How to Know if a Wheel Bearing is Bad: Understanding the Signs

Wheel bearings allow your wheel/tire to rotate around the hub assembly. So when wheel bearings start to go bad, you’re in for a bumpy ride. If you live in the greater Houston area, we know that the last thing you need is more bumps on the road. Colony One Auto repair is here to help you identify the signs of a bad wheel bearing and answer your wheel bearing FAQs along the way.

Common signs of a bad wheel bearing

    1. Noise: What’s the best way to know if a wheel bearing is bad? All mechanics will tell you that the very first sign of a bad wheel bearing comes in the form of a sound. What does it sound like when a wheel bearing is going out? A bad wheel bearing noise takes the form a very loud grinding, grating sound. Note that because your car’s wheel bearings are typically sturdy, this noise is often misattributed to other car issues.
    2. Pulling and/or “wobbly” driving: When your wheel bearings go bad, the smoothness of your ride takes a major hit. Car owners who have been driving with a bad wheel bearing often state that they feel like their car is either pulling to one side or the other. Another common complaint is that of a feeling of driving on loose or wobbly wheels, which can also cause your steering wheel to vibrate.
    3. Frequent tire changes: The third sign of a bad wheel bearing is an unexplained need to change your tires frequently. Unfortunately, the vibrations and looseness of a tire with a bad wheel bearing can wear down your tires quickly and, in many cases, unevenly. 

Psst… Do you listen when your car tries to tell you something? To understand what your car may be telling you, check out these additional resources: Why is my car AC system making a loud noise? How long can I put off an oil change? Why is my car heater blowing cold air? and Why is smoke coming out of my exhaust pipe?

Can you drive a car with a bad wheel bearing?

Driving with a bad wheel bearing can be very dangerous, especially if the bad bearing causes one of your wheels to stop altogether while you’re on the road. In the past, it used to be that you could “repack” failed or failing wheel bearings for maintenance, but today, wheel bearings come as a “sealed assembly,” and must often be replaced.  The good news is that, with the help of a good mechanic, you can get help identifying bad wheel bearing before it completely fails you.

Put bad wheel bearings to bed at Colony One Auto Repair

The signs of a bad wheel bearing are easy to get confused with other automotive issues. For a professional wheel bearing noise diagnosis, it’s best to visit the pros.  With over 275,000 cars serviced since 1991, the professional mechanics at Colony One Auto Repair can get back on the road, fast.

From assistance with wheel bearings to help preparing for a road trip to explaining the ins and outs of the Texas car inspection sticker cost, Colony One Auto Repair of Sugar Land is here to help. Call Colony One Auto at 281-800-9209 or contact us online today.

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