Wheel bearings are an essential component of a vehicle’s suspension system that allows the wheels to rotate smoothly. Over time, these bearings can wear out and need to be replaced
A complete wheel bearing replacement cost ranges between $273 and $354, depending on the model and location of the service center. Some of the common signs that affect wheel bearing replacement price include vibration, wheel play, and more.
In this Dbd guide, we have included all the information on the price and factors affecting the cost of replacing wheel bearings.
Signs of a failing wheel bearing
Wheel bearings play an essential role in properly functioning a vehicle’s wheels. When they begin to fail, they can cause various issues that can impact the performance and safety of the vehicle.
When it comes to ensuring the sound health of wheel ends and safe operation of a vehicle, adequate lubrication of the wheel bearings is of utmost importance. Insufficient lubrication can result in severe outcomes that could have been prevented.  NHTSA GOV, “Lubricating the Wheel Bearings, https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/tsbs/2012/SB-10039615-8245.pdf”
Here are some signs that indicate bad wheel bearings need to be replaced:
Unusual bearing noise
One of the most common signs of a failing wheel bearing is a grinding, humming, or growling noise that increases in intensity as the vehicle speeds up. This noise may be more noticeable when turning or changing lanes.
A failing wheel bearing can also cause vibrations in the steering wheel or vehicle body, especially at higher speeds.
If you notice any play or looseness in the wheel or the wheel wobbles when you try to move it back and forth, this can also be a sign of a failing wheel bearing.
Uneven tire wear
A failing wheel bearing can also cause uneven tire wear, so if your tires are wearing down more quickly on one side, this could be a sign of a problem with the wheel bearing.
ABS warning light
In some cases, a failing wheel bearing can trigger the ABS warning light to come on. If you notice this warning light, it’s important to have your vehicle inspected by a professional as soon as possible.
To identify which wheel bearing needs replacement, try to pinpoint the location of the noise. It will state the worn wheel bearings.
Another way to determine the faulty bearing is to lift the vehicle and check for wheel play. By shaking the tire vertically and horizontally, you can check the faulty wheel bearing.
Wheel bearing replacement process
Replacing a wheel bearing is a complex and involved process that requires specialized knowledge and tools. Here are the steps involved in replacing a wheel bearing:
Step 1: Lift the vehicle
Use a jack to lift the vehicle and secure it on jack stands.
Step 2: Remove the wheel
Remove the lug nuts and take off the wheel.
Step 3: Remove the brake caliper and rotor
Use a socket wrench to remove the bolts holding the brake caliper in place. Once the caliper is removed, take off the brake rotor.
Step 4: Remove the axle nut
Use a socket wrench to remove the axle nut that holds the wheel bearing in place.
Step 5: Remove the wheel hub assembly
Use a hammer and punch or a wheel puller to remove the wheel hub assembly.
Step 6: Remove the wheel bearing
Use a bearing puller or press to remove the old wheel bearing from the hub.
Step 7: Install the new wheel bearing
Use a press or bearing installer to install the new wheel bearing into the wheel hub.
Step 8: Reassemble the wheel hub assembly
Reassemble the wheel hub assembly, ensuring all parts are tightened to the manufacturer’s specifications.
Step 9: Reinstall the brake rotor and caliper
Reinstall the brake rotor and caliper, tightening the bolts to the manufacturer’s specifications.
Step 10: Reinstall the wheel
Put the wheel back on and tighten the lug nuts to the manufacturer’s specifications.
Specialized tools, such as a bearing press tool, are required to remove and install wheel bearings. It is recommended to have this job done by a professional mechanic.
The time required to complete the replacement depends on various factors, including experience level. If it’s your first time replacing a wheel bearing, it could take around 4-6 hours to complete the job.
Average wheel bearing replacement cost
The average cost for a Wheel Bearing Replacement is between $273 and $354. It has estimated Labor costs between $160 and $202, while parts are priced between $113 and $152.
In addition, if the bearing hub needs to be replaced, it can add another $50 to $150 to the total wheel bearing changing price. If both the rear and front wheel bearings need to be replaced, the cost can range from $400 to $1,000 or more, depending on the factors mentioned earlier.
It’s important to get repair costs from a reputable shop to determine the exact cost for your specific vehicle.
Factors affecting wheel bearing replacement cost
The cost of front and rear wheel bearings replacement can vary depending on various factors. Understanding these factors can help you make informed decisions about repairing your vehicle.
Here are some of the key factors that can impact the cost of wheel bearing replacement:
Make and model of the vehicle
The cost of a wheel bearing replacement can vary depending on the make and model of the vehicle. Some models may require more expensive parts or more extensive labor.
Type of wheel bearing
There are two main types of wheel bearings which are the serviceable type and the non-serviceable type.
Serviceable bearings can be cleaned and re-greased, while non-serviceable bearings need to be completely replaced. Non-serviceable bearings are generally more expensive.
The cost of labor involved in a wheel bearing replacement can vary depending on the location and the complexity of the job. Some vehicles may require more time and effort to replace the wheel bearing.
OEM vs. Aftermarket parts
The cost of replacement parts can also impact the overall cost of a wheel bearing replacement. The OEM (Original Equipment manufacturer) parts are generally more expensive but may be more reliable. Likewise, aftermarket parts may be cheaper but can have varying levels of quality
The cost of wheel bearing replacement can vary widely based on the factors discussed earlier. On the lower end of the spectrum, a wheel bearing replacement for a relatively common vehicle with serviceable bearings may cost around $200 to $400 per wheel.
On the higher end of the spectrum, a wheel bearing replacement for a luxury or high-performance vehicle with non-serviceable bearings may cost upwards of $1000 or more per wheel.
Additional repairs or complications can also increase the cost of the job. It’s important to get a clear estimate from a qualified mechanic before proceeding with any repairs.
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What are the symptoms of a bad wheel bearing?
Symptoms of a bad wheel bearing include a humming or grinding noise from the wheel area, vibration or wobbling while driving, and uneven tire wear. It’s important to diagnose and replace it to avoid further damage or potential safety hazards.
How often should wheel bearings be replaced?
There’s no specific mileage or time interval for wheel bearing replacement. However, they should be inspected regularly and replaced if there are any signs of wear or damage.
How long does it take to replace a wheel bearing?
The time it takes to replace a wheel bearing varies depending on the make and model of the vehicle, as well as the level of damage to the bearing. Yet, the process can somehow take between 4 to 6 hours for first-timers.
Can you drive with a bad wheel bearing?
No, it’s not recommended to drive with a bad wheel bearing as it can lead to further damage and potential safety hazards. You should get it fixed as soon as possible.
Can I replace my wheel bearing myself?
Yes, it is possible to replace a wheel bearing yourself if you have the necessary tools and mechanical knowledge. It can be a difficult and time-consuming process, so it’s recommended to seek professional help.
To conclude, the wheel bearing replacement cost can vary widely depending on factors such as the type of vehicle, location, and the mechanic’s hourly rate.
We hope our guide has provided you with all the necessary information you need to know about car wheel bearing replacement cost.
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