Wheel Bearing Replacement Cost – Best Cost Estimate

How well do you know the wheel-bearing functions of your car? Did you know that your car has a wheel bearing system? Despite being very small in size, these car parts play a vital role in keeping your car running smoothly for many years.

The wheel bearings in a car need replacing regularly. The signs of a bad bearing are pretty easy to recognize by people with a basic level of skill and experience.

For example, something like “a knocking sound” or “difficulty turning” your vehicle can be a sight that you need a wheel bearing replacement.

If you notice these early warning signs, then go ahead and get them replaced so as to prevent unnecessary damage to other parts of the steering system, the undercarriage, wheels, or the tires.

Continue reading to learn more about wheel bearing replacement costs and how to save on wheel bearing replacement.

What Are Wheel Bearings?

Typically, a wheel bearing consists of a metal circle with a set of bearings inside. This ball bearing helps your car wheel spin smoothly with very little friction.

You can use bearings for a variety of purposes, and they can reduce friction on your wheels. Wheel bearing consists of steel ball bearings. The wheel bearings themselves come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

There are numerous types of wheel bearings available for modern vehicles to best withstand the constant pressure of driving. Most wheel bearings consist of a round shape with a ball bearing inside.

We will now discuss the various types of wheel bearings. It is important you know what kind of bearings your car has to better estimate what your car’s wheel bearing replacement costs.

Also Read: Timing Chain Replacement Cost – Best Price Estimate

Types Of Wheel Bearing

Types Of Wheel Bearing

These are the most common types of wheel bearings. Different manufacturers use different types. Some are made to be simpler, while others will give the vehicle more power.

1. Ball Bearings

Ball bearings are the most common types of wheel bearings; they can be found in almost anything that moves: cars, bikes, skateboards, and roller skates.

Ball bearings are versatile and straightforward and are capable of withstanding both radial loads (carloads) and thrust loads (cornering pressure).

 2. Precision Ball Bearings

Precision ball bearings closely resemble a standard ball bearing, moving at a faster speed than the common variety. This reduces friction and heat production, allowing the bearing to endure more pressure and/or load.

These advantages allow the car to produce more power. They can withstand higher pressures and can be used for more demanding applications. You can find precision ball bearings in exotic and race cars as well as in airplanes.

3. Roller Bearings

This is a special type of bearing. They are used in place of ball or tapered roller bearings, but they will not fare very well at dealing with high loads at high speeds, so they’re recommended to be limited to light and low-speed applications where the load on them is minimal.

Occasionally roller bearings can be found in hand trucks and shopping carts.

4. Tapered Roller Bearings

Tapered roller bearings are used in either a truck or a car. Its major difference from standard ball bearings is that the tapered roller bearing has cone-shaped roller bearings and not a ball.

These actually serve better than standard ball bearings in corner pressure, and thus, the tapered roller bearings have become popular nowadays.

Bad Wheel Bearing Symptoms?

Bad Wheel Bearing Symptoms

There are some common indicators that can be used to determine the condition and health of your wheel bearings. Here are some bad wheel-bearing Symptoms.

1. Uneven Tire Wear

During wear, wheel bearings can wear differently from others. The corresponding tire is going to show abnormal wear as opposed to the others.

It is common for tires to wear out evenly over a period of time from simply driving them; however, if your tires wear out unevenly, it could be a sign that you need a wheel bearing replacement.

Other factors, like unbalanced tires or improper wheel alignments, can also contribute to uneven tire wear. Do not always assume it’s a wheel bearing until other symptoms become obvious.

2. Vehicle Pulls to One Side

It is possible for wheel bearings to become corroded, pitted, or damaged due to wear and this is a sign that you need a wheel bearing replacement.

The rough surface of the bearing causes vibration, which may result in your car pulling slightly to one side.

Additionally, the car may pull to the side when applying the brakes, which usually indicates bad brake rotors or calipers, or both.

Nevertheless, it might also be an indication of a wheel bearing tear as a result of excessive runout requiring a wheel bearing replacement.

3. Grinding Noise

Grinding noises from your tires are a sign that you need a wheel bearing replacement. This occurs when the wheel bearings lose lubricity, and as a result, heat builds up inside them, so they become hot.

There will be a sound almost like two pieces of metal grinding together. Because the wheels become worn out unevenly, you are more likely to hear one wheel’s sound than all the others.

This sound is most noticeable during either shifting or turning.

4. Steering Wheel Vibrates

If the problem gets worse,

your steering wheel will begin vibrating. At first, the vibration will be felt very light but will get progressively more intense as you accelerate and step on the gas pedal.

The most common explanation is that unevenly balanced tires cause vibration. Although both symptoms are very similar, the vibrations caused by unevenly balanced tires usually occur more often at high speeds.

Nonetheless, you should have your vehicle officially inspected and diagnosed by a mechanic.

5. Excessive Wobble or Play In Wheels

This symptom can be difficult to diagnose because you need to either jack up the vehicle or place the wheels on jack stands to inspect it.

Take the wheel, slowly rock it back and forth, and watch how much the wheel can move or “play.” Then repeat this gesture with the opposite end of the axle.

It will wobble or move when you rock a wheel with faulty wheel bearings. A good wheel bearing will make sure the wheel has very little play or wobble. 

What Do Various Wheel Bearing Replacement Cost

Wheel Bearing Replacement Cost

On Average, Wheel bearing replacement costs between $200 and $800. The labor costs for replacing a wheel bearing are between $140 and $200, while the parts cost between $150 and $400. This price range does not include taxes or fees and does not consider your vehicle and unique location.

It is important to note how many factors can affect the cost of replacing a wheel bearing, like the vehicle’s make and model, the garage’s labor rate, and the parts’ cost.

Typically, replacing one wheel bearing will cost about $350. Luxury brands, however, tend to cost more.

Now let’s discuss how much it costs to replace the front, rear, and hub bearings.

Also Read: Tie Rod Replacement Cost – Best Cost Estimate

Wheel Bearing Replacement Cost For Front Wheel Bearings

Here is the average wheel bearing replacement Cost For One Side of the Front Wheel Bearings and for both sides of the front wheel bearing.

Both Sides

A vehicle’s front wheel bearings consist of two bearings located in the knuckle arms at either end of the axle. These bearings have a much longer life expectancy than most other parts of your vehicle.

Replacing both rear wheel bearings can cost anywhere from $260 to $480.

Bearings parts for the front wheel alone can cost you between $120 to $200. Labor fees for front wheel bearings will cost about $140 to $280, depending on where you live and what your vehicle is made of.

You should be prepared to pay more for sports cars, large trucks, and luxury cars.

One Side

wheel bearing replacement Cost For One Side of the Front Wheel Bearings is much cheaper than when you have to replace both sides. The average cost of the entire project is $130 – $220. Parts will run between $60-$100, while labor will cost between $70-$140.

Wheel Bearing Replacement Cost For Rear Wheel Bearings

Here is the average wheel bearing replacement Cost For One Side of the Rear Wheel Bearings and for both sides of the Rear Wheel Bearings.

Both Sides

The rear-wheel bearings are slightly more affordable, but it depends on the make and model of your car. Averagely, an entire replacement of the rear wheel bearings is going to cost about $240.

Parts costs will be between $100 and $180, with labor costs ranging from $140 to $280.

One Side

The cost of simple repair work such as replacing a single rear wheel bearing costs $120. For a complete work, Parts will cost about $50-$90 while labor costs vary from $70-$140.

Although these are just estimates, they give you a good idea of what to expect in terms of costs.

It’s good to know that wheel bearings don’t wear out easily. This means that you won’t have to replace them too frequently.

Wheel Bearing Replacement Cost For Rear Hub Bearings

The wheel bearings of some vehicles can be prepacked and then installed as a whole unit in the rear hub bearing assembly.

These vehicles also require the replacement of the entire hub assembly, rather than just the wheel bearings.

Replacing the hub assembly for your vehicle is more expensive than replacing the bearings in the hub.

Be prepared to spend anywhere from $450 to $800 in order to replace the two hub assemblies.

Though the prices of parts vary according to the complexity of the assembly, labor costs are typically lower than if replacing a standard rear-bearing.

How to Replace a Wheel Bearing

Watch this video to learn how to replace your wheel bearing yourself. This will save you money on the overall wheel bearing replacement cost

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you drive a car with a bad wheel bearing?

No. If one of your bearings has worn out, it could be very dangerous to drive as this might cause the wheel to stop during your driving. A damaged wheel bearing can also put a lot of strain on the hub, CV joint, and transmission.

How much does wheel bearing replacement cost?

On Average, Wheel bearing replacement costs between $200 and $800. The labor costs for replacing a wheel bearing are between $140 and $200, while the parts cost between $150 and $400. This price range does not include taxes or fees and does not consider your vehicle and unique location.

Can you replace just one wheel bearing?

It is usually safe to only replace one bearing that is damaged. You can replace both the bearings and the pads if they are worn. Wheel bearing replacement cost for one wheel bearing will be cheaper than a regular wheel bearing replacement cost

How long will noisy wheel bearings last?

Generally, cars with noisy wheel bearings can cover around 1k to 1.5k miles before the wheel bearings completely give up and fail. The range of your car’s mileage and driving conditions will all affect it, ranging from a variation of one car to another.

How long does it take to replace wheel bearings?

It may take 15 to 45 min to replace the wheel bearings at the rear. If the wheel bearing and hubs are permanently bolted to your car, it could take up to 20 minutes. Depending on the mechanic, front-wheel bearings may take between 30 and 60 minutes.

How hard is it to change a wheel bearing?

If you have the right skills, tools, and the manual, replacing a wheel bearing with an assembly that includes the hub and bolts for the spindle or steering knob is easy. The large axle nut however can be tough to remove due to its tightness.

Why do wheel bearings go bad?

If the wheel bearings are not working correctly, it may be because of overheating the oil, water, or corrosive substances. Excessive tightening of the roller bearing can also lead to repeated wheel bearing failure. Excessive tightening can lead to premature front wheel bearing failure.

What happens if you don’t fix a wheel bearing?

Ultimate damage: A damaged wheel bearing will cause the complete wheel to seize. This can lead to severe consequences if it happens while driving.

How important is it to replace wheel bearings?

Wheel bearings are located close to the tires. They help support the vehicle’s weight and keep the moving parts in good shape. They can wear due to the high stress they are subject to and may need to be replaced.

Conclusion

Wheel bearings are necessary for smooth driving. If the wheels have trouble moving, it’s easy to lose control of the vehicle, causing a potential danger for yourself and other drivers on the road.

It’s rare for wheel bearings to last longer than five years. If you intend on keeping your car longer, replace your wheel bearings regularly.

On Average, Wheel bearing replacement costs between $200 and $800. The labor costs for replacing a wheel bearing are between $140 and $200, while the parts cost between $150 and $400. This price range does not include taxes or fees and does not consider your vehicle and unique location.

To get the best wheel bearing replacement cost for your vehicle and location, be sure to visit multiple shops and mechanics. This will ensure that you get the best wheel bearing replacement cost for your car and that your car receives the best possible service.

Scott Greene is a seasoned automotive technician for over 5 years and has been deep into advanced automotive diagnostics for a couple of years. He Loves writing about Automotive Diagnostics and Repair, Trouble codes, Buyer guides for various car parts and accessories, and lots more. 

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