How To Tell If a Wheel Bearing Is Bad While Driving?

Driving a car with bad wheel bearing can be risky and also cause severe harm to your car. Fortunately, “how to tell if a wheel bearing is bad” is relatively easy and you can check it by hearing the sounds as you drive.

It is important to know that, to find this problem, you need to drive the car. Then by listening to the noise your car produces, you can find the source of the sound. And the following points tell you how to diagnose the problem.

Signs Of A Damaged Wheel Bearing 

Following are the common signs of a damaged wheel bearing. Carefully check these factors -

1. A Snapping Noise 

 Many times, the constant velocity joint below your car causes a cracking sound. However, if the sound becomes more often, it is likely because of unchecked bearing obstruction.

Notice the sound while cornering at high angles, or bending along your road.

2. Some Grinding Noise

 You can notice it as you’re driving the car. Any mechanical damage at the end of the wheel is responsible for this.

When your car has a change of the loading stacked, this type of noise of frequently heard. While moving quickly, or a fast swing can shift the load.

3. Wheel Vibration  

If you hear your wheel vibrating, immediately check it up. Although a nut getting loose might be the reason causing this but there is a high chance that the sound is coming from an extreme wheel bearing damage.

If you hear this type of sound, immediately check your wheel and the bolts around.

4. Rumbling Noise While Driving  

You can notice this while driving normally, almost in all terrain. In level road, the noise can be noticeable but become more reasonable as you make smaller turns.

This is a typical case, and you can notice the noise easily on the other side of the wheel.

5. Fast Tire Wear  

The main goal of bearings is to reduce the amount of friction while you drive. It also keeps your car tires from wearing out abnormally. So if you see any uneven tire damage or wearing out in places, this can be a signal to a bad wheel bearing.

A loose or exhausted bearing can be a major reason of abnormal tire damage, so to determine, check your wheels and change the bearing of the wheel that has tire worn out abnormally.

6. ABS Failure  

Corrosion in bearings clamp can result in a dangerous failure of Anti-Lock Braking or ABS System. Take precautions because it is highly risky. Mechanical damage can cause loss of bearing clamp or deterioration.

Do not rule out this possibility before fixing your wheel bearings, abs failure can be fatal, so take serious caution as you notice faults in wheel bearings.

7. Unusual Side Pulls When You Apply Brakes 

Normally, as you hit brakes, you expect the car to completely come to a halt. So side pulls are alarming because it is not expected. A defective car caliper can be a reason for this, but an unfit bearing can also be one as well.

As the bearings have excessive damage done on your car brakes, it keeps pulling even after you hit the brakes. This can also be caused by a bent rotor but you should not ensure that unless having a professional check the car. So consider it as well.

Before you close this reading, you should know that bearing damages happen very slowly over a period of days, or weeks or maybe even months. Notice how your car sound from time to time, if you see the noises getting louder, give it a check.

Changing wheel bearings regularly is vital, you should never be late in doing so as soon as you notice the problem or the results can be drive axle loss or wheel getting off your car, both of which can be fatal.

So keep your car always checked to see any probable wheel bearing problem, and while you change, make sure you get the manufacturer recommended ones. As they are more set to your car model and can ensure a higher lasting life.

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