Wheel Bearing Replacement Cost

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Fully functional wheel bearings are essential to several systems of your vehicle including braking, steering, and suspension.

When functioning properly, they allow you to smoothly turn your wheels with little friction.

Each wheel has its own wheel bearing, so it’s possible to notice problems with any one of them.

Get familiar with everything you need to know about wheel bearing maintenance and replacement. 

How Much Will A Wheel Bearing Replacement Cost?

Let’s cut to the chase.

The cost of replacing wheel bearings will differ based on the make and model of your vehicle, the cost of labor, and the cost of parts.

The average cost to fix wheel bearings on one wheel is $350.

The state you live in and the quality of the parts you receive will cause the price to vary. 

How Long Will The Job Take?

If you take your car to a professional to remedy your wheel bearings, they should be able to replace them within 2-3 hours, assuming your bearings aren’t broken to the point of being in multiple different pieces.

More time will be needed if they are severely broken. 

If you have the required knowledge and tools to attempt this job yourself, you should be able to complete it just fine at home. Carve out a bit of time for this repair, as it is a lengthier one. If this is your first time replacing wheel bearings, expect the entire project to take up to 6 hours. 

Is it Okay to Drive with Damaged Wheel Bearings?

Like with most problems with your vehicle, you should get it fixed as soon as possible.

It’s only okay to drive with bad wheel bearings for a short amount of time.

The more wear on this car part, the more damage you can cause to the other parts of your car’s suspension.

The bottom line is, if you identify the probability of wearing on your wheel bearings, take it to a professional as soon as you can.

Important: If the wheel bearing is significantly damaged, it is no longer safe to drive your vehicle at all. In this case, you are at risk of a wheel falling off your car mid-drive, which can easily cause a wreck.

Another possible outcome if you ignore these symptoms includes one of your wheels smoking mid-drive.

Signs Your Car’s Wheel Bearings Need Replacing

Now that you know the severity of damaged wheel bearings, it’s good to get familiar with the warning signs that one or more may need to be replaced.

Look out for the following symptoms:

  • Noises coming from your wheels or tires—especially when you turn—including grinding, rumbling, or groaning.
  • Overall, the handling of your car becomes looser.
  • The steering wheel is vibrating or wobbling.
  • The car randomly shifts towards one side as you are driving. 
  • The wear on your tires is uneven.

Steps to Check The State of Your Wheel Bearings

If you’re seeing some warning signs your bearings might not be in tip-top shape, it’s a good idea to inspect them.

You can follow the steps below to inspect them yourself.

  1. Raise your vehicle using jack stands.
  2. Important: do not get under your car. Grab each wheel with both hands on the top and bottom. Try to rock your tire back and forth both ways. Little motion in the tire indicates the bearings are just fine. If there is any movement, this suggests a problem with either the wheel bearing or ball joint. In this case, move to step 3.
  3. If you’ve found some movement in step 2, it’s time to take a look at the lower ball joint. Is the movement coming from this spot? If the joint is tight, the wheel bearing may need replacing.
  4. Next, check the front bearing. Important: if you have a vehicle that is AWD or FWD, shift your gear to neutral. Listen carefully as you spin the wheel by hand. You should hear a soft rubbing sound from the brake pads gliding on the rotor. If you’re hearing a grinding sound, that’s a sure sign your wheel bearing is failing. Note: this will only be obvious to the ear if they’ve been going out for a while.
  5. Important: before you lower your vehicle back to the ground make sure to (A) shift your car back into park if you have an automatic transmission or (B) shift into gear if you have a manual transmission.

Suggested Intervals to Replace Your Bearings

Many modern vehicles feature sealed bearings. In this case, little to no maintenance is required. Sealed bearings typically last 100,000 miles and up and only need to be replaced once they go bad.

If your vehicle has traditional, tapered wheel bearings, it’s best to get them serviced between every 25,000 to 30,000. The good news is that traditional wheel bearings that are routine maintenance likely don’t require full replacements. 

Check out your owner’s manual to get familiar with what types of bearings are on your vehicle and how often you should service or replace them.