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    3 Cost-Effective Ways to Prevent Bearing Failure

    Wheel bearings are a key element in providing a smooth and efficient ride in your vehicle. While they are often overlooked, they have an important role in keeping your tires attached to your vehicle and maintaining the load of your vehicle. Significant problems can occur in the event that they do fail, with the worst case scenario being your wheels falling off during transit.

    When wheel bearings go, a domino effect results in your vehicle’s wheel assembly. Bearing failure can result in uneven tire wear and abnormal brake wear. It puts you, your passengers and your vehicle at risk for road accidents and other seriously debilitating circumstances. 

    At the time of writing, the average wheel bearing replacement service for both front wheel bearings cost roughly around US$400 to US$600. This includes both the cost of the parts and the labor required. It’s important, then, for you to ensure your wheel bearings are in optimum condition at all times. Failure to do so can result in you sinking more money into your vehicle than is necessary, and facing life-threatening risks.

    3 Cost-Effective Ways to Prevent Bearing Failure

    To avoid premature bearing failure and to ensure your wheel bearings last for the length of their service lifecycle, here are three ways to save money and maximize the longevity of your wheel bearings

    1.  Follow vehicle and manufacturer’s recommendations:

    According to top bearing manufacturers, the average sealed wheel bearing can last through 150,000 miles of driving. To know the specific figures, you should also check the specifications outlined in your owner’s manual. At the very least, you should do a maintenance check on your bearings every 25,000 to 30,000 miles.

    Undoubtedly, your wheel bearings will need to be replaced periodically. But by performing checkups at scheduled intervals, you ensure your wheel bearings last longer.

    2.  Know the symptoms of bearing failure:

    When wheel bearings start to fail, they won’t do so quietly. You’ll immediately know when wheel bearings start to go, so diagnosing the problem can easily be done by simply using your senses.

    If you hear abnormal noise coming from the hub assembly, resembling chirping, squealing or grinding, your wheel bearings may be worn out. You’ll also hear these sounds at different intensities and different speeds, and they can get louder or quieter upon turning.

    Vibration is another common symptom of wheel bearing failure. If you sense any vibration coming from your wheels, or feel looseness or wobbling through your steering wheel, then it’s probably time to check out your wheel bearings. Abnormal and uneven wear on your tires and brakes can be caused by worn wheel bearings.

    If any of these symptoms present themselves, considering bringing your vehicle to a licensed mechanic to have it inspected. You can depend on a professional to have the knowledge and experience to determine whether the root cause of the issue is your wheel bearings or another component in your wheel assembly. 

    3.  Be aware of what you should look for when replacing bearings:

    Wheel bearings, though small, are an essential component of your vehicle. They must be equipped to tolerate the full load of your vehicle, and operate optimally even in extreme conditions. So when the time comes to replace these parts, you need to invest in quality bearing components.

    If your wheel bearings have been properly maintained through the course of your car ownership, you may only need to replace them once. As much as possible, beware of poorly constructed or cheap bearings. Buying cheap bearings may seem cost-effective, but bearings made of low-quality steel with poor heat-treating tend to fail and get worn prematurely compared to high-quality bearings.

    At the same time, if you’re a do-it-yourself individual, ensure you select the right type of grease when servicing your vehicles. Selecting the appropriate kind of grease is as important as selecting high-quality bearings. Incorrect lubrication accounts for 50 percent of bearing failures, making it vastly important the right specifications are observed in terms of grease lubrication.

    When replacing bearings or buying grease for bearings, always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. Consulting your owner’s manual will ensure you get the right components every time. The investments you make in ensuring you select quality products will save you money in the long run.

    On the whole, wheel bearings are highly reliable components. When you buy wheel bearings from a trusted bearing company, you can be sure they will last the lifetime of a car’s ownership, provided they are well-maintained and regularly inspected. Avoid waiting for the first sign of trouble before scheduling an inspection of your wheel bearings. Preventive maintenance on your wheel bearings and the rest of your vehicle will save you from any inconveniences and risks you’ll likely be exposed to when you delay the necessary service work.

    By understanding what accounts for wheel bearing failure, as such occasions do occur, you can avoid costly repairs and unnecessary vehicle downtime.

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