How do you change a front wheel bearing assembly?


Quick Answer

Remove the front wheel, the brake caliper, brake anchor and brake rotor. Remove the spindle nut and the fasteners that support the bearing assembly to the steering knuckle. Remove the bearing assembly and replace with a new assembly.

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Full Answer

Whenever a car is lifted, chock the wheels, use an appropriate jack and support the vehicle on jack stands. Front wheel bearings can be replaced in an afternoon with the right tools. A torque wrench, a complete set of hand tools and a spindle nut socket are needed to properly complete the job. The spindle nut socket and torque wrench can be rented at most parts stores. You may also want to perform brake repairs during this time, as all of the brake components must be removed to access the wheel bearing assembly.

A pry bar may be required to free the caliper from the brake rotor. Never let the caliper hang by the brake line; safely secure it with a bungee cord, ensuring that the brake line is not stretched or kinked. Not every vehicle will require the removal of the brake anchor. Removal of the brake anchor is only necessary if it prohibits the removal of the brake rotor or obstructs the removal of the bearing assembly fasteners. The rotor may have two small screws or two push-on clips holding it in place.

With all of the components and fasteners removed, pull the bearing assembly out of the steering knuckle and slide it off of the axle shaft. If the assembly is seized in the steering knuckle, soak it in penetrating oil. When reassembling the components, always torque the fasteners to manufacturer’s specifications. Failure to do so can result in premature failure of the bearing assembly and brake components.

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