Hearing a scraping, rubbing, bonking, or wobbling noise near the wheel? If the wheel is wobbling, the cause might be a defective or noisy wheel bearing. The 1A Auto experts explain why this happens and how to diagnose it yourself.
What Causes Wheel Wobble?
A loose or worn wheel hub or wheel bearing can cause the brake rotor to wobble and scrape against other parts, like the backing plate, brake caliper, and emergency brake shoes. This, in turn, also causes the wheel to wobble.
How to Tell If a Wheel Bearing Has Gone Bad
Signs and Symptoms of a Bad Wheel Bearing:
- Growling/whirring noise
- Loose movement/too much play
A noisy wheel bearing that has a growling or whirring sound comes from metal-on-metal contact from a lack of grease.
A bad wheel bearing can also loosen over time, creating too much play/movement in the bearing.
How to Inspect for a Bad Wheel Bearing
- Raise and secure the vehicle on a jack and jack stands
- Remove the lug nuts from the wheel
- Remove the rotor and inspect the inside for damage, like scraping
- Inspect the brake shoes, brake caliper, and wheel bearing for marks, scraping, and metal shavings
- Press the wheel hub in and out from the 12 and 6 o’clock position and test for play/looseness/movement
Video: How to Install a Wheel Hub Assembly on Any Vehicle
- Remove the wheel
- Remove the brake pads
- Remove the brake rotor
- Remove the wheel hub assembly
Shop parts featured in this article:
- What Is a Wheel Hub?
- Bad Wheel Bearing Symptoms
- What Does a Bad Wheel Bearing Sound Like?
- What Is a Wheel Bearing?
- How to Tell Which Wheel Bearing Is Bad While Driving
- Is It Safe to Drive with a Bad Wheel Bearing?
- What Happens When a Wheel Bearing Goes Out?
- Front-End Clunking Noise? [Mechanic Advice + Video]