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How to replace your wheel bearings

Peter Sitkowski | 19th Jan 2024 | 5 minutes to read

Wheel bearings are an essential component in a vehicle's suspension system and when they wear out, they can cause unpredictable handling, friction that negatively impacts the rotation of your wheels, and wheel misalignment that can be dangerous for driving.

If you hear a humming sound coming from your wheels, that can be a sign that your wheel bearing might need replacing. It's definitely worthwhile to do, as replacing wheel bearings can help vehicle performance, reduce noise from your suspension, and reduce wear and tear on other components in your suspension system.

It's also a fairly easy job if you have some experience with mechanical work and have the right tools for the job.

Below are some essential steps for replacing your wheel bearings:

  1. Preparing the Vehicle & Essential Tools
  2. Removing the Wheels
  3. Locating & Removing Wheel Bearings
  4. Cleaning the Wheel Hub
  5. Installing the New Wheel Bearings
  6. Reassembling the Wheel Hub
  7. Reattaching Wheels
  8. Testing the Wheel Bearings
  9. Driveline Components at Repco

Tools for the job

  • Jack
  • Jack stands
  • Wheel brace
  • Socket set
  • Torque wrench
  • Wheel bearing grease
  • New wheel bearings that are compatible with your vehicle
  • Safety goggles
  • Gloves

Preparing the Vehicle & Essential Tools

Before commencing the wheel bearing replacement, you'll want to gather the necessary tools and materials.

Park the vehicle on a level surface and engage the parking brake. Loosen the wheel nuts on the wheels using a wheel brace but refrain from removing them completely. Use a jack to lift the car, supporting it securely on jack stands for stability during the replacement.

Removing the Wheels

Fully remove the wheel nuts and wheels to access the wheel hub and bearings. Place the removed wheels aside in a secure location. This step allows access to the hub and bearings for inspection and replacement.

Locating & Removing Wheel Bearings

Inspect the wheel hub assembly to locate the wheel bearings. They are typically situated within the hub, enabling smooth rotation of the wheel. Identify the bearing assembly and note the mounting points.

Use appropriate tools to remove the dust cap or cover protecting the wheel bearing. Examine and remove any retaining hardware securing the bearings in place. Extract the old wheel bearings from the hub using suitable techniques or tools, such as a bearing puller.

Cleaning the Wheel Hub

Thoroughly clean the wheel hub and surrounding components using a rag or appropriate cleaning solvent. Ensure the hub is free from dirt, debris, and old grease. Inspect for any signs of damage or wear that might affect the new bearings' performance.

Installing the New Wheel Bearings

Apply wheel bearing grease to the new bearings, ensuring they are evenly coated. Carefully place the new bearings into the hub assembly, aligning them correctly with the designated mounting points.

Reassembling the Wheel Hub

Reinstall any retaining hardware or components that secure the wheel bearings in place. Replace the dust cap or cover to protect the bearings from contaminants and secure it firmly.

Reattaching Wheels

Place the wheels back onto the wheel studs and hand-tighten the wheel nuts in a star pattern to ensure even tightening. Lower the vehicle from the jack stands and use a torque wrench to tighten the wheel nuts to the specified torque settings.

Testing the Wheel Bearings

Before driving the vehicle, perform a visual inspection to ensure the wheel bearings are properly installed and secured. Rotate the wheels by hand to verify smooth and noise-free rotation, indicating proper functioning of the new bearings.

Inspect around the wheels and hub for any loose components or leaks and dispose of any used materials responsibly when cleaning the work area.

Driveline Components at Repco

We’ve got everything from clutch thrust bearings, slave cylinders, and u-joints to drive shafts and full clutch kits from top manufactures like Clutch Industries and UniClutch. You can shop online or head into your local Repco store and pick up the parts you need for your next big DIY job.

Check out our range of driveline components

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