Have you ever stopped to think how it is possible for the wheel on your car to turn, while the axle itself stays still? In order to allow this to happen, small but nonetheless crucial parts are fitted in between the rim and the stub axle. These small circular components feature ball or roller bearings inside an outer casing, all of which are covered in grease. Unfortunately, as these bearings need to put up with so much stress, it's not unusual for them to fail, but what are the signs of an issue and how should you deal with it?
Bearings under Load
When the vehicle is in motion and the wheel is turning, the individual bearings within each casing will rotate at high speed. The inner part of the casing will remain static and attached to the hub when this happens, but a tremendous amount of heat will nevertheless build up due to friction and the transfer of energy.
These bearings also need to cope with the strain when the wheel turns and affects the force of gravity. This is why these bearings are well-engineered so that they can cope with such stress levels as much as possible.
Passage of Time
As the months and years go by, so these bearings will begin to degrade. As they do, tiny pieces of metal may break off, and this may lead to scoring inside the chamber. As this happens, the wheel may not be able to turn as efficiently as it once did, and problems will arise.
Signs of Trouble
You may begin to notice a vibration through the steering wheel and especially at low speed. You may hear a rhythmic, knocking noise when turning a corner and, typically, from just one side of the vehicle. You may also notice uneven tyre wear on that side, as the wheel will not be sitting properly any more.
Usually, but not always, a bearing will fail on one, but not both sides. It may nevertheless be a good idea to replace either end of the axle if the bearings are of the same age, as a second failure may not be too far behind.
You will need to take the vehicle in to a mechanic for this work. The bearing can be very difficult to get off, and you will require the correct tools. It is even more important to replace the new bearings properly and ensure that they are installed using a torque wrench, so get in touch with your trusted mechanic to schedule the job.
If you have additional questions, reach out to a local auto shop that offers mechanical repair services.Share
27 October 2020
My name is Donna, and I love my toys! I have an ATV, a caravan, a boat and a range of other "toys". I find that there is a lot of information online about auto service but not that much about servicing fun types of vehicles. Inspired by the phrase "be the change you want to see in the world", I decided to start a blog full of information that is usually hard to find online. I will write about servicing toys, vintage cars, sports cars and a range of other topics. I hope that you like these posts and that you learn from them. Thanks for reading and enjoy your toys.