Checking Your Auto Bearings

Wheel bearings have two very essential tasks when it comes to an automobile’s suspension. Wheel bearings allow the wheels to be able to rotate with minimal effort, and they also support the automobile’s overall weight. To be able to complete both of these tasks, auto bearings must always be checked and must be in good working condition at all times. Seals on the bearings must be kept free of leaks in order to keep the lubricant inside and to keep the contaminants out of the bearings. With that in mind, the following information explains what an auto bearing does, as well as how to look out for bearing failure in your car.

What is an Auto Bearing and What does it do?

Auto bearings are highly engineered components that are made with the utmost precision. They enable vehicles and other machinery to move at very high speeds while carrying heavy loads with maximum ease and efficiency. Bearings are highly engineered because they must be able to offer high precision, great durability and maximum reliability. Effective bearings will rotate at high speeds with very minimal noise and vibration. Bearings can be found in a wide range of machinery such as machine tools, ceiling fans, refrigerators, computers, airplanes and automobiles.

What are Ball Bearings?

Ball bearings are a type of auto bearing that offers a rolling function that is provided by a ball. It provides low friction while traveling at high speeds, allowing light to heavy loads to travel at those speeds. They can be found in light and general machine applications, as ball bearings are the type of auto bearings that are commonly found in wheel bearings and under-the-hood applications in most vehicles. Wheel bearings in vehicles commonly come in pairs (for the inner and outer bearings), and this allows a vehicle’s wheels to turn freely over thousands of miles by acting as a cushion for the contact between the wheel and the spindle.

How do You Check Your Bearings?

Bearings that are on found on four-wheel drive vehicles can be complicated and should be repacked and fixed professionally. However, in order to check your automobile’s bearings, you should first jack up your automobile by supporting it on jack stands. Then, grasp each of the wheels at the top and the bottom and attempt to rock them. Upon doing this, try to observe whether there is minimal movement, which should be the case. If it moves a good deal, then it may be a sign that you need to have your bearings adjusted or replaced. Next, put the gear in neutral for an automatic transmission vehicle, or if it is a manual car, take your manual transmission out of gear. After doing that, you should rotate the wheel to listen for any unusual noise and to feel for any roughness as it rotates. If there is unusual noise or roughness, the bearing may be damaged and could be in need of a replacement.

What does the Most Damage to Bearings?

Water contamination typically does the most damage to an automobile’s bearings. Water can cause the bearings to rust, and it will also contaminate the grease in the bearings. Many automobiles’ wheel bearing seals are not designed to prevent water that is exerting some pressure against the seal from entering the bearing. If your vehicle has been driven through hub-deep water, you should have its wheel bearings cleaned and repacked with some fresh grease. In addition, you should constantly check for noise and for excessive play after your vehicle has been driven through hub-deep water in order to maintain your bearings’ working power and efficiency.

If your automobile’s wheel bearings fail, it is most likely to be a result of some maladjustment, contamination of water or lack of grease in them. When there is noise coming from your car’s wheels, it is most likely one of the first symptoms of wheel bearing trouble. This trouble will usually be accompanied by a rumbling, chirping, growling or cyclic noise that will come from the parts of the wheel. Bearing failure can become fatal for a driver and the car’s other passengers if it is not attended to quickly, and this is because if the bearings fail, a driver could possibly lose a wheel while driving. Thus, it is of the utmost importance to remember to check your bearings constantly as a means of preventing accidents. Bearings should be cleaned, inspected and greased after about 30,000 miles or according to professional recommendations in order to keep you, your passengers and other motorists safe from harm from a malfunctioning automobile.