When it's not just a wheel bearingAs the bearings wear, they begin to vibrate in a noticeable way. These vibrations may eventually get so bad that it feels as though the car’s wheels are trying to rip the steering wheel out of your hands. This is an unsettling thing to experience. It’s also dangerous, which is why you or a mechanic need to have a good look at your suspension as soon as you notice any vibration, wobbling, or shaking coming from the corners of your car. You may need more than just a wheel bearing—have a good look at the ball joints, tie-rod ends, and sway-bar end links as well.
Non-servicable Hub AssembliesYou’ll find these on many newer passenger cars. The bearings are not designed to be removed from the hub assembly. The entire hub assembly must be replaced. Though the repair is not labor intensive, the necessary hub assembly can be expensive for some makes and models.
Non-servicable Hub Assemblies with press in bearingsConsider this type the “worst of both worlds.” The parts AND labor are expensive. The hub assembly must be removed from the car or truck and set in a press, which is then used to press the bearing out of the assembly.
One wrong move with the press and you run the risk of damaging the hub assembly. If you’re not sure how to do this, get help from a professional mechanic.
Removing and replacing the necessary partsIf your car or truck has a non-serviceable wheel hub assembly with press in bearings, you will need a shop press to remove and replace the bearings. If your car or truck has non-serviceable wheel hubs, simply remove the old wheel hub and replace it with a new part. If your bearings are serviceable, you’re in for a great day under the shade tree. Removal and replacement is fairly straightforward.
If you’re new to working on cars, you may not know what type of hub assembly you have. Give your local Pep Boys a call and ask for help with identifying your hub assembly type.
The rare and unusual
It’s appropriate to remove and replace the bearing by itself if you’re working on a rare, unusual, or expensive vehicle for which the hub assembly is rare, out of stock, or otherwise unavailable. Methods for removing the old bearing race include using a blind-hole bearing puller or, when it’s particularly stubborn, cutting the bearing race away with a torch or die-grinder. It’s best to leave these methods alone unless you’re a serious enthusiast or professional mechanic.
It’s risky to take a torch or a die-grinder to the hub assembly. That’s why many mechanics won’t bother attempting to remove the bearing. When possible, they simply replace the hub assembly, even when working on rare and unusual cars. An even more advanced technique involves machining the hub assembly to accept an oversized bearing. This technique should be left to the experts as well.
Wheel bearing wrap upThere are three different types of wheel hub assemblies. On some cars, you can just replace the bearing and call it a day. On others, the hub assembly must be removed and replaced. The most difficult type involves removing the hub assembly and setting it in a press.
If you’re not sure what type of wheel hub assembly you have, stop by or give your local Pep Boys store a call. We have the parts and information you need to get your car back on the road again.
SHOP WHEEL BEARINGS