A wheel bearing, in its simplest form, can be described as a friction-reducing car component, which is placed within the wheels to aid its rotation. It’s usually housed inside the hub assembly. A typical hub will feature an inner and an outer wheel bearing. They are generally constructed from hardened steel, which is to say that they can take a serious amount of rotational abuse.
Depending on how a vehicle is driven, a wheel bearing can last for 80,000 to 120,000 miles. So, it’s not one of those car parts that fail frequently. If it fails, you will get ample warnings before hell breaks loose. As you can tell, it’s a key component of an automobile. So, you should be aware of the cost that goes into its replacement.
What Is The Average Price of the Front Wheel Bearing Replacement?
A good chunk of the cost depends on the hourly rate of the shop you carry your car to. It goes without saying, shops that hire talented technicians will charge more than the others. So, the cost can be split into two: labor cost and the cost of the part itself. The replacement part can cost you anywhere from $200 to $500 on average.
|Walmart||$150 – $400
|NAPA||$200 – $600
|Mr Tire||$250– $700
|Midas||$240 – $680
|Your Mechanic||$270– $850
As expected, parts of a luxury car would come with a higher price tag. Coming to the labor cost, be prepared to drop $150 to $350. With these numbers laid out in front of you, it’s easy for you to do the math to come up with a near-accurate cost for a front wheel bearing replacement.
Important Pointer: Keep in mind that many of the newer cars have sealed bearings on them, making the replacement job harder than usual. In such scenarios, you can’t simply replace the bearings. You will have to replace the hub as well, which will add to the expenses.
What are the Symptoms of a Bad Front Wheel Bearing?
The cost for a wheel bearing replacement may vary, but the symptoms are universal for mostly all vehicles. As such, your car will alert you of a faulty front wheel bearing in a number of different ways. Let’s look at the signs:
- Excessive vibration at the time of driving
- Increasing noise (hum-hum sound)
- Overheating out of the blue
- Uneven wear and tear on the tires
Of course, after you get the bad bearings replaced with the new ones, these symptoms will vanish. But then, if these mild signals are ignored for long, you run the risk of brake failure, followed by loss of steering control, and, finally, the wheel getting separated from the vehicle.
Can you Drive with a Faulty Front Wheel Bearing?
To be honest, over here, you need to get the damn thing fixed at the earliest because driving with a faulty front wheel bearing can cause the wheel to lock up. As a result, you will lose control of the vehicle. As such, it’s impossible to predict when this catastrophic event will take place.
It could happen hours from the point your wheel bearing has gone bad, or it could take a few weeks or more. Not to mention that the ever-rising noise will drive you mad before the wheels actually separate from the car.
So, it’s a risky decision to drive with a bad front wheel bearing. You won’t be able to go far with it. Plus, it will cause other car parts to go bad as well.
What Causes the Front Wheel Bearings to Fail?
Wheel bearings can fail due to several reasons. The bearings may simply wear away with age. Over here, driving conditions matter because rough driving often causes them to age quickly. At times, overheating may cause them to go bad.
Incorrect alignment or poor installation may also lead them to go bad before nearing their actual lifespan. Usually, this could be a former mechanic’s fault, and you may have nothing to do with it. In some cases, car accidents may cause the wheel bearings to fail. This is especially true when the car collision is due to a side impact.
How long does it take to Replace a Front Wheel Bearing?
To be point-blank over here; the time taken for a replacement would vary from one car to another. For instance, a front wheel bearing on a light car or truck will take no more than one hour, of course, assuming that the guy attending the vehicle knows what he is doing.
If the mechanic finds that the damage is of a serious nature, then the timeline will increase. For instance, if the hub requires a replacement along with the wheel bearings, then more time would be needed.
Of course, all the parts need to be in stock as well. If the replacement parts are not readily available, the repair shop will need an extra day or two to get the job done. Considering the factors above, you will know the exact timeline only at the time of your visit to the auto repair store.
Front Wheel Bearing Replacement Procedure
Frankly speaking, a lot of things have to be moved out of the way for the mechanic to get to the point where he can lay his hands on the faulty wheel bearings. So, the mechanic will begin by clearing the path to reach the old bearings. Once he gains access, he will get the old bearings replaced with the new ones.
Following this, he will put back all the parts that were moved out of the place. Finally, the mechanic will test the vehicle to ensure that all the symptoms are gone, which will tell him that the procedure was a success.
Of course, this is not as easy as it sounds. If you are planning to do it yourself, you will have to watch quite a few relevant YouTube videos on this topic to get more familiar with the replacement procedure. Of course, you also have to get a matching new part.
How to Save Money on Front Wheel Bearing Replacement Cost?
You can knock off the labor cost by replacing the front wheel bearing yourself, which is literally half of the replacement cost. Of course, you would need ample space and a well-lighted environment to conduct the repair. Some mechanical tools would be needed as well.
So, you should attempt this job only if you are ready with these basic necessities. Obviously, there’s no replacement for mechanical knowledge. So, you are expected to be a bit of a car savvy guy too, or else you might end up causing more harm to the car.
If a DIY attempt is out of the question, try to source the parts on your own and supply it to the car technician. This will also save you a good chunk of money.
- What Is The Average Price of the Front Wheel Bearing Replacement?
- What are the Symptoms of a Bad Front Wheel Bearing?
- Can you Drive with a Faulty Front Wheel Bearing?
- What Causes the Front Wheel Bearings to Fail?
- How long does it take to Replace a Front Wheel Bearing?
- Front Wheel Bearing Replacement Procedure
- How to Save Money on Front Wheel Bearing Replacement Cost?