Reader Question How do I know if I have a bad wheel bearing in one of my front wheels?
Hey there friend
That is not easy to answer. A “bad” wheel bearing will usually make a rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr’ing noise that progressively gets louder the faster you drive.
This noise can also be made by a tire, so it is pretty tricky to determine which one is the culprit of the noise unless you can raise the vehicle off the ground and spin each wheel by hand while you listen with a stethoscope on the spindle or any metal object close to the wheel.
Most new cars have sealed front bearings, and they seldom go bad. Some trucks still have bearings that you can take apart and service with grease.
Most of the time when someone thinks they have a bad bearing, it is usually a worn or rough tire that is causing the noise…not the bearing. So inspect your tires, or rotate them to the back of the vehicle first to see if the noise changes before you spend time and money replacing bearings.
Austin C. Davis