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Signs of a Wheel Bearing Problem in Your Car


Every component of a vehicle is essential in order for it to function properly. If you’re familiar with detecting some of the most common problems in your car, you may also be aware of some signs you should look out for. Despite the detection of these signs, there is a tendency for drivers to ignore them. They falsely believe that as long as they can run the car, no necessary engine inspections are needed.

Putting off vehicle problems can be potentially dangerous and may risk your safety. One such issue you should immediately address is a wheel bearing problem.


What are the signs of a wheel bearing problem in your car?

Maintaining a car can be something that you might find laborious, but these are checks that will ultimately increase the longevity of your vehicle. Especially if your vehicle is something that you use daily to get from one point to another because there is a tendency for some of its components to be subjected to higher levels of wear and tear.

Wheel bearings are just some of the components that you might eventually have trouble with the longer you use your car. These problems manifest in the beginning as faint rattling noises but are ultimately something that you have to get immediately rectified.


Unusual Tire Wear

Close up of a worn out tire

Though unusual tire wear is something that can be caused by many other problems, this is one of the tell-tale signs that something is wrong with your wheel bearing. For example, if you notice that your front right tire is displaying symptoms of wear and tear faster than the one on the left side. You should have the latter’s wheel bearing inspected at a service center.


Steering Wheel Vibration

A woman's hands feeling steering wheel vibration

Another sign of a wheel bearing issue is if you find that your steering wheel vibrates at certain speeds. When you’re running your vehicle at a slow speed, the vibration would become more palpable, meaning there is definitely a defect in your car’s wheel bearing. This can also manifest itself as you’re accelerating your vehicle.


Rattling Noise

A driver turning the car ignition on

As you turn your keys in the vehicle’s ignition, the only sound you should hear is the one coming from the normal whirring of the engine. If you find yourself one day hearing a progressively loud rattling noise when you start the engine, up until the point you move the car away from its original spot, then there is likely a fault with the car’s wheel bearing.


Car Gravitates To One Side

A driver turning a steering wheel to correct one sided turn

Sometimes, detecting wheel bearing problems can be challenging when there is no sound indication. One good way to detect this particular issue is if you find yourself shifting off to one side when you’re driving on a straight stretch of road.

The reason for this is that your wheel bearing has likely been the subject of high levels of corrosion. It also may not have been properly cleaned. When this occurs, the bearing’s smooth exterior lining can thin out, creating friction in the tires and subsequently making them move towards one side.


Key Takeaway

It may not always be easy to determine the first warning signs of a wheel bearing problem in your car. Sometimes, loud noises such as clanking and rumbling may not immediately manifest themselves. Instead, you have to be aware of how fast your wheels may undergo the normal wear and tear, or if you find your car swerving too often towards another side when you’re driving in a straight stretch of road.

Whatever the symptoms may be, have your car serviced immediately in an automotive shop. Putting off the problem could potentially lead to some of the other components of your vehicle malfunctioning.

Though there are still many signs to look out for, the guide above has hopefully provided you with a starting point for spotting wheel bearing problems.

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