Wheel bearings? What's the dealio?

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StriderHort
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Been getting a nasty yowl off one(?) of my brakes the last month and assumed i'd knocked a wheels alignment out after some clumsy parking. Took my car into a only half dodgy place for some part worn tyres as needed them anyway and hoped to have it fixed via balancing/rotating, but the young guy says it's my front bearings, then he kept laughing like a drain saying 'I feel for you mate'

Must admit i'm worried how much this is going to sting me and how it'll go, my MOT is due in 6 weeks odd. The wee bit of reading I've done implies I really don't want these failing while driving and it's a bigger deal than a bit of noise, what are people thoughts/exp with them?

I'm ok with engines and electronics, but a total noob when it comes to wheels/brakes/suspension...is this the kind of thing you do yourself or leave to a professional? I'm a bit leery in case my garage give me bad news, as i'm kinda broke and need my car to go to work to earn ect ect, but don't want to be driving a danger.
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TheDE
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Professional job and a very difficult one at that. They often refuse to come out.
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StriderHort
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(Original post by TheDE)
Professional job and a very difficult one at that. They often refuse to come out.
Oh....good /
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PTMalewski
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Dying bearing shouldn't even be detected unless the car is taken for a test drive.

The job is quite physically demanding, and you need some really good quality tools to do it. I do brakes and some lighter suspension works myself, but I wouldn't bother to change bearings myself, although some guys do.
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StriderHort
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Yeah i'm getting a hunch I shouldn't try these myself... I've watched a few vids and get the idea of how to take the play out of them...but the tolerances look v precise and a lot of these forum DIY threads seem to end in problems/disaster down the line

Is there significantly different degrees of wear? The guy looking said my wheel hub looked fine, just the bearings squealing. I'm assuming they're not actually dead/destroyed as I'd surely notice... but if it has a real risk of sudden failure i'll need to get them done asap, MOT or no MOT
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Nuffles
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Wheel bearings are either hard or relatively simple. Some simply bolt in and are super easy. Many are press-fit and require a hydraulic press to get them out and in easily.

I have before removed the hub from the car and taken it along to my local mechanic who'll typically press out the old bearing and press the new one in for like 20 quid. Then take the hub back home again and reinstall it in my car.

I have also replaced a bearing myself with a drift and a hammer. Took way too long and not worth the effort vs just taking it to a mechanic to press for a couple of quid.
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Jang Gwangnam
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(Original post by StriderHort)
Been getting a nasty yowl off one(?) of my brakes the last month and assumed i'd knocked a wheels alignment out after some clumsy parking. Took my car into a only half dodgy place for some part worn tyres as needed them anyway and hoped to have it fixed via balancing/rotating, but the young guy says it's my front bearings, then he kept laughing like a drain saying 'I feel for you mate'

Must admit i'm worried how much this is going to sting me and how it'll go, my MOT is due in 6 weeks odd. The wee bit of reading I've done implies I really don't want these failing while driving and it's a bigger deal than a bit of noise, what are people thoughts/exp with them?

I'm ok with engines and electronics, but a total noob when it comes to wheels/brakes/suspension...is this the kind of thing you do yourself or leave to a professional? I'm a bit leery in case my garage give me bad news, as i'm kinda broke and need my car to go to work to earn ect ect, but don't want to be driving a danger.
You've probs patterned the problem by now.

But as something to keep in mind: if your car is among the popular ones in society it could work out cheaper to get the whole unit from a breakers yard, the replacement part would have OEM bearings so it'll have better durability then 3rd party replacements.

Only disadvantages is that sometimes the breaker could give you Lemons (unusable parts) without realising, thus meaning you have to redo the job.
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Nuffles
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(Original post by Jang Gwangnam)
You've probs patterned the problem by now.

But as something to keep in mind: if your car is among the popular ones in society it could work out cheaper to get the whole unit from a breakers yard, the replacement part would have OEM bearings so it'll have better durability then 3rd party replacements.

Only disadvantages is that sometimes the breaker could give you Lemons (unusable parts) without realising, thus meaning you have to redo the job.
IMO there's no point pulling a wear item from a car in a scrap yard unless you're literally digging for pennies in the dirt. What's to say that wear item won't fail the week after you install it? Brakes and suspension are things I won't bother buying in the scrap yard, partly because they're safety critical and partly because you have no idea when they'll fail.

FAG supply OEM bearings for a lot of European manufacturers (VAG, Porsche, maybe BMW and Mercedes as well) so if you buy a FAG wheel bearing off the internet/from your local motor factors it's literally exactly the same as what you'll buy from the dealership but without the pretty branded box.

Lemforder or Febi almost certainly supply all the bushing/suspension components for most Euro car manufacturers as well. You can save yourself a lot of money but still get OEM quality parts if you do some research.
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Jang Gwangnam
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(Original post by Nuffles)
IMO there's no point pulling a wear item from a car in a scrap yard unless you're literally digging for pennies in the dirt. What's to say that wear item won't fail the week after you install it? Brakes and suspension are things I won't bother buying in the scrap yard, partly because they're safety critical and partly because you have no idea when they'll fail.

FAG supply OEM bearings for a lot of European manufacturers (VAG, Porsche, maybe BMW and Mercedes as well) so if you buy a FAG wheel bearing off the internet/from your local motor factors it's literally exactly the same as what you'll buy from the dealership but without the pretty branded box.

Lemforder or Febi almost certainly supply all the bushing/suspension components for most Euro car manufacturers as well. You can save yourself a lot of money but still get OEM quality parts if you do some research.
Haha, you definitely make a valid point.

Personally, I wouldn't bother with scrap yard replacements either; unless it's a really expensive part I need to replace. Typically by this point I'd fear more parts on the car failing/being substantially damaged so I'd buy a scrapyard replacement, fit it and put the car up for sale.

My old man used to do that. He was like to me if you can't pinpoint the problem, then from a financial perspective it isn't worth keeping the car anymore. He sold his flooded 08' Merc E220 (after flushing the engine and having it cleansed up real good) to a eager idiot that was willing to pay asking price. (the last time he heard from the buyer, the guy wanted a refund becuase his mechanic told him the engine will need a rebuild or entire replacement as the pistons were shot).

Cars can be money pits, especially if you don't know what the core problem is.
Last edited by Jang Gwangnam; 1 month ago
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StriderHort
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Damnit I still haven't even looked at these since I pranged last week and caused bigger headaches

Sets of AM ones seem reasonable enough anyway, it's the labour I know will likely sting.
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