We all know that our vehicles wouldn't be unable to function properly without good and sturdy wheels. What some people may not know, however, is that there are many different components that make our wheels so tough and dependable. Wheel bearings for example, are crucial for making sure your wheels work together. More specifically, for your tire, hub, and assembly to function in perfect harmony. Wheel bearings allow for friction-free movement of the hub assembly, which in turn allows your tires and wheels to rotate smoothly. As is the case with most automotive parts, wheel bearings aren’t immune to wear and tear, and may need to be replaced over the length of your vehicle's life. Here's a few ways you can tell if you need to change your wheel bearings.
The most common symptom of a bad wheel bearing is thankfully something that we can hear. If you're driving along the beautiful and scenic Alberta countryside and you begin to hear a grinding or grating noise that seems to be coming from your wheels, it could be because of a bad wheel bearing. If the noise gets louder as you hit the gas, then a bad wheel bearing is almost certainly the culprit.
Another good sign that you're wheel bearing need to be replaced is if your vehicle feels loose while you're driving it. Basically, if your car, truck, or SUV feels less responsive to your steering than normal, it could be the result of a bad wheel bearing. Of course, this is not the only thing that causes loose steering, so be sure to have your vehicle looked at by a professional to find the root cause.
If you begin to feel like your vehicle has a mind of its own and is starting to pull one way or another while you're driving, a bad wheel bearing could be the culprit. Like the previous two signs listed, this is not always because of a bad wheel bearing, so be sure to get your vehicle looked at as soon as you notice it pulling to one side or another to make sure you fix the problem before something really bad happens.
Your tires are a great place to get information on how your wheel bearings are doing. Uneven wear on your tires could mean that one or more of your wheel bearings are in need of replacement. When your regularly rotate your tires, you'll be able to notice the wear that each tire has, and while you've got the tire off, you'll be able to get right in there and replace the bearing if appropriate.