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Front & Rear Wheel Bearings Replacement Cost and Bad Symptoms

March 3, 2016 | General Repair Info

In this article we are going to explain about the average replacement cost, the common types and the symptoms of a bad wheel bearings. And here we go…

The Average Cost To Replace Front, Rear and Hub Wheel Bearings

Wheel bearings are used in both the front wheels and the back wheels. Each individual wheel has their own wheel bearing and it is possible for just one of those bearings to wear out while the others stay in tack. That is why you won’t necessarily have to replace all of your wheel bearings if one or more of them are worn out. When you bring your vehicle in for its regular maintenance then the mechanic will be able to tell you which wheel bearings need to be replaced, if any.

Front Wheel Bearings

Both side: Front wheel bearings are built into the steering knuckle arm assembly and connected to drive axle components of your vehicle. These bearings are made to last for many years without needing to be replaced. The cost to replace both front wheel bearings is going to be between $460 and $610. The parts alone for the front wheel bearings are about $175 to $240. However, the labor costs will be a bit more extensive at around $280 to $360. The exact cost will depend on the prices of your local body shop and the make and model of your vehicle.

One side: Now if you are just replacing the wheel bearing in one of your front wheels, these costs will pretty much be split in half. The parts will cost between $85 and $120, and the labor will cost between $140 and $180. This means you can expect to pay between $230 and $305.

Rear Wheel Bearings

Both side: As for the rear wheel bearings, they will be a tad cheaper to replace (But this depend on the car type and car model). The cost of the rear wheel bearing parts will be between $100 and $150. The labor costs will be at about $250 to $350. This means you can expect to pay a total of $350 to $500 for the replacement of both your rear wheel bearings.

One side: If you are just going to replace one of the rear wheel bearings then it will be about $50 to $75 for the parts and $125 to $175 for the labor. This means the total for one rear wheel bearing replacement is $175 to $250. Again, these are all only estimates but they are a good indicator of what you can expect to pay. The good news is that wheel bearings take a lot of time to wear out so you won’t have to replace them very often.

Rear HUB Bearings

And for vehicle using rear hub bearing assy such us toyota camry, the average cost to replace the part is between $400 – $500 for one side, labour between $100 – $200 for one side. In this model the part is more expensive than front wheel bearing, because wheel bearing attached together with hub assy, and some type also has built in with speed sensor.

Bad Wheel Bearing symptoms

There are certain symptoms you can look out for in order to determine the condition of your wheel bearings. For example, the most noticeable symptom is uneven tire wear. When wheel bearings wear out, they tend to wear out unevenly from the rest of them. This will cause some of your tires to look more worn out than the other tires. In a normal situation where your tires wear out, they would all be evenly worn out from simply driving on them. So if they are unevenly worn out then it’s likely because you have worn out wheel bearings.

Another symptom of bad wheel bearings is when your tires have a loud grinding noise coming from them. This is caused when the wheel bearings lose their lubricity and build up a lot of heat inside of them instead. It will almost be like hearing two pieces of metal grinding together. Usually, you’ll only hear the sound coming from one wheel rather than all of them because of how the wheels wear out unevenly.

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If the problem gets really bad then your steering wheel will start to vibrate. You’ll notice this vibration when you drive at slower speeds but the problem will get worse as you step on the gas pedal and accelerate the vehicle. A lot of people think this symptom has to do with an uneven tire balance on their vehicle. While the symptoms of both are similar, vibrations from an uneven tire balance occur at very high speeds. But in any case, you should bring your vehicle to the nearest mechanic and have them officially diagnose the problem.

Common Types of Wheel Bearings

Friction is created when a wheel is turned. There is more resistance when the wheel has a heavy bearing. That is why “wheel bearing” refers to the component which is responsible for reducing the friction that exists between parts while the wheel is spinning. When the wheel’s moving parts has less resistance between them, it reduces the wear and erosion that forms. As a result, the wheel’s lifespan is prolonged. Applying the various bearing types is dependent on the wheel’s purpose. Below are some common types of wheel bearings:

Precision Ball Bearings

The design of precision ball bearings makes them suitable for high performance and high-pressure usage. Precision ball bearings have the ability to minimize friction and they don’t create a lot of heat either. The speed of their rotation is even a lot higher than regular bearings. For all these reasons, the landing wheels of an airplane and various luxury class racing cars have precision ball bearings in them. These bearings are designed specifically for extensive thrust and radial loads.

Roller Bearings

Roller bearings are a type of wheel bearings that are used commonly. The only thing is that roller bearings are not as versatile as ball bearings. Roller bearings are good at handling a radial load but they’re not good while thrusting. If you’re using wheels which must corner at medium to high levels of speed, then roller bearings won’t be suitable for them. But if you’re using vehicles like grocery carts or hand trucks, then roller bearings will be fine for them.

Ball Bearings

Out of all the wheel bearings out there, ball bearings are the most common and most versatile wheel bearings that can be used. They are able to absorb thrust loads and radial loads. Cornering pressure is the thrust load and the weight amount placed on the wheel is the radial load. You will find ball bearings in wheels of all sizes, from roller skate wheels to automobile tires.

Tapered Roller Bearings

The regular wheels of trucks and cars will usually have tapered roller bearings in them. They have a cone shape which cuts down the friction while cornering as the thrust load is high. As you turn the car, there are various degrees to the angle of the wheels. With tapered roller bearings, they prevent grinding in the parts that are shifting.

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