Wheel Bearings

The wheel bearings functions

Wheel bearings are what enables your wheels to spin freely. They are important, since they provide the first connection between the static and moving parts of a vehicle. It is a set of steel balls held together by a metal ring. Their main function is to reduce friction in the wheel to aid rotation. The bearings rotate with the wheel’s rotation.

The wheel bearing is placed within the hub assembly. The wheel hub assembly main function is to keep your wheel attached to your vehicle, while allowing the wheels to freely rotate. It is also a critical part for your ABS (anti-lock braking system) as well as your TCS (traction control system).

Check out our different wheel bearings parts or visit a NAPA AUTOPRO Service Centre.

What are the signs indicating faulty bearings?

Wheel bearings can be under enormous pressure and can withstand a lot of heat. As any vehicle parts, they do wear out and eventually need to be replaced. When the bearings are not working properly, you’ll hear an annoying whining sound coming from under the car. You might also hear a groaning sound from your wheels. The sound might disappear at some speed, and reappear at others. Be sure to bring your vehicle to a NAPA AUTOPRO centre right away. If you wait too long, your wheels may lock up, or you may end up having to call a tow truck.  

How often do you need to maintain your wheel bearings?

Many vehicles these days have wheel bearings assemblies that cannot be serviced. When those bearings go wrong, we simply replace the entire assembly. For those vehicles with wheel bearings that can be accessed, we can do some preventive maintenance. With this procedure, we remove the bearings, carefully clean them and inspect for any imperfections or wear. If the bearings can be reused, we reinstalled them and pack them with grease, if not, we but a new bearing. Check your owner manual or ask your service advisor if your bearings can be serviced, and if so, when it should be done.

Your service technician can quickly tell if your bearings are bad by raising the vehicle and wiggling the wheel. When you hold the top and the bottom of the tire, it should not move along the vertical axe.

Be sure to have a certified NAPA AUTOPRO technician inspect your bearings regularly to see if any need maintenance.

Learn more about the wheel bearings from our NAPA AUTOPRO experts in the video below: