Your Car-s Wheel Bearings

DIY Guide: How to Replace Your Car's Wheel Bearings

Prashant Salla
Prashant Salla5 min read
DIY Guide: How to Replace Your Car's Wheel Bearings

Maintaining your own vehicle is an essential part of being a responsible car owner. Regular inspections and timely repairs can keep your ride running smoothly and ensure your safety on the road. One critical component that requires attention is the wheel bearings.

Over time, these bearings wear out and compromise the performance of your vehicle. While it's always recommended to seek professional assistance for complex repairs, wheel bearing replacement is a task that can be tackled by experienced DIY enthusiasts.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through the step-by-step process of replacing your car's wheel bearings, enabling you to revamp your ride and regain that smooth, worry-free driving experience.

Replacing Your Wheel Bearings with Goodhood

Before you embark on this DIY journey, it's important to note that working on your own wheel bearings requires a moderate level of mechanical knowledge and experience. If you feel unsure at any point, it's best to consult a professional mechanic, such as those at Goodhood mobile auto repair services.

Safety should always be a priority, so be sure to follow all safety precautions, wear appropriate protective gear, and work in a well-ventilated location.

Steps to Replacing Your Car's Wheel Bearings

Tools and Materials You'll Need:

  1. Floor jack and jack stands

  2. Lug wrench

  3. Socket set

  4. Pry bar

  5. Hammer

  6. Pliers

  7. Screwdriver

  8. Wheel bearing grease

  9. New wheel bearings (refer to your vehicle's specifications)

  10. New seals (if necessary)

Step 1: Prepare Your Vehicle

Ensure to park your vehicle on a level surface and engage the parking brake. Loosen the lug nuts on the wheel where you'll be replacing the wheel bearings, but do not remove them just yet. Place the floor jack in the designated lifting point (refer to your vehicle's manual) and raise the car until the wheel is off the ground. Secure the vehicle with jack stands for added safety.

Step 2: Remove the Wheel

Using the lug wrench, remove the lug nuts and take off the wheel. Set it aside in a safe location.

Step 3: Access the Wheel Bearings

Locate the wheel hub assembly, which houses the wheel bearings. It is typically located behind the brake rotor. Remove the brake caliper by loosening the bolts or pins and securing it. Hang the caliper using a wire or bungee cord to prevent putting strain on the brake line. If necessary, detach the brake rotor by removing any retaining screws or bolts

Step 4: Remove the Old Wheel Bearings

Carefully remove the dust or grease cap from the wheel hub using a pry bar or screwdriver. This will expose the castle nut and cotter pin. Remove the cotter pin and unscrew the castle nut. 

Gently slide the wheel hub assembly off the spindle. At this point, you may need to tap the back of the hub with a hammer to loosen it. Once removed, the old wheel bearings should be visible.

The outer wheel bearing is usually held in place by a large nut. Using the appropriate socket, loosen and remove it. Gently pull out the wheel assembly, using a pry bar if needed.

The front wheel bearings require a bit more work. Pull out the cotter pin that secures the axle spindle nut and remove it. Pry off the outer wheel bearing race using a screwdriver. Pull out the inner wheel bearing with a hammer, being careful not to damage the spindle or other parts of the wheel hub assembly.

Step 5: Clean and Inspect

Thoroughly clean the wheel hub and spindle using a degreaser and a clean rag. Inspect the spindle for any signs of damage or wear. Additionally, examine the wheel hub for cracks, excessive play, or pitting. If any significant issues are detected, it may be necessary to replace the entire hub assembly.

Step 6: Install the New Wheel Bearings

Apply a good amount of wheel bearing grease to the inner race of the new wheel bearings. Carefully place the bearings into the wheel hub, ensuring they are properly seated. Grease the outer race of the bearings and apply grease to the spindle as well.

Step 7: Reassemble the Wheel Hub Assembly

Slide the wheel hub assembly back onto the spindle, making sure it aligns properly. Reinstall the castle nut and tighten it to the manufacturer's specified torque using a socket and torque wrench. Insert a new cotter pin through the spindle and castle nut, bending the ends to secure it. Replace the dust cap or grease cap, ensuring it is seated snugly.

Step 8: Reinstall the Brake Rotor and Caliper

If you removed the brake rotor, carefully place it back onto the wheel hub. Secure it with any retaining screws or bolts. Reattach the brake caliper to its original position, tightening the bolts or pins according to the manufacturer's specifications.

Step 9: Replace the Wheel and Lower the Vehicle

Lift the wheel you removed earlier and align it with the wheel studs. Tighten the lug nuts by hand in a crisscross pattern to ensure even tightening. Lower the vehicle using the floor jack and remove the jack stands. Utilize a torque wrench to tighten the lug nuts to the recommended torque specification.

Step 10: Repeat for Other Wheels (if necessary)

If you need to replace the wheel bearings on multiple wheels, repeat the above steps for each wheel, ensuring you follow the same procedure for each one.

Step 11: Test and Monitor

Take your car for a test drive to make sure everything feels smooth and responsive. Pay considerable attention to any unusual noises, vibrations, or handling issues. It's normal for the new wheel bearings to require a short break-in period, so monitor their performance during the first few days of driving.


Replacing wheel bearings is a straightforward process that can be completed with the proper tools and materials. If you feel unsure or lack the necessary expertise, it's best to consult Goodhood mobile auto repair services for professional assistance.

Finally, always remember to observe safety precautions and follow the steps in this guide to ensure your ride runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should wheel bearings be replaced?

Wheel bearings typically last around 80,000 to 100,000 miles before they need to be replaced. However, it is recommended that you inspect your wheel bearings regularly and replace them if necessary as part of routine vehicle maintenance.

What are the symptoms of bad wheel bearings?

The most common symptom of bad wheel bearings is a grinding or roaring sound coming from the wheels. Other signs include vibrations in the steering wheel, uneven tire wear, and difficulty turning the wheels. If you experience any of these issues, have your car inspected by a qualified mechanic.

Can I drive with bad wheel bearings?

Driving with bad wheel bearings can be dangerous. It increases the risk of a serious accident and puts you in danger, so it's best to avoid driving if you suspect your wheel bearings need to be replaced. Have a qualified mechanic inspect the vehicle as soon as possible and replace any worn-out parts.