If you’ve noticed that your car’s wheels or tires have been making weird noises or that your car’s handles and steering wheel have been seeming loose lately, your car’s wheel bearing replacement time is NOW!
What is a wheel bearing, you ask? Well, a wheel bearing is a set of steel balls that are held together by a ring and placed within the wheels of a car.
The purpose of a wheel bearing is to help the tires of a car spin around with as little friction as possible. When the wheel bearings of a car are too worn out, it can cause your steering wheel to have problems working. Faulty wheel bearings can also cause the tires on a car to randomly pull from side to side, or worse, fall off the car.
All of the consequences of a wheel bearing being too worn out can cause you to have a terrible car accident and endanger your life. Thus, it is important to service your car’s wheel bearings regularly and replace them whenever they are worn out.
To prepare you for the financial cost of having a wheel bearing replacement, we are going to go over all the aspects of wheel bearings that affect their costs when getting replaced.
Get ready to pay.
#1 Aspect of Wheel Bearings That Affects the Cost of Wheel Bearing Replacements: The Type of Wheel Hub Assembly Your Car Has
Sometimes when replacing a wheel bearing you only need to replace the bearing. Other times you need to only replace the hub assembly, and then sometimes you need to replace both. Which procedure you will have to do is dependent on the type of hub supply your car has.
If you have a serviceable hub assembly, you need to only remove the bearing from the hub supply and replace it with a new on. This is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to replace a wheel bearing. Serviceable hub assemblies are common on old cars and 2WD vans and trucks.
If you have a non-serviceable assembly, you cannot just remove the bearing. Instead, you have to remove the whole hub assembly.
Although doing so is not labor-intensive, replacing the hub assembly will cost you more than simply removing the bearing. This is especially true for more expensive makes and models of cars.
Cars that require a non-serviceable hub assembly to replace a wheel bearing tend to be newer.
If you have a car with a non-serviceable hub assembly with a press in its bearings, you must remove the hub assembly from the car and set it in a press. This press is then used to press the bearing out of the assembly. Not only is performing a non-serviceable hub assembly with a press-in bearings procedure easy to mess up, but it is also the most expensive way to replace your wheel bearing.
2. Whether You Can Service and/or Replace Your Wheel Bearing Yourself
One way to lower the cost of replacing a wheel bearing on a car’s tires is to do it yourself. Although it is possible to perform a wheel bearing replacement on your own, we do not advise you to do so.
The danger of having a car that has a loose steering wheel or loose tires is too great to take the chance on performing a wheel bearing replacement yourself. Thus, we advise that you hire a trained and experienced mechanic to perform your car’s wheel bearing replacements for you.
3. The Type of Car You Have
If you have a car with traditional, tapered wheel bearings, you will need to pay to have its wheel bearings serviced every 25,000 to 30,000 miles. Most modern vehicles have sealed bearings though.
Sealed bearings can last 100,000 miles or more. Thus, cars with sealed bearings are lower maintenance and less in cost than cars with traditional, tapered wheel bearings. The wheel bearing replacement cost front can also vary depending on how old and junky your car is.
4. Where You Go to Get Your Car’s Wheel Bearings Replaced
If you get your car’s wheel bearings replaced at a small, local garage, it will likely cost you less than it would to get your wheel bearings replaced at a larger, more well-known car shop. Although getting your car’s wheel bearings replaced at a small, local garage may save you money, doing so may not provide you the quality of service that you need. That is why you should shop for a quote and research the quality of any car service business, big or small, prior to going to them for a wheel bearing replacement.
5. Whether or Not You Try to Bargain for a Better Price
Another way to save money while repairing your car’s wheel bearings is to bargain with the garage to better your price. Bargaining to lower your wheel bearing replacement cost could especially work at smaller garages that are more desperate for your service.
6. The Type of Roads You Drive On
If you drive on poor quality roads with a bunch of potholes, it will wear out your wheel bearings quicker. So will driving quickly over speed bumps and driving through deep water and mud.
7. The Modifications You Choose to Have on Your Car
Putting modifications on your car like bigger rims or tires with lower thread walls will cause your car’s wheel bearings to wear out. On the flip side, minimal modifications to your car will benefit your car’s wheel bearings.
The Ultimate Cost of a Wheel Bearing Replacement
The average wheel bearing replacement costs anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars to as much as $700. A large part of this range in a wheel bearing replacement costs comes from the type of car you have and where you go to get your car’s wheel bearings replaced.
To learn more about the costs of cars, read some of our other blogs.