When you hear a noise that sounds like metal grinding on metal, it's likely that your car's wheel bearings need to be replaced. Wheel bearings allow the wheels to rotate smoothly and without noise. If they become worn or damaged, the car will make a loud grinding noise every time the wheels turn.

If you're hearing a cyclic chirping, squealing, and/or growling noise, it's likely coming from a bad wheel bearing. You can tell that the sound is related to wheel bearings if it changes as your vehicle speed increases or decreases. The sound might get worse when making turns, or it could disappear for short periods of time.

So, what is your particular problem? Let`s find it out!

Common Reasons Of Wheel Bearing Noises

Here we will mention the 5 most common causes of this irritating problem.

It would be strange if your wheel bearings failed soon after they were replaced, so the only conclusion is that they were somehow damaged when they were installed. This might have happened because they were installed improperly or against the manufacturer’s recommendation.

Wheel bearing seals are designed to allow pressure to escape from the wheel bearings. They come lubricated with a petroleum-based product straight from the factory, but this substance cannot keep water out. In general, you should avoid driving your car through flooded streets because it subjects the bearings to moisture. When water mixes with the lubricant, it becomes ineffective and causes the bearings to endure extra friction which damages them.

Another common reason is driving on bumpy and rough roads. Given that driving over potholes or rough terrain commonly causes wheel bearings to be damaged, we have a solution for you. By avoiding these areas, your risk of damaging the bearing's balls forced into the grooved ring significantly decreases.

A wheel system is a complex machine that requires all of its parts to work properly in order to function correctly. If one part, such as the wheel bearing, becomes damaged or unbalanced, it can cause problems with other parts of the system and may result in noise coming from the wheel bearing.

Because wheel bearings are constantly moving and attached to other parts, if the wheel experiences an accident, then the bearing is also likely damaged and will cause noise.

Is it OK to drive with a noisy wheel bearing?

If your car's wheel is making a grinding or humming noise, it could be because of several reasons, one being an issue with the wheel bearing. If this noise gradually gets louder or changes based on speed, there may be something wrong with the wheel bearing that will make driving dangerous. And you should replace it as soon as possible.

How long can you drive with a bad wheel bearing?

You can typically drive up to 1,000 miles on a bad wheel bearing, but driving further could cause severe damage to your vehicle. If you continue to put stress on the damaged wheel bearing, it will also affect the hub, CV joint, and transmission. Moreover, the noise will only get worse over time, and it could be dangerous to wait.

Therefore, if you hear any strange noises coming from your car's wheels, take it to a mechanic as soon as possible. A thorough inspection can help identify the source of the problem before it causes more damage!

What Does It Sound Like?

In order to diagnose whether your auto wheel bearing is making noise, you first need to know what it sounds like. Well, a wheel-bearing noise will sound something like a humming or growling sound that increases with vehicle speed and gets louder as the car accelerates. It's like trying to sing along with someone who can't carry a tune—you'll know when you hear it!

A damaged or broken wheel bearing can mimic the sound of driving over a rumble strip on the shoulder of a highway. This noise will start out soft but will become more pronounced as the condition of the bearing worsens.

When you're driving on a mostly empty road between 30 and 40 MPH, turn your steering wheel slightly left, then right - as if you're safely weaving within your lane. If the noise persists, it may be coming from your wheel bearings; this can sometimes be described as riding a bicycle with playing cards attached to the wheels so that they hit the spokes as the wheel rotates.

If you don't have an ear for this kind of thing, your best bet is to take your car to a mechanic and get them to do some quick diagnostics. Don't put off getting this checked out because the longer you wait, the worse the problem could become. A bad wheel bearing can be dangerous if left unchecked-so listen up!

How Much Does It Cost To Fix Wheel Bearing Noise?

On average, it costs $350 to fix the wheel bearings at only 1 wheel. Keep in mind that if you need to replace the wheel bearings at one wheel, you don't necessarily have to replace them on the other wheels of the same axle; it's not like getting a new set of tires.

The cost will strongly depend on the make and model of your vehicle, as well as the type of wheel bearing you need. If you're having trouble diagnosing whether or not it's a wheel bearing issue, don't be afraid to bring your car to a reputable mechanic for an inspection. It may cost more upfront but in the long run, you'll save yourself time (and money) by getting it fixed right away.

No one likes dealing with car repairs, but taking care of any potential issues with your wheel bearings is essential to keeping your vehicle running smoothly and safely on the road. And never forget: If it sounds like something's wrong - it probably is!

Final words

If you're hearing a humming, growling, or rumbling-like noise coming from your vehicle, it could be an issue with the wheel bearing. If this is the case, then you should take your car to a mechanic and have them take a look. The sooner you get it checked out and fixed, the better for both your safety on the road and your wallet in the long run!

Good luck!​​​​​

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