How to Change the Front Wheel Bearing on a 2006 HHR

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In 2006, Chevrolet released the all-new HHR, which was a compact wagon-like vehicle that bore a striking resemblance to the 1949 Chevrolet Suburban. Unlike the 1949 Suburban, the HHR came standard with an economical 2.2-liter engine and front-wheel drive. The front wheel bearings are an integral part with the front hub assemblies, so when a bearing fails, you must replace the entire hub assembly. Changing out the hub assembly on the 2006 HHR is a straightforward task, but it may require a special tool.

Things You'll Need

  • Ratchet
  • Socket set
  • Floor jack
  • Jack stands
  • Drain pan
  • 8-inch C-clamp
  • Box-end wrench set
  • Breaker bar
  • Bungee strap
  • Axle puller (optional)
  • Torque wrench
  • DOT 3 brake fluid

Removal

  • Loosen the front lug nuts on the wheel with the failed hub-and-bearing assembly, using a ratchet and socket. Raise the front of the HHR with a floor jack and slide jack stands under the vehicle’s subframe. Lower the vehicle onto the jack stands. Remove the lug nuts and pull the wheel off the vehicle.

  • Instruct an assistant to press and hold the brake pedal as you loosen the axle nut, using a breaker bar and socket.

  • Set a drain pan under the front caliper and position an 8-inch C-clamp over the caliper, so its fixed side contacts the rear of the caliper and its screw side contacts the rear of the outer brake pad. Open the caliper’s bleeder valve, using a box-end wrench, and immediately tighten the C-clamp until it stops moving. Immediately tighten the bleeder screw with a box-end wrench. Remove the C-clamp.

  • Remove the two caliper-to-steering knuckle bolts, using a breaker bar and socket. Lift the caliper bracket, caliper and brake pads from the steering knuckle as one assembly. Hang the assembly from the front strut spring, using a bungee strap.

  • Pull the rotor from the hub. If the rotor does not pull off easily, lightly strike the rear of it with a rubber mallet to free it.

  • Unplug the antilock brake system sensor wiring harness from the HHR’s wiring harness, if the vehicle is equipped with ABS. Remove the three hub-and-bearing assembly bolts, which you can access from the rear of the steering knuckle, using a breaker bar and socket.

  • Pull the hub-and-bearing assembly from the steering knuckle and axle. If needed, pop the axle free from the hub-and-bearing assembly, using an axle puller, then remove the hub-and-bearing assembly. Pull the hub-and-bearing spacer from the steering knuckle.

Installation

  • Guide the new hub-and-bearing spacer, which comes with the new hub-and-bearing assembly, and new hub-and-bearing assembly into place on the steering knuckle and axle. Hand-tighten the new hub-and-bearing assembly bolts, which also come with the new assembly, then tighten them to 85 foot-pounds, using a torque wrench and socket.

  • Connect the ABS sensor wiring harness into the HHR’s wiring harness. The new assembly comes fitted with an ABS sensor.

  • Thread the axle nut onto the end of the front axle.

  • Install the rotor onto the new hub-and-bearing assembly. Remove the caliper bracket, caliper and brake pads assembly from the bungee strap and guide them over the rotor and onto the steering knuckle.

  • Hand-tighten the caliper bracket bolts, then tighten them to 85 foot-pounds.

  • Instruct your assistant to press and release the brake pedal until it feels firm. Tell your assistant to hold the brake pedal as you tighten the axle nut to 81 foot-pounds.

  • Place the front wheel onto the hub and hand-tighten the lug nuts. Raise the HHR off the jack stands and remove the stands. Lower the vehicle to the ground and torque the lug nuts, in a crisscross pattern, to 100 foot-pounds.

  • Check the level of the brake fluid in the master cylinder reservoir. If the fluid level is not between the “Min” and “Max” lines on the reservoir, add more DOT 3 brake fluid until the level is between the “Min” and “Max” marks.

  • Take any old DOT 3 brake fluid to a used automotive fluid recycling center. Some auto parts stores take old fluid for free.

References

  • Alldata: 2006 Chevy Truck HHR L4-2.2L, Wheel Bearing, Service and Repair, Procedures: Front Suspension, Wheel Bearing/Hub Replacement – Front
  • Alldata: 2006 Chevy Truck HHR L4-2.2L, Brake Rotor/Disc, Service and Repair, Removal and Replacement: Front Brake Rotor Replacement
  • Alldata: 2006 Chevy Truck HHR L4-2.2L, Brake Caliper, Service and Repair, Procedures: Brake Caliper Bracket Replacement
  • Alldata: 2006 Chevy Truck HHR L4-2.2L, Wheels and Tires, Service and Repair, Procedures: Tire and Wheel Removal and Installation
  • Cars.com: 2006 Chevrolet HHR Overview
  • MSN Autos Chevrolet HHR Overview
  • Photo Credit Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images
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