Advertisement
Home | Transmission | How Long Can You Drive on a Bad Wheel Bearing

How Long Can You Drive on a Bad Wheel Bearing

February 19, 2024 | Victor Lukasso
SHARE THIS…

A wheel bearing is a crucial component of a vehicle’s suspension system, as it allows the wheel to rotate smoothly while supporting the car’s weight.

When a wheel bearing becomes damaged or worn out, it can cause problems with the vehicle’s handling and braking performance and even lead to a complete bearing failure.

So, how long can you drive on a bad wheel bearing? The answer is between 500 miles to 1,000 Miles depending on the severity of the damage and how quickly you address the problem.

Depending on the severity of the damage, you may be able to drive for a shorter or longer period before the bad bearing fails, which usually leads to a potentially dangerous situation.

Advertisement

For clarification, a faulty wheel bearing is often accompanied by unbalanced wheels, vibrating steering wheels, and a grinding or humming sound from the car.

This article will discuss the symptoms of a bad bearing and how long you should drive on a bad wheel bearing.

Symptoms of a Bad Wheel Bearing

Wheel bearings are tightly packed steel balls held together in a metal ring and spin quickly as though little or no friction is attached.

They are located at the hub of the car wheel and attached to the axles, and they help support the vehicle; however, just like other car components, they are prone to going rancid.

Recommended:  CV Joint Noise When Driving Straight

Since car faults are closely interrelated, highlighted below are some visible signs to watch out for before concluding that the mark is from your bearing.

  1. Grinding Noise
  2. Car Vibration
  3. Loose Steering Wheel
  4. Uneven tire wear
  5. Damage to other components

1. Grinding Noise

When driving at high speed or making turns, you might hear a loud grinding or growling, often resulting from a bad wheel bearing.

2. Car Vibration

A shaky car can also be noticed when driving at extremely high speed; a loud grinding noise often accompanies this, resulting from a faulty wheel bearing.

3. A Loose Steering Wheel

One primary function of the wheel bearing is to support the vehicle; once the steel balls start wearing out, you’ll notice a loose Steering wheel, making the car uncontrollable.

4. Uneven tire wear

The inability of the wheel bearing to act as a support system will eventually start telling on the tires because all the force of the car will be exerted on it.

You’ll often notice this during the earlier stages. If you check your tires’ thread and find uneven wear out, you should inspect your wheel bearing.

5. Damage to other components

Components in the suspension system such as the spindle, hub, and knuckle might become damaged due to driving with a bad wheel bearing.

If you notice any of these signs, a mechanic must check the bearing out immediately. Driving on a damaged wheel bearing for too long can lead to further damage to the direction and other components of the suspension system, which can be costly to repair.

Causes of Wheel Bearing Failure

It’s important to understand that the lifespan of a wheel bearing can vary based on several factors, including the type of vehicle, the load it is carrying, and the driving conditions it is subjected to.

In general, however, wheel bearings are designed to last long, with some manufacturers claiming lifespans of up to 100,000 miles or more.

Recommended:  What Does the S Mean On A Gear Shift

Other factors that can result in a wheel bearing going bad include;

  • Wear out
  • Damage due to Misalignment
  • Water Damage
  • Bent Axles

It’s not uncommon for wheel bearings to need replacement during the vehicle’s life.

Suppose you notice any signs of a damaged wheel bearing. In that case, it’s essential to have it checked out by a mechanic as soon as possible, even if you are not experiencing any issues with your vehicle’s performance.

How to Replace Wheel Bearing

After implementing repairs, you must give this job to a professional mechanic to prevent Misalignment or bent Axles.

Also, the process is quite tedious and requires you to have specialized tools.

Here’s an overview of how to replace a wheel bearing in minutes.

  1. Firstly, remove the wheel and the brake caliper
  2. Disassemble the hub assembly to access the wheel bearing.
  3. The wrong wheel bearing will then be replaced with a functional one.
  4. Lastly, the hub assembly will be reassembled, and the wheel and brake caliper will be reinstalled.

However, this job also requires some experience to tell which bearing is bad.

How Much to Replace Wheel Bearing

It’s also important to note that replacing a wheel bearing can be a costly repair, especially if multiple paths need to be replaced.

The average price to replace a bad wheel bearing is $400 per wheel, with each pose costing between $20 – $25, depending on your car model.


Also, READ >How Much to Replace Wheel Bearing?


How to Prevent Wheel Bearing Failure

While it’s impossible to avoid replacing a lousy bearing while using a vehicle, these are some driving etiquette you can employ to improve the lifespan.

Some of them include:

  1. Keeping your car clean from dirt and debris that might get clogged in the bearing to aid wear out.
  2. Avoid potholes while driving, especially at high speed, to prevent Misalignment and shifted axles.
  3. Do well to visually inspect the wheel bearing regularly and make sure it’s in perfect condition.
Recommended:  What is Slipping the Clutch?

That’s all.

FAQs

What happens if you keep driving on a bad wheel bearing?

What is bound to happen if you keep driving on a bad wheel bearing is uneven tire wear, damaged suspension components (hub, CV Joint, spindle, etc.), and even loss of control.

How long will a wheel bearing last once it starts making Noise?

So, how long will a wheel bearing last once it starts making Noise? The answer is between 500 miles to 1,000 Miles, depending on the severity of the damage and how quickly you handle the problem.

How long can you go without replacing a wheel bearing?

There is no specific time frame for when a wheel bearing needs to be replaced. The lifespan of a wheel bearing depends on several factors, including the type of bearing, the quality of the path, and the driving conditions in which the vehicle is used.

Generally, a wheel bearing that is properly lubricated and maintained can last long. However, if the path is subjected to high loads or frequent starts and stops, it may wear out more quickly. An approach exposed to water or other contaminants may also fail prematurely.

What happens if a wheel bearing isn’t replaced?

What is bound to happen if you keep driving on a bad wheel bearing is uneven tire wear, damaged suspension components (hub, CV Joint, spindle, etc.), loud Noise, car vibrations, and even loss of steering wheel control.

Conclusion

Driving on a damaged wheel bearing for an extended period is unsafe. If you notice any signs of a bad wheel bearing, a mechanic must check it out as soon as possible to avoid potential safety issues.

While it’s not always possible to predict precisely how long a wheel bearing will last, it’s generally best to have it inspected if you notice any issues, as this can help prevent further damage and ensure the safety and reliability of your vehicle.

As an Amazon Service LLC Program Associate, V. Auto Basics earns from qualifying purchases. See Our Affiliate disclaimer.

SHARE THIS...
Advertisement

Meet Victor Lukasso, the owner of V. Auto Basics. Through this blog, Victor Provides Insights on the latest tips, maintenance, repair, and techniques in the automotive world.

Advertisement