The wheel bearing is a set of steel balls that is supposed to reduce friction for spinning wheels. As a result, wheel bearings can be found on a wide range of vehicles that include but are not limited to bicycles, motorcycles, cars, trucks, and planes. Based on this, it should come as no surprise to learn that wheel bearings play a very important role in the wheels’ proper functioning, thus making it critical for interested individuals to replace them as soon as possible when the need comes up.
Why Is a Functioning Wheel Bearing So Important?
A bad wheel bearing is a serious problem because it puts more friction on the wheel. In turn, this causes the wheel to start wobbling, with the result that it becomes less and less controllable. Due to this, a bad wheel bearing means that there is an increased chance of a car accident happening when the car is out on the road, which can come with a slew of serious problems. For example, car accidents tend to mean high repair and replacement costs. However, even those high costs pale in comparison to the potential injuries that occupants can suffer because of a car accident, which can have very serious consequences that will last for an entire lifetime.
Compared to a bad wheel bearing, a missing wheel bearing is even worse. This is because the wheel bearing has an important role in keeping the wheel attached to the car, meaning that when the wheel bearing is missing, it is perfectly possible for the wheel to come off while the car is in motion. Unsurprisingly, this tends to be very unpleasant for the car, the people in the car, and everyone else in the vicinity. As such, when people have a missing wheel bearing, they shouldn’t use their car but instead call in a mechanic to fix the issue sooner rather than later.
Generally speaking, it should be pretty simple to notice when a wheel bearing is starting to sustain too much damage for it to remain viable. One of the most common warning signs is a noise coming from the wheel while it is in use. It is common for people to mistake this noise for either engine noise or something else that is innocuous in nature, but if they pay close attention to it, they should be able to tell that it is a kind of grating and grinding noise rather than anything else. Besides this noise, there are other potential warning signs as well. One example would be a certain looseness of the wheel, while another example would be the aforementioned loss of control that can manifest as a feeling that the wheel is pulling to one side. On top of this, it should be mentioned that bad wheel bearings tend to increase the rate at which the tires sustain wear and tear, though this might not be noticeable until some time has passed.
How Much Does a Wheel Bearing Replacement Cost?
One source suggests that the cost of a wheel bearing replacement tends to hover between $307 and $422. This cost has two components, with one being the cost of labor, which hovers between $159 and $201, and the other being the cost of the wheel bearing, which hovers between $148 and $221. However, it is important to note that different vehicles need different wheel bearings, meaning that even two purchases might both be called wheel bearings, they can have very different prices indeed. Sometimes, a wheel bearing can go as low as $60. Other times, they will clear the $100 with ease before soaring further out. Still, on the whole, a wheel bearing replacement isn’t the most expensive car maintenance task that can be found out there. With that said, it is interesting to note that people often get wheel bearing replacement lumped into a bundle of other car maintenance tasks, meaning that it can be difficult to tell which part of the bill paid for what.
As a result, this makes it even more important for people to get their wheel bearings replaced when they notice that there is a problem. There is no reason for them to take chances because the potential consequences are so very serious, which should convince interested individuals to treat the issue with the seriousness that it merits.