What Happens When A Wheel Bearing Goes Out? new for 2022

A wheel bearing going out can be a serious problem.

If you’re driving and your car starts making a loud noise, it’s important to know what that sound means. It could be a sign that something is wrong with your wheel bearings.

What Happens When A Wheel Bearing Goes Out
What Happens When A Wheel Bearing Goes Out

What Happens When A Wheel Bearing Goes Out? In this post, we’ll guide you everything you need to know about wheel bearings and what to do if they go bad.


What Is Wheel Bearing And The Life Of It?

What Is Wheel Bearing And The Life Of It
What Is Wheel Bearing And The Life Of It

The wheel bearings are critical components of a car’s braking, steering, and suspension systems. The hub, wheel bearings, ABS wheel speed sensor, and mounting flange are all housed in the one-piece hub assembly that sits between the drive axle and the brake disc or drums.

Wheel bearings play a vital role – they enable the rotation of your wheels! Mevotech experts break down three generations of #wheelbearings and provide expert service advice and must-know installation procedures.

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Wheel bearings are designed to theoretically last forever. There is no maintenance schedule or constant source of lubrication, but they can be damaged if not treated carefully. They’re especially vulnerable to damage from hitting a pothole, tall curb, or speed bump at high speeds.

If water, mud, road salt, or sand get between the seal and the bearings and come into contact with the grease, it will contaminate the lubricant, causing the bearings to wear down over time. Ignoring damaged wheel bearings can also damage the vehicle’s constant velocity joint (CV joint) or automatic transmission. The driveshaft is attached to the wheels via the outer CV joint, while the inner CV joint connects to the transmission.

Read more at What Are Wheel Bearing Seals?

What Happens When A Wheel Bearing Goes Out?

What Happens When A Wheel Bearing Goes Out
What Happens When A Wheel Bearing Goes Out

What happens when your wheel bearing goes out? Is it possible for your automobile to continue running with a faulty bearing? The mechanical solution may be yes; even if the car is driven for a long time with one or more noisy bearings, some wheel bearings might operate effectively. The issue is that if the noise starts gradually and then grows louder, you may not notice it unless your vehicle generates additional noise.

A faulty wheel bearing can cause many problems if it is left unchecked. In some cases, the bearing will fail completely, which can lead to dangerous situations, such as:

Steering that is sloppy or vibrates

If a wheel bearing is bad,and the seal is broken, it will cause parts inside the bearing to wear down from grinding and amplifying vibrations. The seals on wheel bearings are there to protect inner workings and reduce friction for a smooth spin.

A wheel bearing that is in poor condition can cause steering to be less precise. This usually happens when dirt or debris gets into the bearing and causes it to work less smoothly.

When turning or accelerating, make a louder or softer noise

The wheel bearing noise will be louder when you turn the car to the side with the good wheel bearing, and it will get quieter when you turn to the side with the bad wheel bearing. Also, if there’s any sound coming from the wheels while driving that gets louder or softer when you make a turn, this is another sign that your wheel bearings might be going bad.

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You can lose control of your car

Because the wheel bearings keep the wheel and hub assembly spinning on an axis, if one of them is damaged to the point that it no longer can maintain that axis, driving with a faulty bearing is hazardous—particularly at high speeds.

Consider a wheel that starts wobbling as you’re in heavy traffic on the highway, because the bearing has completely parted ways with itself. This can happen without warning if you’ve gotten used to the bearings’ noise, which warns you by becoming louder.

You may have braking issues

A faulty wheel bearing will cause the brake rotor to shake, which pushes the caliper piston back into its bore. As a result, when you press down on the brakes there is unusual pedal travel. This makes it more difficult to stop or causes the vehicle to suddenly pull to one side -– two things that are extremely dangerous in traffic conditions.

Your wheels may fall off in severe instances

A wheel bearing failure usually won’t allow the wheel to come completely off unless the bearing has overheated and the axle or spindle is glowing red. Remember, not only does the wheel bearing enable the wheel/tire assembly to spin with the hub that it is bolted to, but it also supports a portion of vehicle weight and maintains an axis for the spinning wheel by keeping it in a straight line.

A wheel bearing failure usually stops the wheel from coming completely off unless the bearing has become so hot that the axle or spindle is glowing red. Not only can this cause a fire in the wheel well, but the wheel and hub can detach from the vehicle, to say nothing of damaging other components on your car.

Read more What Should Wheel Bearing Seals Be Checked For?

How Long Can You Drive with a Bad Wheel Bearing?

How Long Can You Drive with a Bad Wheel Bearing
How Long Can You Drive with a Bad Wheel Bearing

Some people may argue that if your wheel bearing fails, you can drive for up to 1,000 miles before the other three bearings fail—but this is an unverified assertion. There’s no way of knowing how long you can safely drive your car in this condition. It would be determined by the severity of the damage to your wheel bearing, current road conditions, and other variables. So it’s best not to take a risk.

What happens when a wheel bearing goes out while driving? If your wheel bearing fails while you’re driving, it’s not a good idea to continue driving. If there is no alternative, however, keep a slow and steady speed—do not accelerate or turn suddenly. Immediately move your car to the nearest safe location off the road if this happens in inclement weather conditions that make the road slippery.

Although wheel bearing failure is a potentially hazardous occurrence at any time, having your car towed to the nearest mechanic and replacing your faulty wheel bearings right now is a good idea. Vehicle safety should always be considered first. You may also save money by replacing an aged bearing early on since you avoid potential major repairs if you replace it early on.

How Can You Tell If Your Wheel Bearing Is Faulty?

How Can You Tell If Your Wheel Bearing Is Faulty
How Can You Tell If Your Wheel Bearing Is Faulty

The symptoms of a wheel bearing failure include:

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Noisy Sounds

When you’re enjoying the music at full volume while driving, it’s easy to miss the subtle sounds your car starts making. But as soon as you turn off the radio and begin to hear a growling, humming, or rumbling noise coming from your wheel bearing, you’ll know there’s an issue.

When your radio is turned off and you hear a growling, humming, or rumbling sound emanating from your wheel bearings, there’s a problem. It’s the unusual noise that’s most apparent indication of a wheel bearing issue. Of course, since other conditions, such as cupped tires, can mimic a failing wheel bearing, you’ll want to correctly identify the sound.

If you notice any of these symptoms while driving, have your vehicle checked by a professional as soon as possible. Keep in mind that even if your wheel bearings are not the problem, there is still something wrong with your car.

Tire Wear Is Uneven

If your car’s wheel bearings are loose, it can cause the alignment to be off, which then leads to abnormal tire wear. However, there are other problems that could create the same results. Make sure you diagnose the issue thoroughly before condemning any of the wheel bearings.

Vibrations in the steering wheel

A faulty wheel hub and bearing assembly might produce a vibration felt in the steering wheel. Normally, the feeling will change as vehicle speed or when executing turns. Once more, there are numerous reasons for steering wheel vibrations other than a bad wheel bearing. To isolate the source of the problem, a complete examination is required.

Unusual Side Pull

If your car pulls to one side during braking, it may be caused by a faulty wheel bearing. This symptom can also result from other issues with the brakes.

Warning Light for ABS

The ABS sensor or encoder ring is often housed within the wheel hub and bearing assembly on particular vehicles. Do you have an ABS light on but aren’t sure what’s causing it? A damaged wheel bearing may be a cause of the problem. On certain cars, the ABS sensor or encoder ring is incorporated into the wheel hub and Bearing Assemblage.

FAQs What Happens When A Wheel Bearing Goes Out

FAQs What Happens When A Wheel Bearing Goes Out
FAQs What Happens When A Wheel Bearing Goes Out

Can you drive a car with a bad wheel bearing?

What happens if your wheel bearing goes out? If one of your bearings is worn out, it can be extremely dangerous to continue driving, as it may cause the wheel to detach while in use. Furthermore, a damaged wheel bearing puts an excessive amount of pressure on the hub, CV joint, and transmission.

How much does it cost to fix a wheel bearing?

A new wheel bearing costs on average between $60-$150, and replacing an entire bearing and hub assembly is around $200-$400, depending on your vehicle.

How can you tell the difference between bad CV joints and bad wheel bearings?

A damaged CV axle will usually click when the driver turns the steering wheel. A faulty bearing usually makes a roaring noise that becomes increasingly louder over time until it fails completely. The joints in a CV joint make clunking noises on tight turns. Meanwhile, bad wheel bearings tend to get louder as the car’s speed increases.

Do wheel bearings affect brakes?

There were two problems with the brakes that we discovered. The first was a soft brake pedal. Wheel bearings align the rotor of your car’s brakes. If you have an out-of-balance wheel bearing, the rotor will wobble along its axis. Now, when you apply the brakes, the piston must travel further than usual to activate them.

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Should you replace both wheel bearings at the same time?

Both front and rear wheel bearings have the same amount of miles on them, so it’s reasonable to assume that both sides have incurred the same degree of wear. According to this line of thinking, it would make sense to replace both wheel bearing hubs at the same time, even if only one has clearly failed.

Can a bad wheel bearing cause brakes to lock up?

When stopping, locking up the brakes, a worn wheel hub bearing, damaged ring gear or malfunctioning speed sensor sending incorrect information to the ECM may activate the ABS for no apparent reason. Check your tire pressure. A flat tire with low air will roll at a different speed than the other tires, providing incorrect data to the ECM.

How long does it take to replace a wheel bearing?

The time it takes to install something is largely influenced by experience. In the case of new technicians, it can take up to two full hours. However, that’s only half the time if an experienced technician handles installation–particularly when no parts or tools are delayed in transit.

Can you replace a wheel bearing yourself?

Before beginning any repairs, always be sure to check your vehicle’s service manual. For this particular repair, you’ll need some speciality mechanic tools that can typically be found at home. Keep in mind that there are different types of wheel bearings, so identify the type of wheel bearing your car has before changing it.

Can a bad wheel bearing affect acceleration?

A bad bearing will cause a vibration in the steering wheel that will get progressively worse as the vehicle accelerates. This is unlike a tire balance problem, which typically only shows up at higher speeds.

Can bad wheel bearing cause shaking?

Imagine your steering wheel gets uncontrollably shaky. On the other hand, a faulty wheel bearing may cause vibration problems at lower speeds before escalating as your car’s speed increases. Wheel bearings failure frequently leads to wobbly wheels while traveling.


A wheel bearing going out can be a frightening experience. What happens if wheel bearing goes out? It’s important to know what to do when this happens so you can stay safe and get your car back on the road as soon as possible. By following Amortips.com‘s team tips, you’ll be able to handle the situation like a pro and get your car back in good shape. Have you ever had to deal with a wheel bearing going out? What was your experience like? Let us know in the comments below.

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