What is the lifespan of a wheel bearing?

Wheel bearings are designed to last for up to 100,000 miles. However, the quality of the manufacturing and the driving conditions the wheel bearings are subjected to can cause their lifespan to change drastically.

Why would a wheel bearing fail?

  • On an aftermarket replacement, using the wrong tools can cause wheel bearings to wear out prematurely. Additionally, using old accessories like the bolts, clips, seals, etc., can cause unnecessary wear that can affect the life of the replacement wheel bearing.
  • Car accidents or extremely rough road conditions can reduce the lifespan of your wheel bearings as well.
  • Poor quality aftermarket bearings can often result in a shortened lifespan.
  • Deep water or deep mud driving can also cause unnecessary wear that will affect the lifespan of a wheel bearing.
  • Using rims, tires, shock absorbers, and suspension springs that are outside of spec for a vehicle can also cause the wheel bearings to prematurely degrade. To help ensure a long life for your wheel bearings, it is a good idea to stick to manufacturer specifications for all wheel and suspension parts.

How can I tell if my wheel bearings are going bad?

  • Bad wheel bearings can make a variety of noises to indicate that they are worn out. This can sound like a rumble or a growl that increases with acceleration or while turning.
  • Often you will hear extra thudding when driving over uneven surfaces.
  • Loose steering is also a sign of worn wheel bearings.
  • Extra vibration in the wheel during acceleration can also be a sign of worn wheel bearings.
  • If your car’s ABS braking system is not working properly, this can also be due to worn wheel bearings.

Should I avoid driving on worn wheel bearings?

Wheel bearings rarely fail completely, but they are an integrated park of the wheel and suspension system and can cause additional damage to those related systems if operated under extreme wear. It is not advised to drive on worn wheel bearings.

How to replace your wheel bearings

Wheel bearings on modern cars are easier than even to install and replace, but it is advised to have this maintenance performed by an automotive service professional to ensure that all proper installation standards for safety, durability, and performance are properly followed. Please check with a car service professional to make sure your vehicle stays safe and on the road.