Wheel Bearing Replacement Tips

Looking for wheel bearing replacement tips? Wheel bearings are an important part of the tire and wheel assembly-worn wheel bearings can result is loss of steering control or even wheel separation. When it comes to replace your wheel bearings, be sure you're on the right track.

Six Wheel Bearing Replacement Tips

Even though wheel bearings are designed to be durable, chances are, your vehicle will need a replacement eventually. Wheel bearings are not difficult to replace, but you may need a bit of brute force to get them loose. Here are some tips to make the job easier:

  • Sealed for your protection. Many newer vehicles have sealed bearings, which means you can't replace the bearings alone. You'll have to buy a complete unit, including wheel hub, bearings and any antilock breaking (ABS) hardware that is part of the hub/bearing assembly.
  • Sudden impact. Don't use an impact wrench when removing or installing wheel bearings and hub nuts. Use a torque wrench, tightening all nuts and bolts to the proper specification. Your vehicle's repair manual will have the specific torque information you need.
  • Bringing the heat. If you're having trouble removing wheel bearings, try heating the hub with a torch. You don't need to get the metal red-hot, just hot enough to make a drop of water sizzle. The heat will make the metal expand, making the bearings easier to pop loose.
  • You're committed. Once you've taken a screwdriver or other lever to a wheel bearing or race, you're committed-the bearing can't be reused and must be replaced.
  • Make way. Remove brake hardware (including ABS sensors if required) before working on the wheel hub. There's no sense in making more work for yourself by damaging delicate (and expensive) brake parts.
  • Everything must go! Only replace wheel bearings in pairs or complete sets. You can bet that if one is bad, the others will soon follow.
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