How to Adjust Wheel Bearings

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When adjusting wheel bearings, tighten the wheel bearing to 240 to 300 pounds while rotating the hub and spinning the drum. Learn about pre-loading wheel bearings by squeezing grease out of the way with help from an ASE-certified master automobile technician in this free video on wheel bearings.

Part of the Video Series: Auto Repair & Maintenance
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Video Transcript

First start by this case installing the hub or drum, install the previous greased outer wheel bearing. The washer aligning the tang to the key way, and then next the adjusting nut itself. The recommended, the recommendation for this vehicle as far as the procedure for tightening the wheel bearings is to first while rotating the hub tighten the wheel bearing to two hundred and forty to three hundred inch pounds while spinning the drum. And this actually pre-loads the bearing, and will squeeze all the grease out of the way, and make sure that the bearings are properly seated. The procedure then instructs you to back off the nut a quarter of a turn, and then tighten the nut finger tight. We will now reinstall the lock for the nut making sure that we leave a space that is properly aligned with the hole for the cotter pin, install the cotter pin, which will prevent our adjustment from changing. Then we will bend the cotter pin, and trim it to length. Lastly we will reinstall the dust cap. Not all wheel bearings are adjustable. Many front wheel drive cars use a hub, and a bearing assembly like this one that are not adjustable. The front of this vehicle, and many other ones will have something like this. And if it turns out that this was loose it cannot be adjusted, and must be replaced.

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