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Wheel Bearing Replacement Cost

Wheel Bearing Replacement Cost

If average cost involved in replacing wheel bearings is what you are looking for, this article will present you with a rough estimate. Along the way, you will also know about the causes that may lead to a replacement and the precautions one could take to prevent it.
Omkar Phatak
Fixing the wheel bearing
The wheel is probably one of the greatest technological innovations that has driven the progress of our human civilization. After the discovery of fire, wheel must surely rate as the next best. The techniques for reducing the friction between a wheel and its axle have been evolving over the years as wheels developed from wooden carriage to today's car wheels. Wheel bearing is the result of years of research, aimed at reducing the axle-wheel friction. They are devices which enable the wheels to rotate. Through this WheelZine article, I present a rough estimate of average replacement cost, while also warning you about the causes that may lead to a rapid wheel bearing wear and tear. The average cost of replacing the bearings, irrespective of the car model and location is around $330.
Wheel Bearing Replacement Cost Breakdown

Quoting one replacement estimate would be difficult as it varies from car to car. Moreover, in one car, there are two types of bearings: one front and a rear bearing. So I will quote the overall cost range, irrespective of car model type or front/rare distinction. In the course of my research, as I went through the prices of new bearings, I realized that they can range anywhere from $50 to $200 for a single piece, depending on your car model. Since the bearings are usually replaced in pairs, the total cost for parts may double up to $100 to $400. The replacement procedure is not that simple and about an hour of labor is involved in replacement. The labor cost is usually $70 to $150. Ergo, the cost of replacement, along with labor involved would be in the range of $170 to $550. For large trucks, the replacement cost may bump up to more than a $1000.

Replacement Cost Estimate: $170 to $550+

Average Cost: $330

Inclusive Of: Wheel Bearings, Labor Charges

Wheel Bearing Cost: $50 - $200+

Labor Cost: $70 to $150+

How Does a Car Wheel Bearing Work?

Wheel bearings are car parts that bear the brunt of friction between axle and the wheel, to enable smooth wheel rotation. Wheels rotate at a very rapid pace and if there wasn't for a bearing, it would be a very bumpy ride indeed. They are a buffer between a metal to metal contact surface, which prolongs the life of the axle and the wheel. Friction and heat are the bane of moving machine parts in contact with each other. A large part of design effort goes in to reducing this damaging friction through lubrication and buffers like bearings. The bearing is a slotted disk with ball bearings placed inside, which roll and enable the movement of the wheel while reducing friction. It's absolutely essential that you keep the bearing greased and repacked regularly. They are like the bone cushioning between our knee joints that maintain smooth movement. The greasing job should be undertaken once every two years or after a 23,000 mile running of the vehicle. Since there are two pair of wheels (two front and two rear), this task is quadrupled. If you hear a roaring or screeching sound when the car wheels are rolling, it's time to get the bearings checked out.

Causes of Failure

The probability of wheel bearing failure depends on the frequency of maintenance jobs and use of the vehicle. Here are the major causes of failure, which may eventually lead you to bear the brunt of the replacement estimate.
  • One prime reason is negligence in bearing installation and maintenance.
  • Lubricant contamination.
  • Either too little or unnecessarily high lubricant application, is another reason for failure.
  • Substandard quality of grease used.

Here are the signs that you should look out for that indicate imminent failure:
  • A sudden increase in vehicle vibration.
  • A screeching rolling sound.
  • Smoke around the wheels and lubricant leakage signs.
Jobs like wheel bearing replacement are inevitable, when the incumbent bearings are worn out. Delay will cost you even more. Ensure a timely replacement to prevent major repair costs later.