A wheel bearing is an essential part of a vehicle that people often neglect during maintenance. A bad wheel bearing can cause many issues in your car, including transmission problems. For a vehicle to function correctly, its wheels need to function correctly. If your wheel bearing is loose or not working correctly, the wheels will not operate smoothly. The constant vibration due to bad wheel bearing can lead to transmission problems.
If your wheels are not sturdy, it is dangerous to drive your car. Therefore, it is advisable to pay attention to several components of your wheels, including wheel bearing. If you don’t know what that is or how something so tiny can cause problems, then read on as we explain in detail.
A race is a metal ring that holds a set of steel balls together, also known as wheel bearing. A blank piece of metal is present at the center of your wheels; it is called a hub, and the wheel bearings fit perfectly inside it. There is also a metal axle shaft, and along with the wheel bearing, it helps reduce friction when the wheel moves.
Like many other vehicle parts, the wheel bearing can also wear off after a certain period. The wheel bearings do not get any constant lubrication and are under continuous pressure from the whole vehicle. But, they are tight enough and waterproof. However, after some time, these wheel bearings can go wrong. When the time comes, you will have to replace them to avoid further damage to the car.
Does Bad Wheel Bearing Affect Transmission?
Simply put, yes, bad wheel bearing affects the transmission. Therefore, you should avoid driving when your wheel bearings are worn out. Bad wheel bearing can also cause your wheel to stop in the middle of the road as it also puts a lot of stress on the CV joint and the hub.
Aside from affecting transmission, bad wheel bearing causes many mechanical issues that usually go undetected. Some of the common problems you might experience in your vehicle due to bad wheel bearing are listed below.
Vibration in Steering Wheel
Sometimes when driving at average speed, your steering wheel starts to shake. This problem is usually blamed on tires since bad tires can cause vibrations at higher speeds. However, a bad wheel bearing can cause this vibration in the steering wheel at a much slower speed. This vibration can increase with speed and cause transmission problems in your vehicle.
Wheel bearing can directly affect your vehicle’s axel. If you do not change your bad wheel bearing, the other parts of the car will also suffer the consequences. Damaged wheel bearing can contaminate and affect the wheel hub and the metal axle. This also exposes other parts of the car to dysfunction. Therefore, when you realize your wheel bearing is wearing off, it is better to replace it.
The vibration in the wheels can cause them to tear much more quickly. These damaged wheel bearings can cause your tires to wobble from side to side. Premature tire wear usually results from neglecting damaged wheel bearing for too long.
Friction can cause tires to wear out, which is why your tires are warmer after a long drive. A bad wheel bearing causes stiffness and makes it difficult for the wheel to turn freely. This will produce unnecessary friction and heat your wheels. The heating up of wheels leads to long-term problems which can affect your wheels’ lifespan and brake system.
Can a Bad Wheel Bearing Affect Acceleration?
A bad wheel bearing is a problem that affects many parts of your vehicle. Worn-out wheel bearing makes it difficult for the driver to make turns and causes tires to wear out quickly. Thus, the acceleration also decreases. A car with such wheels is dangerous.
Because of how it affects the car, it is important to tell how you can know when your wheel bearing is going bad.
How Do You Know when Wheel Bearing Is Going Bad?
You might notice many symptoms when your car has bad wheel bearings. The first thing you might notice is the sound of your wheels, and the noise will also get louder every time the speed increases. Secondly, you may notice the sound of grinding or grating from your wheels which is the commonest symptom of bad wheel bearing.
Another significant sign you will notice is that your vehicle will start to feel loose. It means that your steering wheel will be shaky and less responsive. When your wheel bearing is wearing out, they get loosened up and this causes further long-term issues in your wheel assembly area.
Other than noises, your steering wheel will also experience more vibration. The steering wheel will shake even as you drive at a slow speed, and it will worsen as you increase your acceleration. Moreover, your vehicle may also make humming noises while at high speed. This means it’s time to change the bearing wheels.
What Happens if A Wheel Bearing Fails While Driving?
Bad wheel bearing, if left unattended, can lead to many issues. It directly affects the tires, acceleration, and transmission of your vehicle. Even before the wheel bearing falls off, it causes significant damage to the vehicle, as already mentioned.
If you ignore a bad wheel bearing, it may fail while driving. There are a few likely instances that may happen and they include the following;
- Losing control of your vehicle
- Having brake problems
- The wheels may come off
The general aftermath of a wheel bearing failing while driving is a possible accident, so it is best to have it checked out once you hear strange noises.
Wheel bearings are an integral part of your wheel assembly. However, many people often ignore it when taking their vehicle for maintenance. A bad wheel bearing can cause many problems in cars, such as transmission, acceleration, and tire problems. Like many other components of your car, wheel bearing can also be subject to wear and tear as they are under constant stress leading to transmission problems in your vehicle. Once you hear strange noises, get your car checked out by a mechanic.