How to Change a Car’s Wheel Bearing

Here is How to Change Your Car's Wheel Bearing

  • Steps to Change Car’s Wheel Bearings
  • Signs of Bad Wheel Bearings

The vehicle’s wheel bearings are crucial in ensuring smooth and efficient wheel rotation. However, over time these bearings may wear out, leading to issues such as noise, vibration and compromised safety. That said, changing wheel bearings is a manageable task that can save money on professional repairs. Let’s explore the step-by-step process of changing your wheel bearings.

Steps to Change a Car’s Wheel Bearing

Here are some simple steps to replace wheel bearings and get them spinning smoothly again.

Materials Needed

  • Jack and jack stands
  • Lug wrench
  • Socket set
  • Screwdrivers
  • Pliers
  • Wheel bearing grease
  • New wheel bearings
  • New cotter pin
  • Hammer
  • Bearing race and seal driver set (optional but recommended)

Step 1: Safety First

 ensure the vehicle is parked on a flat surface to Change a Car's Wheel Bearing
Make sure you park your car on a smooth surface

Before you start the car, ensure the vehicle is parked on a flat surface and engage the parking brake. Safety should be a top priority. It is recommended to wear appropriate personal protective equipment such as gloves and safety glasses.

Step 2: Lift the Vehicle

Use the jack to lift the vehicle off the ground and secure it with jack stands. Make sure to lift the car high enough to provide sufficient clearance for working on the wheel. Here is how you can safely use a car jack

Step 3: Remove the Wheel

Use the lug wrench to loosen and remove the lug nuts from the wheel. Once removed, take the wheel off and set it aside.

Step 4: Locate the Wheel Bearings

Identify the location of the wheel bearings on your vehicle. Typically, they are situated within the hub assembly. If your vehicle has a drum brake system, you’ll need to remove the drum to access the wheel bearings. Moreover, if you’re unsure about the type of brakes equipped in your vehicle, distinguishing between drum and disc brakes is essential. Here’s a straightforward guide to help you identify them.

Step 5: Remove the Hub Assembly

Use the socket set to remove the bolts securing the hub assembly to the steering knuckle or axle. Carefully detach the hub assembly from the vehicle, exposing the wheel bearings.

Step 6: Remove the Old Bearings

Once the hub assembly is removed, take out the old wheel bearings. Depending on your vehicle, you may need pliers to remove the cotter pin and castle nut securing the bearings. Now, carefully slide the old bearings off the spindle.

Step 7: Inspect and Clean

Inspect the spindle and hub when you change a Car's Wheel Bearing
Always use quality spare parts to extend your vehicle’s life

Inspect the spindle and hub assembly for any signs of damage. Clean the components thoroughly, removing any old grease or debris. Inspect the races for wear and if necessary, use a bearing race and seal driver set to install new races.

Step 8: Grease the New Bearings

Apply wheel bearing grease to the new bearings. Ensure that the bearings are evenly coated with grease to promote smooth operation.

Step 9: Install the New Bearings

Slide the greased bearings onto the spindle and secure them with the castle nut. Tighten the nut until snug, then back it off slightly to align the cotter pinhole. Insert a new cotter pin through the hole and bend it to secure the nut.

Step 10: Reassemble the Hub Assembly

Reattach the hub assembly to the steering knuckle or axle bearings using the socket set. Now, tighten the bolts securely.

Step 11: Put the Wheel Back On

Place the wheel back onto the vehicle and hand-tighten the lug nuts. Lower the vehicle to the ground using the jack and then tighten the lug nuts in a crisscross pattern with the lug wrench.

Step 12: Test Drive

Once you assemble, it is important to test drive your car to ensure that the new wheel bearings function properly. Listen for any unusual noises and pay attention to the overall performance of the wheels.

Signs You Need to Change Car Wheel Bearing

Change you car's wheel bearing once you identify the bad wheel bearing symptoms
Always keep a check on the signs of bad wheel bearing

A worn-out bearings can lead to various signs that indicate the need for replacing car’s wheel bearing. Here are some common signs you need to change your car’s wheel bearings:

  • Unusual Noises: A common sign of a failing wheel bearing is a grinding, growling or any unusual noises from your wheels.
  • Uneven Tyre Wear: Damaged wheel bearings can cause different types of tyre tread wear.
  • Looseness in the Wheel: A loose or death wobble wheel is a clear sign of a problem with the wheel bearing.
  • ABS Warning Light: A malfunctioning wheel bearing can trigger the ABS warning light on the dashboard.
  • Heat Coming from the Wheel Area: Overheating can be a sign of a damaged wheel bearing.
  • Difficulty Steering: A failing wheel bearing can make steering more difficult.

Read about the symptoms and causes of bad wheel bearings in detail here.

This is all about steps to change a car’s wheel bearing. Changing your car’s wheel bearings is a task that can be accomplished with the right tools and a bit of patience. Keeping a car maintenance schedule and timely replacement of wheel bearings can contribute to the longevity and safety of your vehicle. If you’re unsure about any step in the process, consult your vehicle’s manual or seek professional assistance. 

If you are planning to buy used cars for sale in the UAE, make sure you take a test drive. A test drive will help you observe the signs of damaged wheel bearings or other car parts.

For more repair tips, stay tuned to the dubizzle auto blog.


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