How to Install a Front Wheel Bearing for a 2005 Hyundai Elantra

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Over time, the front wheel bearings in your 2005 Hyundai Elantra will wear. This can cause several symptoms, including noise that changes pitch with an increase or decrease in vehicle speed, steering instability at highway speeds and excessive tire wear. Replacing the worn bearing will restore the Elantra’s handling, ride quality and tire wear. The average home mechanic should be able to complete this project in about two hours with basic hand tools.

Things You'll Need

  • Wheel chocks
  • Floor jack
  • Jack stands
  • Socket set
  • Hammer
  • Punch
  • Position the wheel chocks behind the rear wheels and set the parking brake. Lift the front of the car using the floor jack, positioned on the reinforced jacking location behind the front wheel, until the front wheel is off the ground. Position jack stands under the front subframe and lower the car onto the jack stands. Remove the front wheel, using the lug wrench, and set it aside with the lug nuts.

  • Remove the brake caliper by removing the caliper bracket bolts using the 14 mm socket and socket wrench from the socket set and prying the caliper off the brake rotor. Hang the caliper out of the way, with a piece of wire or a zip tie, to prevent damage to the brake hose. Slide the rotor off the hub assembly.

  • Remove the cotter pin and spacer from the axle nut in the center of the hub assembly. Remove the axle nut using the 36 mm axle-nut socket and the 1/2-inch-drive breaker bar. Use a punch and hammer to push the axle into the hub assembly slightly. There is a large dimple in the end of the axle for the punch to be placed in while you strike it with the hammer. This prevents damage to the threads on the axle.

  • Remove the bolts that attach the strut to the steering knuckle. Remove the lower ball joint and outer tie rod nuts and separate the tie rod and ball joint from the steering knuckle. A few sharp blows with a hammer on the attaching points of the steering knuckle will separate the tie rod and ball joint. Remove the steering knuckle from the axle and the car.

  • Have the new bearing installed in the steering knuckle. The bearing on the Hyundai Elantra is a sealed unit that is pressed into the steering knuckle. Most auto repair shops, and some well-equipped auto parts stores, can do this for a small labor fee.

  • Reinstall the steering knuckle into the car by sliding it onto the axle and ball joint. Start the axle and ball joint nuts by hand. Slip the upper mount of the steering knuckle into the strut and install the bolts. Install the tie rod end onto the steering knuckle. Tighten all bolts very tight and install cotter pins where required.

  • Reinstall the brake rotor and caliper. Tighten the caliper bracket bolts. Reinstall the wheels. Lower the car to the ground by raising it with the floor jack and removing the jack stands. Lower the jack slowly. Test-drive to verify the repair is complete.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wear safety glasses to prevent serious eye injury from flying debris while hammering.
  • Photo Credit Ablestock.com/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
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