How Long Do Wheel Bearings Last?

Wheel bearings are essential parts that connect the wheel and axle together. You need to ensure that your wheel bearings are of good quality.

If your bearings get worn down, you’ll find that it’s too dangerous to drive. After all, you don’t want to lose control of the wheel or put more stress on the hub, CV joint, and transmission.

That’s why we’re here to tell you everything you need to know about how long your wheel bearings should last and how to maintain them.

How Long Do Wheel Bearings Last?

Your average wheel bearing should typically be used for up to 136,000 to 160,000 km. That’s roughly 85,000 to 100,000 miles altogether.

But you may also find that they can last for up to 150,000 miles maximum. There isn’t a general consensus for how long a wheel bearing should last, as there are other external factors that you need to consider. 

When To Replace Wheel Bearings

You’ll notice a few things before you need to replace your wheel bearings. When you’re driving, you may notice a grinding or squealing sound when your car is moving.

Not only that, you may notice your steering wheel is shaking, and it’s hard for the wheel to go into motion. 

If you’re confused about what kind of noise you will hear, it sounds like a highly pronounced hum. When you change direction, the noise may get louder.

Not only that, if you hear a squeaking or grinding sound, the wheel itself will feel loose. It can make such noises because the bearing will get more weight pressed on it by one side instead of an even distribution. 

Clunking noises might also be heard when you’re driving over uneven surfaces. But one other issue that may affect you is the ABS malfunctioning.

Some ABS sensors are integrated into the wheel end bearing, so to prevent the ABS system from failing, you need to replace your bearings. 

How Long Can You Drive On A Bad Wheel Bearing?

Wheel bearings don’t fail automatically, but you need to consider how long you can drive before you have to get them replaced.

Ideally, you shouldn’t drive for more than 1,000 miles when you have a bad wheel bearing.

If you put too much stress on the wheel, you will find that more complications are added to your vehicle. 

These complications can lead to irreparable damage and may pose a safety hazard to you and other drivers on the road.

Of course, driving to a mechanic to get your wheel bearings fixed is fine, but you would need to drive carefully.

If you’ve been having issues with your wheel bearing for some time, it’s better to hire a tow truck to bring your car in for repairs. 

How Can You Extend The Life Of Your Wheel Bearings?

Looking after your wheel bearings is essential to ensuring they last longer. If you’re replacing your own wheel bearings, you should ensure that they’re installed properly.

When you don’t have the experience yourself, you should contact a mechanic.

That’s because the wrong installation process can prevent your wheel bearings from lasting longer. 

Not only should you ensure they’re installed correctly, but you must also have the right bearings. All cars require different models, so the right bearings can determine the amount of weight they can hold.

Even though it can be tempting to find the cheapest item on the market to save costs, that won’t happen in the long run when you buy the wrong type.

Overall, looking at your car owner’s manual can save you a lot of trouble. These will usually have details on how often and how much lubrication you need to use on your bearings.

Owner manuals are great for ensuring the longevity of your wheel bearings because they will tell you the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Ignoring the manual can bring more stress into your life, so look at it when you need maintenance. 

Of course, some of these instances may be out of your control. You can consider other factors to extend the life of your wheel bearings.

You should drive carefully and do what you can to prevent damage to them through poor driving conditions. 

Do You Need To Replace All Wheel Bearings At Once?

Do you need to Replace All Wheel Bearings at Once

If you have a problem with one wheel bearing, you may be worried about the price if you think that you need to replace all of them.

While it can cost roughly $350 on average to fix one single wheel, you might not realize that one bad wheel bearing doesn’t mean they’re all bad.

Most of the time, you will only need to replace one wheel bearing. You can ask your mechanic to check the condition of your other wheel bearings, but they will likely last for a few more years.

Wheel bearings don’t have a set quality time frame, so you should only change them when needed. 

Is It Easy To Replace Wheel Bearings?

If you want to replace your wheel bearings, you should take your car over to a mechanic. There are numerous moving parts between you and your bearings, and you need a lift too.

Unless you know how cars work and especially how to fit wheel bearings, you should take it to get repaired. 

As I mentioned earlier, a faulty wheel bearing installation can impede how long it will last. You’ll most likely have to change it again sooner instead of later.

That’s why you should leave it to the professionals with the needed equipment and experience. 

Final Thoughts

As you can tell, there’s no set time for how long a wheel bearing lasts. You should always keep an ear out for any strange noises you may hear from your car.

If you do hear any grinding or clunking noises, you should contact a mechanic to see if your wheel bearings need to be replaced.

However, if you want to get a better idea of when to replace them, you should consider swapping them after 100,000 miles.

Dave Oliver

Dave Oliver is a seasoned car modification expert with over twenty years of experience in the field. His knowledge spans from restoring vintage models to implementing the latest customization technologies. He brings his passion and expertise to life through informative and engaging articles.

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