Every part of your car is important — especially its wheels. The wheels of your car are responsible for bringing you from one place to another. You need your wheels to be sturdy and in good condition to make the travel safe and comfortable. However, there are a lot of factors that can affect the condition of your car’s wheels. It has several components that work together in order for the wheel to perform its duty. One of its components is the wheel bearing.
A wheel bearing is a steel ball that is grouped together by a metal ring. It is one of the many components in your wheels that takes a lot of abuse since it is responsible for wheel rotation efficiency. With the wear and tear these steel balls often experience, it wouldn’t be surprising to learn that they also get damaged. So, how to know if your wheel bearing is in a bad shape? Check out below:
Noise from the wheel The first sign that you need to watch out for a bad wheel bearing is its abnormal noise from the wheel area. While there are a lot of reasons why you hear a noise in the tire area such as worn tire, noise caused by a bad wheel bearing is typically a clicking sound when turning. You might also hear a humming or growling sound even if the road is even or driving in a straight line. Then the sound usually gets worse when you’re steering your wheel.
Car feeling “loose” You may have heard some professional drivers discussing “loose” cars before. The “loose” car they are referring to here is the loose feeling or the wobble effect you get when you are steering the wheel. Others would call this an additional play in the wheels. A worn-out wheel bearing will become loose inside the hub.
Wheel vibrations Another sign of a failing wheel bearing is the vibration it creates when steering the wheels. The vibration will be more noticeable when driving at a slower speed, then gets worse as the speed increases. However, make sure to have your wheels properly checked when experiencing wheel vibrations as it could be also caused by a chassis misalignment or loose lug nuts.
Abnormal pulling when using brakes When your wheel bearings are severely loose, abnormal side pulling when applying brakes can be noticed. However, aside from faulty wheel bearing, it can also be caused by a leaking wheel cylinder and or a contaminated grease fluid. It is important to have your auto-mechanic checked your car to fully determine the cause of this issue.
Uneven tire wear When your tires are rotated evenly, it will also result in an even wear. However, if there is a problem with your car’s wheel bearing, oftentimes, your car’s tire will not wear out evenly because of the vibrations as well as the additional play in the wheels.
Wheel bearing problems should be addressed right away. Aside from reducing the lifespan of your wheels and making your travel experience uncomfortable, a failing wheel bearing also poses threats to your safety. When you notice the warning signs above, call a professional car mechanic immediately to fix the problem.