Wheel Hub assembly symptoms
Drivers can be hypersensitive to the noises their car makes. This can serve a driver well as unusual noises often signal serious problems that can affect other motor vehicle systems. One of the most alarming noises that can lead to the biggest problems are those that emanate from the wheel hub bearings. For optimum driving, you must maximize the performance of your wheel hub bearings because if they are faulty or wearing down, symptoms will emerge.
What Is a Hub Bearing?
A motor vehicle's wheel bearings are essential to the proper functioning and performance of your car. Wheel bearings support the weight of the vehicle on the wheels and provide a smooth, even surface on which the wheel can turn. They are one of the most frequently replaced auto parts because they not only support the weight of the vehicle but also endure the heat and friction from typical driving conditions.
Before the 1990s, bearings also used to be among the easiest parts to replace. All it took was removing the bearing and repacking it with grease; however, most wheel bearings today are housed in the wheel hub assembly. The ABS sensor, measuring the wheel's speed, is also built into the assembly, so when the sensor or the bearing becomes faulty the entire hub assembly must be replaced.
Symptoms of a Bad Wheel Hub Bearing
A faulty wheel bearing can be difficult to diagnose. Because of that, some damage can occur without the driver knowing so it is important that drivers become familiar with all the symptoms of a bad wheel hub bearing. The most obvious signal that a bearing needs to be replaced is if the ABS sensor light shows on the dashboard. Cars with anti-lock brakes (ABS) utilize this sensor. The sensor light illuminates if it reads erratically or the signal breaks.
Another obvious signal that you have a wheel bearing problem is noise emanating from the wheel. The noise can vary greatly-from a constant chirp or squeak to a low moan or hum. The sound will change depending on your car's speed and whether you are turning or driving straight. A snap, click, or pop heard when cornering or turning sharply indicates worn bearings, usually due to inadequate clamping. A grinding sound is a sure indicator that your hub bearings should be replaced.
Bearings are typically sealed so if the seal breaks, the surface can be contaminated, causing noise, excessive play, and rough riding. Any pitting or corrosion of the hub lining will cause vibrations to be transferred to the tires. This will make the car feel as if it "pulls" to one side.
Symptoms of a bad bearing will show on the vehicle tires. Rotating tires evens the wear on them. But faulty bearings can cause uneven wear on tires. If you regularly rotate your tires and still notice wear, you likely have a faulty bearing.
Bad bearings will also make your car feel loose. As bearings wear out, they loosen up inside the spindle and hub, making your driving feel somewhat shaky.
You can learn how to spot this problem with some simple techniques. Identifying any unusual noises coming from the wheels is one of the most frequent symptoms. Another sign that a bearing needs replaced is excessive play in the wheel. In order to determine if the wheel has play, you need to raise the wheels, firmly grasp the wheel and shake it. If there is any movement, then the wheel has play and the bearing needs to be replaced.
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