How Can a Person Determine If a Wheel Bearing Is Going Bad?

To determine if a wheel bearing is going bad, listen for grinding, and check for wiggling or heat in the hub. Uneven tire wear can also indicate a bad bearing.

A grinding noise is often the first noticeable sign of a bad wheel bearing. The inner parts need to turn smoothly, and as the pieces break, they begin to make grinding noises.

  • Another way to check is to jack up the car or put it on a lift and grab the tire like a steering wheel. Then, jostle it to see if it wiggles. If it does, that is a common sign of a bad bearing.
  • Testing for a hot hub is the third way to check for a bad bearing. After driving 10 miles, it should be lukewarm, not hot.