Bad wheel bearings are a common type of auto repair that can reduce fuel efficiency, make handling and steering difficult, and generally make your car unsafe to operate. The wheel bearing is a set of steel ball bearings contained in a circular case. One is mounted on each axle, and they help your wheels turn smoothly and without friction. However, when one goes bad, it should be replaced immediately as soon as possible.
What Are the Signs of a Failing Wheel Bearing?
1. Strange Sounds
When a bearing goes bad, you can usually hear a low howling or grinding sound coming from the direction of the affected wheel. Some people have described the noise as similar to that of an airplane propeller that rises in pitch and volume the faster you are traveling. Because the sound only occurs when the tire is rotating, you'll hear nothing when the vehicle is standing still.
2. Loose Steering
A failing wheel bearing can cause the tire to wobble on the axle and thus feel loose when you're steering. For instance, you might have to turn the wheel a considerable distance before the tire starts to move. This makes handling and steering unpredictable and driving unsafe, so have it examined by an auto repair technician as soon as possible.
3. Uneven Tire Wear
Many issues can cause uneven wear, including a bad wheel alignment and a lack of regular tire rotations. However, when coupled with loose steering, a bad wheel bearing can cause one side of your tire to wear out more quickly than the opposite side. Uneven tread wear makes driving even more unsafe because it weakens the tire's grip on the ground and leads to hydroplaning. It also wears out the tires more quickly and costs you money.
If you suspect you need new wheel bearings or another type of auto repair, stop by Brown's Transmission & Full Service Auto Repair in Newark, OH. They have served customers in and around Licking County since 1959. In addition to bearings, they also handle tire maintenance, check engine light warnings, brake repair, oil changes, and vehicle diagnostics. Message them online through their website, or call (740) 522-4459 to schedule an auto repair appointment.