Wheel bearings are part of the suspension system, so they allow your wheels to turn without rubbing against one another. They also take the weight of the vehicle when it’s not rolling on its tires.
Wheel bearing is in the axle, which is a cylindrical steel shaft that is attached to the vehicle’s transmission and is often found in the center of a car.
The wheel bearings that people usually have problems with are sealed units. These units have a rubber seal that surrounds the bearing to keep it secure. Sealed units also have removable shields with ball bearings, which keep grease inside the unit. All you need to do with these bearings is push them back into place when they get displaced from their original position.
Wheel bearings are important for proper vehicle function and safety. Poor quality bearings can lead to a variety of problems, including trouble steering, noise or vibrations, and trouble stopping – all of which could be dangerous.
In this article, we will see what wheel bearing brands to avoid, and how to spot a bad wheel bearing.
When You Should Worry About Your Wheel Bearing
While wheel bearings last for the entirety of your vehicle’s lifetime. However, they can be damaged in collisions, for example, when you hit a pothole or go over a speed bump at a high speed.
But how do you know when it might be time to replace them?
There are a few telltale signs that your wheel bearings have worn out.
- The first is any sort of noise coming from the axle, which could be because of an inner or outer bearing problem. If you hear noises when turning left and right while driving on smooth roads at low speeds, this might show wheel bearing issues with your car’s front end. If you hear the noise only when driving at high speeds, it’s probably due to wheel bearing issues with your car’s rear end.
- A second sign of worn out bearings is an unstable steering wheel. If you feel shakiness in your vehicle while turning or going over bumpy roads, this might also be a symptom that something is wrong with your wheel bearings.
- The third sign is a problem stopping the car when you break. If there’s any sort of noise or vibration while braking, this could be because of bad wheel bearing issues on one side of the vehicle – usually on the rear end if it happens only on one side. Worn out drum brakes can also cause it.
- A fourth sign is difficulty steering the car while parking, especially if it’s hard to turn or control your speed around corners. This might show bad wheel bearings on one side of the vehicle, which could be because of a collision that has knocked them out of place. Ball joints and worn out tie rods can also cause it – both of which are components that connect the wheels to the steering system.
If you notice any of these signs, then it’s time for a professional inspection by an auto mechanic as soon as possible – especially if your car is making noise or seems unstable when driving at high speeds. The sooner you have this done, the better chances you’ll have in avoiding major damage to your vehicle.
The Risks of Poor-Quality/Damaged Wheel Bearings
Wheel bearing issues can lead to much bigger problems if we do not address them in time.
And poor-quality ones will wear down much more quickly, straining the rest of the transmission system.
One issue is that when your wheel bearings wear out, it causes additional strain on other parts of the suspension system like the tie rods and ball joints, which could also start wearing down at a faster rate – shortening their lifespan. Plus, this will increase your chances of other suspension related problems occurring.
Even if you don’t notice any signs that your wheel bearings are worn out, this does not mean they won’t cause damage to the rest of your vehicle’s axle system – which can be very expensive to fix. This is because when bearing wear down over time, it allows more metal shavings and other particles into the lubricant in your axle system, which can mix with dirt and debris that damages other components like gears.
When there are metal shavings in your vehicle’s grease, it also deteriorates the rubber seals around bearings – allowing more contaminants to seep in. This means you’ll have to replace them sooner than you would if you had caught the problem when it first started happening.
Another issue is that with worn out wheel bearings, there’s also a risk of them breaking or completely falling apart while driving – which could lead to major damage on your vehicle and bodily harm for yourself as well as others around you since your axle system will be unbalanced without properly working bearings.
The best way to prevent bad wheel bearing issues is by replacing them before they wear down – which depends on your driving habits and other factors like road conditions that contribute to the wear of these components. It’s also important to understand what symptoms can show problems with this part so you know when it might be time for replacements.
Safety First: Avoid these 5 Brands
Look at the warranty offered by the manufacturer too. A company that offers a long warranty (3+ years) is much more reputable that one with shorter warranties. If they really believed their products were of high quality, wouldn’t they offer a long warranty, since it will not break easily, anyway?
GSP Automotive is a Chinese-based manufacturer of wheel bearings. They are sold in many countries, including the United States. Their products are cheap because they have their parts manufactured overseas, where labor is much less expensive than it is here in North America or Europe.
GSP has a terrible reputation for making inferior quality bearings that do not last long at all – often only lasting a year or two before needing to be replaced. This company is known for selling cheap parts that do not meet the quality standards set by other reputable manufacturers – so you should avoid buying their products.
AIC is an international company that is based in Germany with manufacturing facilities in China. They sell their products worldwide, including places like the United States where they have a lot of operations.
They offer competitive prices for all kinds of wheel bearings – making them very popular amongst car owners everywhere. However, it’s important to keep in mind that this makes AIC a popular choice for people who are looking to buy cheap parts, not high-quality ones.
AIC is known for selling bearings that do not meet even the minimum quality standards. Their products should be avoided if you want to keep your vehicle’s axle system in good working order. Bad wheel bearings risk damaging other parts of your car, costing you way more in the long run than if you went for a high-quality wheel bearing.
EGT is a company that manufactures parts for different vehicles – including trucks, buses and cars.
Their bearings often have problems with quality control, which leads to some bearing models being made too thin while others aren’t thick enough. This means they are all susceptible to premature failure.
If you see an EGT brand bearing, stay away from it unless you want your axle system to fail on the roadways, causing major damage and putting yourself at risk for accidents.
NKE is an Austrian-based company that manufactures bearings both in China and in other parts of the world. They make products for cars, trucks, buses and motorcycles – including cruiser brands like Harley Davidson. They often make their bearings from low-quality steel that is not durable enough to last long without breaking down in performance.
NKE manufactures a large variety of different bearing models so it’s difficult to tell which ones are of poor quality and which ones are high quality. If you see this brand name on a bearing, we recommend avoiding it to avoid major issues with your vehicle’s axle system.
Rolltec is a company that was founded in Sweden, but has now ended up being owned by Chinese investors.
Their bearings are known for having excessive play at even low mileages. They have been getting increasingly worse as time goes on and the brand suffers from extensive warranty issues – so much so that they aren’t standing behind their products anymore, either.
If you see a Rolltec brand name, it’s best to avoid buying their products except as temporary replacements. They are known for wearing out quickly and not lasting long at all – so they can really end up being quite expensive in the long run if you have to keep going back repeatedly for new ones.
Editor’s note: never go for a no name brand, no matter how interesting their product might look from the outside. If they don’t have websites, and nobody on the internet talks about them, they’re probably a dud.
The Importance of a Perfect Installation
Product quality is important, but a good installation is crucial to ensure your wheel bearing will last long. Make sure your mechanic knows what he is doing and make certain that the new bearing will be installed with proper tools.
There is no certification to ensure you’re picking a quality mechanic. Fortunately, it’s a pretty routine job, so every mechanic that’s worked in the field for at least a couple of years will be fine.
If you’re comfortable with cars, it’s a job you can do yourself. Make sure you buy a bearing that fits your car’s model and size, and get the right tools for the job.
If you’re not really sure what they are, just ask your mechanic or do some research yourself. If the tools aren’t used properly, it can cause extensive damage to other parts of your axle system – increasing the risk for accidents and total breakdown on the roadways, which is dangerous. Make certain that if you install a bearing by hand that you follow the proper procedures and use the right tools to avoid damaging your axle system.
When you install a bearing incorrectly, it can wreak havoc on other parts of your axle system. It increases the risk of accidents and total breakdown during usage. Make sure that if you’re installing by hand, you know what you’re doing and use the right tools to avoid damaging your axle system.
Therefore, it’s vital you seek someone who will do a perfect job.
Buy from these brands instead
If you are looking for a trusted brand that will offer you the best quality bearings on the market, then look for OEM bearings. The biggest brands in the space are NTN and FAG (yes, that is their actual name).
- FAG bearings (made by Schaeffler) are very popular in the racing world. They have been known for providing reliable and efficient products that last long even under harsh conditions, such as those found on a race track.
- NTN is an established brand with over 100 years of experience behind their name. Their product lineup includes various options, so you should be able to find precisely what you need for your vehicle.
If you’re looking for an aftermarket wheel bearing, go with either Timken, SKF, or SNR.
- Timken is a well-known brand you can trust. They have been around for over 100 years and they offer high quality products that stand up to even the most demanding environments.
- SKF is another well-known brand in the industry. Their products are also high quality and you can find them in a variety of vehicles, including commercial trucks.
- SNR is an up-and-coming wheel bearing producer with excellent reviews from customers who have used their product line over the last few years. This company has grown its customer base while also maintaining its reputation for providing reliable and efficient products.
The right wheel bearing will last you a lifetime. The wrong one will ruin your car’s transmission. It’s important to avoid brands that will put you at risk of destroying your car parts. While they might save you money in the short run, they’ll cause big ones down the line.
Don’t settle for mediocre wheel bearings. They are an important part of your car. Poor-quality ones not only become expensive real fast, but they are also unsafe. They make steering your car much harder, and they’re also frustrating because of their noise.
Don’t forget to pick an experienced mechanic to replace your wheel bearings. Or do it yourself if you feel comfortable with the procedure. Ensure you have the right tools at your disposal, though. You don’t want to end up damaging your car because of mistakes.