles per hour), you may be able to feel the vibrations as you creep along. These vibrations will sound like buzzing at greater speeds and will give you the sensation of driving on a washboard surface.

It may be necessary to perform this procedure with the wheels on or off the automobile in order to see a change.

What Can Cause a Wheel bearing to Go Bad?

When it comes to wheel bearing problems, many people ask whether vibrations are the most typical sign of a faulty wheel bearing. And the answer is that if the race or rollers in your bearing have gotten pitted as a result of wear or water seeping into the bearing, then yes, it will produce vibrations when you are driving. In an unusual twist, the vibrations alter based on the speed of your car. When traveling at very slow speeds (less than 5 miles per hour), you may be able to feel the vibrations as you creep along.

When you are attempting to feel the vibrations, it is advisable to raise your wheels off the ground one at a time and spin them to see whether any of them are dragging or rumbling.

Depending on how badly worn your wheel bearing is, you may also be able to feel the wheel shake in your hands as you rotate it.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace A Wheel Bearing?

Because replacing a wheel bearing is a pretty simple process, you should be able to acquire an extremely precise price over the phone by supplying the shop with your vehicle’s year, make, and model. It’s a good idea to get a few quotes before settling on a repair shop for your wheel bearing because the rates might vary greatly owing to press fees and other incidental labor expenses that may be incurred throughout the repair process. As a result of having to remove the steering knuckle to replace a wheel bearing on your automobile, you may also need to repair certain suspension components, such as a lower ball joint or tie rod end, which may have been damaged during the removal process if the components were old or worn.

Images courtesy of: wheel bearing.jpg – By pichitstocker – Used with permission from Getty Images –Original Website worn wheel bearing.jpg — created by Sudok1 and licensed under a Creative Commons license. –Original Website

209 responses to “Wheel Bearing Noise. Do I Have a Bad Wheel Bearing?”

Published on Tuesday, May 14th, 2019 You are already aware that your automobile will not be able to operate securely or correctly unless it has nice, durable wheels. What you may not be aware of is that the wheel is far from being a straightforward component. The design of a wheel involves a great deal of intricacy, as well as various components that must be merged into one another in order for it to function properly. The wheel bearing is an excellent illustration of this. Wheel bearings are essential for your wheels to function properly as a unit—specifically, for the hub, tire, and components to function together in harmony.

But it’s as necessary to understand what it is before we can go into more detail about the poor bearings, symptoms, effect, and expenses associated with it.

What is a Wheel Bearing?

A wheel bearing is made up of a set of steel balls that are kept together by a metal ring, which is known as a race. The hub of your wheels is a hollow piece of metal that sits in the center of your wheels. This hub has a tight fit, and the wheel bearings are supported by a metal axle shaft, which helps to decrease friction when the wheel is spinning. Unlike the engine bearings, there is no regular source of lubrication for the wheel bearings, which means they must be sufficiently tight to avoid water and road dust from entering the wheel bearings.

Wheel Bearings Diagnostic – Click Here to Locate a Meineke Service Center in Your Area As is true of most automobile components, the wheel bearing will ultimately succumb to wear and strain and will need to be replaced.

Be on the lookout for some of the most important warning signs of a damaged wheel bearing.

How to Tell When Wheel Bearings Go Bad

Wheel bearings consist of a set of steel balls that are kept together by a metal ring, which is known as a race, to provide rotational stability. There is a hollow piece of metal in the center of your wheels that is known as the hub. This hub has a tight fit, and the wheel bearings are supported by a metal axle shaft, which helps to decrease friction while the wheel rotates. Unlike the engine bearings, there is no regular supply of lubrication for the wheel bearings, which means they must be sufficiently tight to avoid water and road dust from entering the bearings during operation.

Find a Meineke Shop in Your City by Clicking Here.

So, how will you know when it’s time to repair your wheel bearings, or at the at least, when it’s time to get your car inspected by a qualified mechanic? A faulty wheel bearing has several warning indications that should be taken into consideration.

  • A wheel bearing is made up of a pair of steel balls that are kept together by a metal ring known as a race. A hub is a hollow piece of metal that sits in the center of your wheels. The wheel bearings are closely packed inside this hub and are supported by a metal axle shaft, which helps to decrease friction when the wheel rotates. Unlike the engine bearings, there is no regular source of lubrication for the wheel bearings, which means they must be sufficiently tight to keep water and road dust at bay. They also carry the full vehicle weight while driving, which is why they take a lot of punishment from bad roads, potholes, and lateral forces when turning. Wheel Bearings Diagnostic – Find a Meineke Shop in Your City by Clicking Here. As is true of most vehicle components, the wheel bearing will eventually wear out and need to be replaced. How will you know when it’s time to repair your wheel bearings, or at the very least when it’s time to get your car inspected by an automotive professional? Be on the lookout for some of the most common warning signs of a damaged wheel bearing.
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How to Distinguish Bad Wheel Bearing Noise

There are a variety of sounds that might indicate a problem with a car, and it’s crucial to distinguish between them in order to prevent making a misdiagnosis of the problem. In this case, the sounds might be deceiving: a humming noise while driving can be caused by a variety of ailments, beginning with your tires and progressing to the wheel bearing or CV joint.


Cycles of chirping, screeching, and/or growling noises are the hallmark sounds of a damaged wheel bearing in operation. If the sound fluctuates in accordance to the vehicle’s speed, you can deduce that the sound is caused by wheel bearings as well. The sound might become worse with each turn, or it can completely disappear for a little period of time.

Rear Differential Noise vs Wheel Bearing Noise

Howling noise that only occurs during deceleration is a good sign of a loose pinion-bearing preload, according to the manufacturer. If the howling occurs when the vehicle is being driven at different speeds, it is most likely caused by worn out gears. However, when extremely worn out bearings fail to support the gears properly, they tend to generate a howling noise as well. A rumbling sound is also made by them while they are rotating around.

A Bad Wheel Bearing is a Serious Problem

For the short version, a problem with your wheel bearings can impair the smoothness of your ride and the durability of your tires, but it can also pose a serious safety threat. As a result, it is critical to get wheel bearings tested as soon as there is any indication of difficulty. Don’t take for granted this often-overlooked automotive component. Keep an eye out for these warning indicators. Take your car to a mechanic as soon as you see any signs of difficulty so that the wheel bearings may be evaluated.

Find a Meineke Service Center in Your Area


A: No, not at all. While driving with a worn-out bearing can be extremely hazardous, it can also be extremely deadly if the wheel comes to a halt as a result of the bearing failure. Furthermore, a faulty wheel bearing places a great deal of strain on the hub, the CV joint, and the gearbox itself, causing it to fail.

Q: What can happen if you have a bad wheel bearing?

In the case of a faulty wheel bearing, it can result in a variety of potentially hazardous circumstances, beginning with your car not responding as quickly as it should. Additionally, your tires may wear out more quickly, and you may encounter uneven tire wear. As a last, but not least, your wheel may entirely detach from your automobile while you are driving because the bearing is critical in keeping the wheel linked to your vehicle.

Q: How much does it cost to replace a wheel bearing?

A: Because a wheel bearing replacement is a typical procedure, the pricing should be easy, depending on the year, make, and model of your car. However, if other difficulties are identified, such as the need to remove the steering knuckle in order to replace the wheel bearing, or the need to replace some suspension components, the costs will change accordingly.

Q: What are the symptoms of a bad bearing?

A: The most typical indication of a faulty wheel bearing is excessive noise.

However, there are other possible indications, such as vibrations when driving, that should be considered. The vibrations will be felt at low speeds, however at greater speeds, the noises will be heard as humming sounds, which is a form of noise.

Wheel Bearing Noise: How To Fix & Diagnose » QuietLivity

As an Amazon Associate, we receive commissions on eligible purchases made by you at no additional cost to you. “You should get your wheel bearing checked.” That may be what your technician told you when you went to him about the strange noises and sensations you were experiencing when you got out of your automobile. Maybe you’ve heard of a wheel bearing, but you’re not sure where it’s important to be concerned about. Alternatively, you may be completely unaware of what a wheel bearing is. Don’t be concerned; no one is born with this knowledge.

Everything you need to know about a faulty wheel bearing will be covered in detail in this post, so read on.

What Is a Wheel Bearing?

A wheel bearing is made up of steel balls that are placed and kept together by a race – a metal ring – that rotates around the wheel. Their aim is to assist a wheel in spinning quickly by lowering the amount of friction on the wheel as much as possible. Wheel bearings are employed in a variety of moving machinery that include wheels, including automobiles. Automobile wheels, bicycle wheels, airplane wheels, railroad tracks, and hand-driven carts are examples of what is available. A wheel bearing is a piece of equipment that travels on a metal axle shaft of a vehicle.

The wheel hub, in turn, is responsible for retaining the lug nuts that secure the tire to the wheel.

In a nutshell, a wheel bearing is a group of metallic balls that are installed within a wheel to allow it to move more quickly and smoothly.

What the Causes of Wheel Bearing Noise and What it Sounds Like?

The most common source of wheel bearing noise is damage to the wheel bearings. If you hear any noise, you should check the bearing and determine the source of the noise before attempting to repair the problem that is causing the damage to your wheel bearing. The following are the distinct sounds that you may hear as a result of a worn-out wheel bearing: Noises such as growling and squealing The growling, screeching, and cyclic chirping that are heard when a wheel bearing is destroyed are the most prevalent.

The sound might cease for a brief period of time or deteriorate with each spin.

The majority of the components in your automobile are likely to make a buzzing noise.

The engine’s humming noises should be muffled using soundproofing.

Here’s how to soundproof your automobile using the following steps: How to Soundproof Your Car: How to Reduce Road Noise in Your Car Identifying the source of the noise and determining whether it is coming from your vehicle bearings will be much easier if your automobile is effectively soundproofed.

It’s a good indication that your bearing is getting loos in its mounting.

In contrast, if the howling is consistent, it is most likely due to a faulty wheel bearing; the howling sound transforms to a rumbling noise as your automobile is turning.

Why Do Wheel Bearings Make Noise?

Unlike other types of bearings, wheel bearings are continually in motion. There is a possibility that you will hear a variety of various noises emanating from the bearings as they move. There will be some sounds from your automobile bearing that are typical and shouldn’t cause you any concern at this time. Some of the other noises you are likely to hear coming from your automobile bearings, on the other hand, might indicate a significant problem that needs to be addressed. Wheel bearing sounds are caused by a variety of factors, the most common of which are listed below.

  • However, when the wheel bearings are not correctly placed, this is something that occurs more frequently as a result.
  • Incorrect installation or failure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations are to blame for the damage.
  • The tire, wheel bearing, lower arm, knuckle arm, lower joint, and shocks all contribute to the performance of your car’s wheel system.
  • It then puts more strain on the wheel bearings on that particular side, causing them to produce more noise than they should.
  • Driving a Boat Through Deep Water A wheel bearing is constructed in such a way that pressure may be released from the wheel system.
  • Unfortunately, the design of the wheel bearing does not prevent water from entering the wheel bearing through the wheel bearing’s opening.
  • Once the moisture is combined with the lubricant, it renders it useless.

When the pressure and friction on the bearing get too great, the bearing begins to make sounds.

The only thing you can do is replace it with a new one.

It is quite easy for your wheel bearing to become damaged while driving over a pothole or rough curb.

Small damages will begin to appear on the wheel bearings as time goes on.

Accidents that occur on or near the wheel area The bearings are connected to the wheel system as well as to all of the other components we discussed before.

If there is an accident that causes damage to the tire, shocks, rims, or any other component, the bearing is also damaged as a result.

VisitCarfictions.com In writing, they describe a straightforward answer to the car’s problems and repairs. Aside from that, you will hear noises emanating from your wheel when the bearings are destroyed.

How to fix Wheel Bearing noise

In order to properly repair a wheel bearing noise, you must first understand the nature of the noise and the reasons of the disturbance. These two factors will assist you in determining the type of wheel bearing repair that your vehicle requires.

How do You Know if You Have a Bad Wheel Bearing?

When a wheel is failing, the most typical and apparent sign is noise. If you begin to hear noises coming from your wheel bearing, it is likely that you have a faulty wheel bearing. You will most likely hear the bearing wheel make grinding and granting noises, which are both frequent occurrences. You will be able to hear the tire or wheel making noise. If the noise becomes louder while the car accelerates, you will know that the wheel bearing is the source of the problem. Fortunately, identifying and determining whether your wheel bearing is failing is simple.

  1. While driving, pay attention to your steering wheel.
  2. First and foremost, pay attention to any popping or snapping sounds that occur when you turn.
  3. They are also the most common.
  4. If you hear any of these noises, it is likely that your axle is damaged.
  5. Pay attention to the side of the room where the rattling sound can be heard.
  6. While driving, keep an ear out for additional sounds such as screaming, dragging, and grinding.
  7. The longer you spend behind the wheel, the louder these noises get.

All of the sounds you will hear from your wheel should be monitored to see whether they alter with the change in speed — as you accelerate, the bearing noises rise, and as you descend, the bearing noises diminish.

If your steering wheel is vibrating, you may feel it.

It also has the side effect of poor handling.

If you can hear your steering wheel, it means you have a problem.

Pay Close Attention to How Your Wheels Move.

You will notice that your wheel will wobble from one side to the other when you travel at high speed.

Significant bearing deterioration is indicated by wheel wobbling.

When you see this sign, stop your automobile immediately and have the wheels changed as soon as possible.

Check to see if your ABS light is illuminated.

It frequently illuminates your dashboard when it is essential or when there is an issue with your vehicle.

Investigate whether there are any more signs of a faulty bearing wheel.

Examining other systems can assist you in determining whether the lights are on as a result of a faulty braking or suspension system.

If your automobile is sliding to one side more frequently when driving, it is possible that your bearings have been damaged.

Check to see whether the wheels are turning to one side without you having to do anything about it. If you see these indicators, there might be two concerns at play; the first is a problem with your computer.

Examine and determine the extent of the bearing damage. You must first determine whether or not the wheel bearings are the source of the problem after identifying the indications and symptoms of a broken automobile bearing. In order to check and establish the extent of the damage to your bearing, follow the steps listed below. Lifting Your Car with a Jack is a good idea: Consult your owner’s handbook to find out where the jack should be mounted on your vehicle. Lift the wheel of your vehicle off the ground by jacking it up.

  • Squirm the Wheel to See If There’s Any Movement: Pulling and pushing the wheel forward and backward is required.
  • Replace the bearings as soon as possible.
  • If your wheel bearing is damaged, you will most likely hear rattling noises and see your vehicle swaying.
  • Bring Your Vehicle to a Professional It may be difficult for you to recognize all of these signs and symptoms at times.
  • In this scenario, we recommend that you take your automobile to a specialist anytime you believe that it is experiencing a problem.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace A Wheel Bearing?

A wheel bearing replacement will cost you around $400 on average. However, the cost of replacing your car’s rims will be heavily dependent on the model of your vehicle and the style of rim you choose. In addition to the bearing, you will require an extra $150-$200 for work once you have purchased the bearing. The cost of labor will be set by the mechanic who will be doing the wheel bearing replacement on your vehicle. If you notice any unusual noises coming from your wheel bearing, it is imperative that you replace it immediately.

The cost of changing a wheel bearing is determined by the cost of the spare components for your vehicle as well as the various installation costs that your technician will charge you for the service.

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Parting Shot

Unlike other mechanical components, wheel bearings do not fail quickly. Prior to being deficient, they go through a gradual and sluggish transformation. When a wheel bearing is damaged, on the other hand, it offers a significant risk that should not be taken lightly. It puts the automobile owner, passengers, and pedestrians at danger of being involved in a fatal accident. This is why it is critical to be aware of all of the warning indications of a faulty bearing wheel. The most essential thing to remember is to maintain your automobile on a regular basis, avoid anything that might harm your bearing, and drive safely at all times.

However, if you discover that your automobile bearing is faulty, you should replace it immediately. Hire an expert to do the installation for you.

What Is a Wheel Bearing? Diagnosing a Wheel Bearing Noise

Eddie worked for Honda for 35 years, primarily in the automobile industry. He is an ASE Certified Master Technician, and he has bruised knuckles as evidence of his accomplishment. Your technician tells you that you require a wheel bearing, but you’re not sure what it means. I’ll do my best to make this as simple as possible to grasp, using graphics, video, and my own interpretation as necessary. In this section, I will explain what a wheel bearing is, what it does, where it is placed, and what it sounds like when it is faulty.

What Is a Wheel Bearing?

In a wheel bearing, there are a number of steel balls that are kept together by a metal race, which is a metal ring. They assist in making wheels spin as quickly as possible while generating as little friction as feasible. They are seen on a wide range of vehicles, from bicycles to airplanes and automobiles. At the center of the wheel, a wheel bearing is supported by a metal axle shaft and fits snugly inside the hub, which is a hollow piece of metal that runs through the center of the wheel. The hub is responsible for holding the lug bolts that are used to attach the tire to the wheel.

What Does a Bad Wheel Bearing Sound Like?

When bearings are destroyed and generating noise, it is difficult to detect the problem since you must drive the car in order to duplicate the noise. Here are some suggestions to assist you in identifying the root of the problem:

  • It begins as a very faint humming sound that gradually grows louder and more noticeable when the seal on the wheel bearing is destroyed or damaged. It sounds similar to the noise your tires make when they strike a rumble strip on the highway, but not quite as loud
  • It is similar to the sound of playing cards fluttering across bicycle spokes. Moving the automobile side to side gently while going down the road at around 40 mph will cause the weight of the vehicle to shift from one side to the other. Do not drive erratically or cause the automobile to lose control
  • Instead, gently swing it. Take note of whether the noise becomes louder or softer over time. The damaged bearing may be on the right side of the wheel if the noise is a little less pronounced if you turn right, or vice versa. Remember that tires that have been “chopped” or “scalloped” (worn in patches) generate a rhythmic noise that grows in volume as the vehicle accelerates. This sounds very similar to a faulty wheel bearing, doesn’t it? If you hear this type of noise, you should also inspect your tires.

Wheel Bearing Noise With a Tire Noise: Very Loud and Vibrating

A bearing that is contained within a hub. eddiecarrara

Helicopter Noise From Your Car, What is it?

Inside a hub is a bearing. eddiecarrara

Pinpointing the Source of Bearing Noise

For example, as seen in the video below, if you are certain that your noise is a bearing noise and you have access to an elevator, you may listen to the sound and determine where it is coming from using a “improvised stethoscope” (really a large screwdriver). Start the car with someone in the vehicle and drive it at a speed of around 40 mph. Place a long screwdriver or stethoscope on the hub near each wheel bearing and turn it clockwise. Careful! If you allow the tool to come into contact with a moving element, it may fly up and strike you.

Read More from AxleAddict

In most cases, wheel bearings do not fail immediately and may be repaired or changed for a period of time before they need to be replaced. I believe that if a wheel bearing fails altogether, the automobile would be unable to move and would be stuck in neutral. For what it is worth, my daughter drove on a noisy bearing for six months and saw no difference other than that the bearing became more louder. However, it is not necessary to repair the bearings on all sides of the vehicle. Just because one bearing fails does not imply that the others are likely to fail; bearings are designed to survive for a lengthy period of time.

A lot of pieces need to be removed and moved out of the way before you can get to the wheel bearing, which is especially true for vehicles with four-wheel drive or front-wheel drive systems.

It’s a tough operation to complete without the help of a press since the bearing must be inserted and removed from the hub in a tiny space. It is less effort (albeit it is more expensive in terms of components) to replace the entire hub and bearing assembly as a complete.

Wheel Bearing Noise and What it Sounds Like

In most cases, wheel bearings do not fail immediately and can be repaired or changed for a period of time before they fail completely. A wheel bearing that has totally failed might cause the automobile to lock up and not be able to go forward. On the other hand, my daughter drove on a noisy bearing for six months and nothing occurred except that the bearing became louder and louder. Not all of the bearings on both sides need be changed, but you should consider doing so. A single failure should not be taken as evidence of a trend in the rest of the bearings.

In addition to the labor costs, replacing one is a bit of a hassle.

If you don’t have a press, this is a tough operation to complete since the bearing must be inserted and removed from the hub in a very small space.

More by Eddie Carrara on Car Noises

  • Breathing while driving is a common occurrence, but it may be frustrating. Three of the most typical braking noises that I hear on a daily basis, as well as how to correct them, are listed below. Some of the repairs I’m going to discuss with you here are not common, and you won’t find them in a service manual or a technical service bulletin. Four Typical Automobile Noises Four frequent automobile noises that may drive a vehicle owner insane: what they are and what you can do to solve them
  • How to diagnose and repair them

To the best of the author’s knowledge, the information in this article is accurate and complete. Content is provided solely for informative and entertainment reasons and should not be relied upon as a substitute for personal counsel or professional guidance in commercial, financial, legal, or technical problems, unless otherwise specified.


Question:Can you tell me how much it will cost to repair a wheel bearing? All of this relies on the car and where the sensor is positioned on the vehicle, to be honest. The work required to replace a Honda Civic rear wheel bearing vs a Ford F250 rear wheel bearing is significantly different. The typical cost of a front wheel bearing is around 2 hours of work. What should I do first: replace the wheel bearings or replace the brake pads and rotors on my car? Answer:Because there is some overlap in labor and you might save a few dollars by completing them both at the same time, it would be perfect if you could borrow the money to complete both works at the same time.

A grinding noise can be heard in the area of the front wheel; do you suppose it’s a wheel bearing?

If this is what you are hearing, there is a significant chance that you are hearing the sound of a worn wheel bearing.

When I pressed the gas pedal, it stuttered and jerked, and I had to restart it many times.

I disagree.

Should I be afraid that I may experience further difficulties?

Question:I’m over a thousand miles away from home, and I believe my wheel bearing is in need of repair.

Answer: You should take a break and have it checked.

After having my oil changed, the technician examined my vehicle and determined that my wheel bearings needed to be replaced, as well as that my tires needed to be properly balanced.

However, they did not inform me that bearings were required, so who am I to believe?

How did the mechanic explain why they were need to be replaced?

When I drive my Honda Pilot, a buzzing sound can be heard coming from the back of my vehicle.

He has now replaced the two front wheel bearings, but the vehicle continues to make the same noise!

Assuming that your Pilot is an all-wheel-drive vehicle, the noise is most likely originating from a center carrier bearing situated on the driveshaft, which is in the centre of the vehicle.

Should I refrain from driving the automobile until it has been repaired?

Having a technician accompany you on the drive is a good idea merely for peace of mind.

In the event that a wheel bearing is replaced, will it be necessary to replace it again within a one-week period?

If this is the case, the person who installed it may have damaged it or fitted it incorrectly; nonetheless, certain wheel bearings are designed to last the life of the vehicle.

Is this the wheel bearing that I’m looking for?

Question:How terrible is it when the mechanic says there was play in the wheels and that the wheel bearings need to be replaced?

Most of the time, when a wheel bearing is loud, it is because of damage; however, if the wheel bearing was loose because the nut backed off and there was no noise, it is possible that the nut only needed to be tightened.

Could this be a wheel bearing problem?

The driver’s side front tire region of my vehicle makes a clicking sound as I turn to pull out of the driveway or make a gradual turn at a stop sign, as described above.

It’s obvious that I need new struts because my front tires are winter tires and have cupped tread.

If your struts are leaking oil or gas, it’s extremely likely that they are the source of the problem.

Question:My technician claims that the wheel bearing seal is leaking and that the grease is drying within the bearing.

What is the urgency of the repair?

I ran against the curb and landed on my backside.

When traveling at speeds more than 20 mph, however, any steering toward the right side results in a rumbling noise.

Answer: Yes, and yes again!

Question: Why are my wheels squealing while I’m going through turns and around bends?

When purchasing a wheel hub, do the bearings arrive as part of the package as a whole unit?

Is it necessary to remove the brake pads and rotors in order to access the wheel bearings?


Answer: Answer:possible It’s that your tire is too close to something and that it only rubs when parts are moving and bending.

I urge that you double-check all of your tire clearances.

When turning left, there is a thunderous hammering rumbling that can be heard for miles.

Do you suppose it’s the bearing that’s the problem?

Is it possible that the axel is to blame?

Based on the noise you’re describing, it appears that you shouldn’t be driving the car until it has been repaired.

Something appears to be striking the brake shield, according to the sound.

It’s almost like lightly pressing metal on metal; a mild squeaking sound.

Apparently, this has been going on for nearly a year, and it has recently grown more serious.

Your axle would not generate this sort of noise, thus that is not the case.

Question:I believe one of my wheel bearings has just failed.

Do you suppose it’s the wheel bearing that’s causing the problem?

Answer:A wheel bearing would have to generate a tremendous amount of noise before it would lock up, thus your problem appears to be related to your brakes.

When I turn on the ignition of my Jeep Liberty, I hear a ticking noise on the right side of the vehicle.

Question:I recently purchased a set of new wheels for my Hyundai Accent 2005.

As soon as I got behind the wheel, I began to notice this strange hum in the background.

All I recall is that while I was putting the rims on, I screwed them down quite tightly.

Then the commotion began almost immediately.

Answer:Either your rims are rubbing against your brake calipers, or your wheels are not properly tightened.

In my Honda Jazz, the inner race of the rear wheel bearing has become trapped on the shaft.

What is the best way to remove it off without hurting the shaft?

On most occasions, we utilize a diamond cutting wheel to slice halfway through the race, followed by a cold chisel to break up the race inside of the cut.

If you wind up having to make a small cut in the shaft, it shouldn’t have any consequences for the installation or operation of the replacement bearing.

Answer:Brake pads that are worn out or a tiny pebble wedged between the rotor and backing plate might create a sound like that.

I changed the passenger-side sway bar link as well as the tire rod, but the vehicle continues to drive erratically.

Is there anything else you can think of?

A banging noise will not be produced by the wheel bearings. Eddie Carrara was born in 2011 and is a professional basketball player.

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