Could wheel bearings have to be replaced for reasons other than a failed wheel bearing? Counter Intelligence is next!
Hi guys, it’s Mark Phillips. You probably know that if one wheel bearing on a high-mileage vehicle has failed, chances are the other wheel bearings are probably reaching the same point and will have to be replaced soon. Auto parts professionals and technicians should always recommend replacing both front wheel bearings, or all four wheel bearings at the same time to reduce the risk of a dangerous wheel bearing failure down the road. But why should wheel bearings be replaced, other than a failed bearing? If the wheel speed sensor inside is corroded or damaged, or has failed electrically, the wheel bearings may need to be replaced.
The wheel speed sensors in some hub assemblies can be replaced separately if there is a problem with the sensor, but on others, the entire hub assembly has to be replaced if the sensor calls it quits. This is even if the bearings are still in good condition. It’s an expensive fix for an illuminated ABS light, but without the new hub and sensor, the ABS light won’t go out and the ABS system won’t operate. Replacing a bad wheel bearing often requires special tools: some type of hub puller for the front wheel bearings on many FWD cars and 4WD trucks, or a hydraulic press to replace the rear axle bearings on a RWD car or truck. It takes a certain amount of skill to do this job correctly, and if done wrong the new bearings may be damaged or fail prematurely. A new hub or axle nut (and cotter pins) should always be recommended to customers who are replacing wheel bearings.
So, it’s not always a failed bearing that will require wheel bearing replacement. Making sure all wheel bearings are replaced at the same time is essential for vehicle safety and customer satisfaction. I’m Mark Phillips. Thanks for watching.