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What is a wheel bearing?
The wheel bearing is an important part of wheel assembly, connecting the wheel to its axle. When wheel bearings wear, they make a rumbling noise that worsens until the bearing fails. That's why it's really important to get it changed when it does get damaged, as its role is to ensure the wheel is able to rotate smoothly and with minimum friction, keeping you on the road safely.
If your wheel bearings are making a noise, or you feel your car vibrate at speed, then it’s time to get them changed because they can affect alignment and steering.
Whatever the problem is with your wheel bearings, WhoCanFixMyCar’s wheel bearing fitting specialist garages can provide you with a quote for replacement.
How much does it cost to change a wheel bearing?
Compare wheel bearing replacement costs from garages near you. We found on average, when you book your wheel bearing replacement with WhoCanFixMyCar, prices vary but an average figure is of around £231.49.
The cost of changing your wheel bearing can vary depending on your car due to differences in labour time and parts needed. Take a look below at the average quote on WhoCanFixMyCar for some of the top car makes.
|Car Make||Average Price|
Top warning signs that your wheel bearing needs to be replaced
Besides normal wear and tear, hitting curbs with your tyres or driving over potholes can all be held responsible for damaging the wheel bearings. When it's time to get your wheel bearings changed you will notice a number of warning signs, such as:
Grinding, humming or grunting noises coming from the tyre of your car or the wheel. This noise can often increase when you accelerate your car or if you take sharper turns.
When your car feels loose when driving it, or, when your steering seems less responsive to turns and feels less precise than normal.
Your steering wheel might start to vibrate when you change speed or take turns.
Uneven tyre tread or wear
If your bearing has seized, then the wheel will not move at all
The average cost of an alloy wheel bearing replacement booked on WhoCanFixMyCar is £231.49.
Over time, your wheel bearings can become worn. If you hear any unusual noises coming from your wheels, they're likely damaged. To keep your wheels moving smoothly and safely, you may need to get your wheel bearings replaced.Can include
- Wheel inspection and testing
- Bearing replacement on 1-4 wheels
The average cost of a wheel alignment booked on WhoCanFixMyCar is £38.83.
If you want the full package of wheel alignment, then this is the service for you. Wheel alignment is needed for stability and to ensure the four wheels of your car are tracking straight. If your vehicle veers to the left or right whilst driving or your tyre treads are wearing unevenly, your car may need a wheel alignment.Can include
- Steering and suspension diagnostic
- Computer assessment
- Steering and suspension adjustments
The average cost of a mobile mechanic booked on WhoCanFixMyCar is £62.54.
A mobile mechanic will visit you at your home or workplace and can carry out a wide range of different repairs. If the repair is more complex, the mechanic will collect your car, take it to a garage to be repaired, and drop it off when it's finished. The exact cost of a mobile mechanic will depend on the repair you need.Can include
- Home visit
- Tyre change
- Oil change
- Recommended repairs
How often should you replace your wheel bearings?
Wheel bearings have an average lifespan of 85,000 to 100,000 miles. This is only a rule of thumb though, the actual lifespan of a wheel bearing depends on the quality of the wheel bearing and the operating conditions
If something is wrong with the wheel bearing, then you cannot get the wheel bearing repaired or refurbished. The whole assembly will need to be replaced by a mechanic.
A front or rear wheel bearing replacement isn’t a time intensive job for a garage, but with that said, it is still fairly complex and can take more time when parts need to be removed to gain access to your wheel bearing. Garages will have the specialist equipment and training to do the job safely, and therefore wheel bearing replacement should only be carried out by a professional mechanic.
Why is replacing your wheel bearings necessary?
Yes, wheel bearings are a vital part of your car, and should you leave them in a bad condition, it can affect other car parts and ultimately be very dangerous too. Complete failure of the wheel bearing can result in the wheel seizing up entirely, making your car undriveable.
It is uncommon for the wheel bearings to fail straight away after noticing the first few symptoms related to wheel bearing failure. However, it’s better to avoid driving with worn wheel bearings because we have covered it’s a vital part of kit for your car, and can result in dire consequences for your drive-axle and steering assembly.
Find local wheel bearing fitting specialists and garages
Looking for specialists near you to change your wheel bearings? You will find the best wheel bearing fitting mechanics and garages in your area below.
We work with a network of over 15,000 mechanics and garages across the UK so we can find competitive wheel bearing replacement costs for you. Simply insert your postcode to compare the quotes and read reviews from previous customers to find the wheel bearing replacement costs and deals before booking the local garage online.
What is a wheel bearing?
The car’s wheel bearings are a series of steel balls secured together on a metal ring called a race. Each wheel of your car has a wheel bearing, which supports the weight of your car. Its function is to let your wheels move and turn with as little friction as possible.
They are used on a variety of other automobiles from cars, airplanes and bikes. In cars, the wheel bearing rides on a metal axle shaft and fits securely inside the wheel hub.
What causes the wheel bearings to fail?
Some common reasons that cause the wheel bearings to go bad are:
Impact damage or poor road quality
Poor quality wheel bearing
Driving through deep water or mud
Car modifications, such as fitting larger or wider rims, tyres with lower thread walls, stiffer shock absorbers and suspension springs cause higher loads on the wheel bearing and hasted wear
What are the common signs that my wheel bearings need to be replaced?
Signs that your wheel bearing needs repair or replacing:
Car feels loose when steering, a loss of control is felt
Feels like car is pulling to one side
Tyres are unevenly worn
An unusual grinding or grating noise which worsens as you accelerate – be cautious as it can sound similar to damaged tyres
A humming noise can point to a number of components, but it may be your wheel bearings
A noise has often been compared to flipping a deck of cards against a bicycle spoke.
A rumbling noise is a sign that the wheel bearing seal is damaged
Clicking noise when turning
Vibrations at low speeds
Wheel wobbles in your hands as you turn it
Uneven brake pad wear
Uneven tyre wear and overall wear occurring faster than normal
Can I drive with faulty wheel bearings?
No, you should never drive with faulty wheel bearings. We would always recommend replacing a wheel bearing that is showing signs of wear as soon as possible because a worn bearing could fail at any time.
How long do wheel bearings last?
Wheel bearings have an average lifespan of approximately 85,000 to 100,000 miles. This is only guidance though, and not the case for every car. The true lifespan will depend on the quality of the wheel bearing part, and also, the driving conditions that the car goes through.
Is diagnosing and replacing the wheel bearing problem part of warranty?
Wheel bearings are classes as a wear and time item, and as such aren't covered under most factory warranties.
Are wheel bearing replacements covered by insurance?
Wheel bearing replacement is not covered by insurance in most cases, unless the part needs replacing as part of a collision or accident.
How much does wheel bearing cost?
Our data suggests that the wheel bearing replacement costs around £230 on common makes and models.