A wheel bearing is a set of steel balls bound together in a metal ring, called a race. On the mid-center of your wheels, there is a concave shaped metal piece called a hub. The wheel bearings fit well inside the hub, and ride on a metal axle shaft, contributing to reducing friction when the wheel spins.
Unalike engine bearings, there is no constant source of lubrication for the wheel bearings, and they have to be tight enough to avoid water and road dust. They also hold the weight of the vehicle while driving, which is why they are exposed to a lot of abuse from rough roads, potholes, as well as lateral forces involved while turning.
As with the majority of automotive components sold by auto spare parts dealers in UAE, the wheel bearing also undergo a lot of wear and tear, and may even need to be replaced. Here are some key warning signs of a worn out wheel bearing.
How to Say the Wheel Bearing Have Been Damaged
Common type of wheel bearings used today are the ball bearings. There are other types of wheel bearings such as tapered roller bearings, mainly used for trucks, and precision ball bearings, intended for intense radial loads. Irrespective of your vehicle type, the warning signals are the same, especially a bad wheel bearing sound.
Here are a few things to bear in mind:
Mostly, LISTEN! The most common and easily recognizable symptom of a bad wheel bearing is the sound. If there are any grinding or grating noise coming from your wheel or tire, take note that this is very likely due to a bad wheel bearing- especially if the noise gets louder as the vehicle speeds up.
Another important sign of bad wheel bearings: a car that feels wavering i.e less responsive or less precise than usual. At times, the wheel bearings can wear down, which causes them to detach within the wheel assembly.
A connected phenomenon is pulling. Does your car veer in a different direction than the one you want? Although this might not always be due to a faulty wheel bearing there is high possibility.
Ultimately, be attentive to your tyres. Regularly rotating your tyres can help avoid wear to some extent- but if you have extensively uneven wear, you may want to have the wheel bearings examined.