Table of Contents Hide
So you have a noisy wheel bearing. What do you do? What are the symptoms of a bad wheel bearing? How do you tell if you can safely drive with a noisy wheel bearing? What are the reasons you can safely drive with a noisy wheel bearing? How can you diagnose wheel bearing noise? What is the best course of action? Do you need to have a new bearing installed? Or can you simply wait until the problem is fixed? Read on to learn how to determine if it is safe to drive with a noisy wheel bearing.
Having a noisy wheel bearing
Having a noisy wheel bearing is not a normal car sound, so it’s easy to mistake it for an engine issue. However, the noise that you hear will indicate damage in the wheel bearing, which will eventually lead to a faulty tire or a falling tire. In such a case, you should seek immediate repair or replacement of the wheel bearing. Here are some common causes of noise in the wheel bearing.
A bad wheel bearing will make a loud noise when the car is at a stop. Depending on how bad the bearing is, you might notice an increase in noise with each kilometer driven. A worn-out bearing lacks lubrication, so it will become unbearable at high speeds. An overheated wheel bearing will affect the wheel badly, causing it to wobble. To determine if your wheel bearing is failing, avoid driving at high speeds and coast slowly at about 40 mph. Pay attention to the noise that the wheel bearing makes, and make a note of the noise until you are safely out of sight.
Signs of a bad wheel bearing
A loose car can be a sign of a bad wheel bearing, or even a broken steering tie-end or control arm. Older cars may have play in their wheel bearings at the factory. Even newer vehicles may develop wheel play over time. Smoking wheels can also be a sign of a bad wheel bearing. Smoke comes from metal-to-metal contact and the grease inside the wheel bearings ignites. Smoking wheels are a warning sign that the wheel bearings have failed and must be replaced.
In addition to impact damage, a damaged wheel bearing can result in shakiness and vibrations while driving. The wheels may even begin to move out of place. If you ignore these signs, the problem will worsen. A loose wheel bearing can also lead to a bodge job when installing a new one. It is possible that your new bearing is not installed properly, and water has been sucked into the bearing. Water can also reduce lubricant and cause friction.
Reasons to drive with a noisy wheel bearing
If you notice humming noises coming from your car’s wheels, it could be a sign that your wheel bearing is bad. The noise is usually more growly and louder as you accelerate. A noise that sounds similar to a wheel bearing is likely coming from the tires. The right tire bearing can cause the noise if it wears down. Keeping your car’s tires properly inflated will keep your car from humming, but you should never drive a car with a noisy wheel bearing.
Some wheel bearings continue to operate properly for long periods of time. However, when they do fail, the noise becomes much louder and can even be distracting. This is especially dangerous if you are driving in a noisy area. You may not notice the noise for a long time, and eventually lose control of your car because of the loud noise. To make things worse, you might not notice the noise until you have driven several hundred miles, and that could cause more serious problems down the line.
Can you drive with a noisy wheel bearing
Whether you can drive with a noisy wheel bearing depends on the cause of the noise. It could be an indicator of damage or that your wheel bearings are aging. Noises could also be caused by the car’s tires or worn-out parts. Older cars are more susceptible to these problems. In general, the passenger-side wheel bearing is the first to fail. This side is exposed to more water than the other three sides.
When the wheel bearing starts making noise, it is most obvious when the car is turning. As it rotates, the noise will increase. When driving at 40 mph, you will notice that the noise becomes louder. In fact, if the noise is worse than usual, you may have a bad wheel bearing on the right side. If you hear a whistling noise while driving, it is likely the wheel bearing is damaged.