The wheel bearings inside of a wheel hub are the main components that enable the wheel and the hub to turn around the spindle. Over time, harsh driving conditions and lack of lubrication can cause damage to the wheel bearings or cause the wheel bearings to lock up. Once the wheel bearing is damaged or locked up, it will prevent the wheel and the hub from turning on the spindle. Always inspect the wheel bearings at the first sign of any noise.
Things You'll Need
- Jack stand
Drive the vehicle down the road and listen out the window to determine which wheel bearing is making the noise. Park the vehicle on a flat surface.
Jack up the corner of the vehicle that has the noisy wheel bearing. Place a jack stand under the proper jacking point. Lower the vehicle onto the top of the jack.
Grab the top of the wheel with one hand and grab the bottom of the wheel with the other hand. Move the wheel in and out to determine if there is any slack between the wheel and the hub. Slack between the wheel and the hub can cause damage to the wheel bearing.
Grab one side of the wheel with one hand and grab the other side of the wheel with the other hand. Move the wheel back and forth to determine if there is any side-to-side slack. If there is, the wheel bearing could be damaged.
Grab the wheel with both hands and slowly turn it clockwise. Listen for any noises originating from the location of the wheel bearing. If any sounds are present, you have a faulty wheel bearing. If no noises are heard, remove the wheel hub and take it to an auto repair shop to have the wheel bearing visibly inspected.
Tips & Warnings
- Any damaged wheel bearings will have to be pressed out of the wheel hub by a machine shop or an auto repair shop.
- Use extreme caution when working under a vehicle that is on jack stands.
- " Ford Pick-ups, Expedition and Lincoln Navigator Haynes Repair Manual covering 2WD and 4WD gasoline models for F-150 (1997 thru 2003), F-150 Heritage (2004), F-250 (1997 thru 1999), Expedition (1997 thru 2009), and Lincoln Navigator (1998 thru 2009);" John Haynes; 2010
- MI-Bearings: How to Identify a Bad Wheel Bearing or Wheel Hub Bearing Assembly
- AA1Car: Wheel Bearing & Seal Service
Symptoms of Bad Wheel Bearings
You may feel as if you are under attack by a tank when you hear that roaring noise of a lifted truck...
What Do Bad Wheel Bearings Sound Like?
The wheel bearing is a simple but vital automobile part that allows a wheel to spin freely. Bad wheel bearings need replacing...
How to Diagnose Tire Noise Issues
When your tires start making noises, it can mean a number of different things. The best thing you can do when you...
How to Locate Wheel Bearing Noise
Wheel bearings are some of the most important and least regarded parts of your vehicle's drivetrain. When they start to malfunction, wheel...
Troubleshooting Wheel Bearing Problems
A wheel bearing is used within the center of each wheel hub to avoid metal-to-metal grinding. It is well lubricated to reduce...
How to Tell When a Front Bearing Is Bad in a Jetta
A VW Jetta's wheel bearing is an extremely important aspect of the suspension. The wheel bearing supports the weight of the car...
Front Wheel Bearing Diagnosis
The front wheel bearings in your car or light truck allow the wheels to roll smoothly and support the weight of the...
What Can Happen When a Rear Hub Bearing Goes Bad?
Automobiles offer freedom on the open road, using many intricately connected systems for propelling the vehicle forward. Working alongside the car's wheel...
Symptoms of Rear Hub Bearing Failure
Rear hub bearings, also called wheel bearings or axle bearings, are greased bearings inside a car or truck's rear axle that allow...
Signs of Worn Wheel Bearings
Wheel bearings keep the wheels on a vehicle spinning smoothly and quietly. They are sealed during manufacture of the vehicle, which helps...
Front Wheel Bearing Replacement Symptoms
The wheel bearings on a vehicle help its tires rotate properly by ensuring frictionless movement within the hub, tire and wheels. In...