If your mechanic has told you that you need new front wheel bearings, you may be wondering what they are and how they know. A bearing is just a set of steel balls that are held together with a metal ring (race). It is designed to help your wheels spin fast without producing too much friction. They’re used on every make and model of vehicle, as well as aircraft and bicycles. On a car or truck, the bearing rides of your metal axle shaft and will fit tight inside the hub.
Sounds Made When The Bearing Is Bad
Mechanics and others who regularly work on their personal vehicles will know that front wheel bearings are bad because of the sounds they make. However, some people find it difficult to drive and listen, but some tips can make it easier to locate the problem source. For example, when your bearing’s seal is damaged or broken, the noise will be very faint, though it will get louder over time. It tends to sound like the noise your tires make when they drive over a rumble strip while on the highway, otherwise known as the don’t-fall-asleep strip. However, it won’t be as loud and may sound more like playing cards slapping against your bicycle spokes.
To reproduce the noise for yourself or your mechanic, drive about 40 MPH, swaying the car slowly from side to side so that the weight of the vehicle shifts. Don’t go crazy while doing this and ensure that no one else is on the road behind or in front of you.
Tires Or Front Wheel Bearings
If you have a tire that’s worn out in patches, the tire can also make the same noise as you drive down the road. Make sure you check the tires thoroughly before deciding the bearing is to blame.