What Are automotive Wheel Bearings?

Deep groove ball bearings

Automotive Wheel bearings are low maintenance parts, which doesn’t mean the auto bearings can last forever. So, what does a wheel bearing actually do in the car? How about the lifespan of the wheel bearings or wheel hub bearings?

What is a wheel bearing? And what does it do in a car?

The wheel bearing is a very crucial part of the wheel assembly that connects the wheel and the axle.
A wheel bearing is a set of steel balls held together by a race. They help wheels spin fast with reducing friction. It is a set of steel balls (ball bearings) or tapers (tapered bearings), held together by a metal ring. It enables the wheel to rotate smoothly with a minimum of friction. They are widely used on all kinds of vehicles, from bicycles to aircraft and cars, etc. For a car, a wheel bearing rides on a metal axle shaft, fits tightly inside the hub. The hub holds the lug bolts that you use to bolt the tire onto the wheel. The wheel bearing is pressed into the hub from the back side. Wheel bearings are safety critical components designed to sustain radial and axial loads caused by gravitation, acceleration, breaking & cornering forces, so they need to be replaced when they stop working properly.

What is the performance of bad wheel bearings

The performance of bad wheel bearings included:
1. Noise:
A rumbling, humming or growling noise that increases with acceleration or as the vehicle turns.
A loud constant whining or grinding noise when the vehicle is in motion.
Clunking noises when driving over uneven road surfaces.
2. Steering wheel vibration can change with the vehicle speed or as the vehicle turns;
3. ABS malfunctioning. ABS system issues can be related to failure of the ABS sensor that is integrated in the wheel end bearing.
4. Looseness, excessive play in the steering wheel;

Why Wheel Bearings have noise?

Most of the wheel bearings are made of hardened steel and can withstand abuse. Heat and water are two worst enemies. Heat can destroy a wheel bearing, which caused by lack of lubrication. Water will also destroy it that penetrates a sealed bearing.
Most wheel bearings manufactured today have already been sealed. They come from the factory during production pressed together as an assembly: bearing set, front race, bearing set, center race, and outer race, with both on the front and rear have seals. Seals keep bearings away from the elements, water, and debris, and they also seal in the high-temperature grease, which bearing needs. When a seal is damaged or broken, the wheel bearing will fail, then start to making noise.

So it is important to have the qualified wheel bearings, there are many different wheel bearing supplier. How to find the good and reliable one? There are many factor to consider. Firstly you can have a look at STARWEX for more product information, know more about the product and the knowledge.