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How much to replace your wheel bearings?
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How much to replace your wheel bearings?

13/09/2021

Wheel bearings are a small, yet mighty part of your car that are vital to movement and safety. Not sure what to look, or hear, for when they might need replacing? Worried about the cost? Or simply want to understand a bit more about how wheel bearings work? Let us break it down for you.

What is a wheel bearing?

Wheel bearings are a simple device that helps your vehicle’s wheels to turn more effectively. Made up of a ring of ball bearings, they are situated on the end of your car’s axles – the shaft between both wheels that rotates to allow your wheels to move. The small metal balls fit into your wheel hub, reducing the friction caused by the wheel’s movement.

Wheel bearing cost

The cost to replace your wheel bearing can vary greatly depending on a number of factors including:

  • The make and model of your vehicle – luxury car parts may cost more.
  • The garage you choose to make your repairs – labour costs will vary.
  • The type and model of wheel bearings you choose for your vehicle – prices vary by brand.

The cost for wheel bearing replacement can range from between £170 and £400. A local garage or dealership should be able to advise you on the costs and best options for your vehicle. To find a trusted garage near you, enter your reg on our website.

How long do wheel bearings last?

According to Moog, the trusted Steering & Suspension parts brand, wheel bearings last from somewhere between 75,000 to 100,000 miles. Depending on how often you drive and the condition of roads you drive on, this may mean wheel bearings need replacing sooner or later but they won’t need replacing regularly. If you’re worried about your wheel bearing, ask your mechanic to take a look during your next service.

Bad wheel bearing symptoms

While a mechanic will be best placed to properly diagnose your wheel bearing issues, there are some symptoms to look out for:

  • Noise when steering: When turning left or right you may notice a thwacking or grinding noise from underneath your car.
  • Tyre wear: If one side of your car has more worn tyres than the other, more strain might be getting put on your tyres by failing wheel bearings.
  • Vibrating steering wheel: Failing ball bearings will increase friction as your car moves and may cause your steering wheel to vibrate
  • Steering drifts: If your steering pulls you to one side when driving, it may be a sign of faulty wheel bearings on one side.

Wheel bearing noise

The most common symptom of failing wheel bearings is the noise the fault can create. When wheel bearings are faulty, they may not be lubricated well enough and build up heat. This often causes a loud grinding noise from the affected wheel. This will often be more noticeable when turning.

How to check wheel bearing

To check if there is an issue if your wheel bearing, you’re best placed to visit a mechanic. However, if you want to diagnose the issue yourself, there is a simple way that could give you an indication of the problem:

  • When driving your car on an empty road at a solid speed (40mph+), slowly drift to the left and to the right of the lane.
  • If you hear an unfamiliar noise when drifting to the left, there may be a problem with your left wheel bearing. If the noise occurs when you drift right, the right wheel bearing may be faulty.

Think your wheel bearings may need replacing but worried about a hefty bill? Let Bumper take care of it and split the cost of car repairs into easy monthly repayments, completely interest-free.

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