Wheel hub bearings are what allows the wheels of your vehicle to turn freely, giving you perfect control over the direction of your vehicle while driving. This means that any sort of mechanical issue or malfunction of your wheel bearing can cause all sorts of complications for you while driving, and can greatly increase the risk of you experiencing an accident. Knowing what to look out for when you think you may have a bad wheel bearing can help you determine when you should head to a mechanic to have it replaced.
1. Grinding Noises
One of the clearest signs that your wheel bearing is in need of a replacement is if you notice that there is a grinding noise coming from one of your tires while you are driving, particularly while turning tight corners. This can point to undue friction that has caused the structural degradation of a certain section of the bearing, causing increased friction while turning. While this may only seem superficial, the noise actually represents increased wear on the bearing itself and is the precursor to more serious mechanical issues in the near future.
2. Vibrations in the Steering Wheel
Another hard-to-miss sign that a wheel bearing in your car is on its way out is if you notice that there is an excessive and constant amount of shaking in the steering wheel, especially if that shaking remains no matter what speed you are traveling at. This usually points to a bearing that has become so damaged that it is sitting loosely in place, which can cause implications for your suspension system and create more wear on the actual tire. A complete professional inspection will be able to determine the extent of the damage to the bearing and whether any damage has been done on other parts of your vehicle as a result.
3. Pulling While Breaking
While your vehicle pulling to one side can sometimes mean that there is brake damage, a loose or severely worn wheel bearing can also be to blame and is the likely culprit if you just had your brakes inspected or replaced. Since a loose bearing will cause your wheel to rotate unevenly, this can lead to increased wear on your brake pads and calipers on the affected wheel as well, which can further reduce the amount of control that you have over your vehicle while driving. You should head to a mechanic straight away if you notice any sort of pulling or altered direction while braking.
For more information, contact your local wheel bearings repair service.