When is it time to replace your worn out wheel hubs?
Not all noises that come from your vehicle are indicative of one specific problem, but a discerning ear can really be helpful in deciding where to look first. If you've been hearing a noise similar to what you'd guess a coffee can full of small marbles turning end over end would sound like while you're driving accompanied by a vibration or choppy feeling, or perhaps your ABS indicator light is illuminated on your dash; then you might have a problem at your wheel hub. Your wheel hub assembly is an immensely important component of your drive train, and provides the mounting surface for your brake rotor and wheel at the very end of your axle and/or wheel carrier. A faulty, failing, or damaged wheel hub and bearing can cause misalignment issues, vehicle instability, and loss of steering control. The most common reasons for wheel hub damage include physical damage from a collision or a seized bearing could spin-weld the race to the hub. Either way, if it is necessary to replace your wheel hub assembly then it should not be put off.
What exactly are wheel hubs and bearing assemblies?
The earliest evidence of wheel and axle combinations on transport vehicle applications dates back to the Chalcolithic age, around 5,000 years ago. Though wheels were used at least 10,000 years ago in other machines to assist with agriculture and pottery, they never had found their purpose for aiding mobility until humans domesticated horses and cattle and attached carts to them. At that point, wheels were made with a single hole in the center for the axle around which it rotated. The wheel hub and bearing were invented to reduce the amount of friction where the axle meets the wheel, and greatly accelerated transportation technology with its advantages. Automotive applications of wheel hubs and bearings
were first seen when used on spoked and wire wheels. More recently, alloy wheels bolt directly to a flat surface wheel hub that contains a set of fixed-position lugs. Today, it is not uncommon for unitized wheel hub and bearing assemblies to also incorporate an ABS ring and sensor.
With the right tools, anything is possible.
Replacing your damaged wheel hub can take some time depending on what exactly is wrong with it, and requires an existing knowledge of other important processes and tools in order to get the job done. It should be assumed that any person removing and/or installing a new wheel hub knows how to remove wheels, brake calipers, rotors, and axle shafts.
- First, use a floor jack or lift to elevate the car and place it on jack stands.
- Next, remove your wheel. You should now turn this wheel outward so that you can easily work behind the wheel and rotor.
- Now, unbolt the caliper from the bracket and/or steering knuckle and set it aside. Be sure not to hang it from the hydraulic line.
- Once the brake caliper and bracket are removed, you should unbolt the axle shaft nut keeping the spline shaft in the hub. Then pull the brake rotor off the wheel hub.
- At this point, the hub should be fully exposed and can be removed. On some vehicles, the hub may be bolted to the steering knuckle or axle carrier. If so, remove those fasteners. You can now pull the hub off.
- Since some wheel hubs are unitized (assembled with the bearing) and some have a bearing pressed in separately. The former are very easy to re-install since they are all one unit. The later require you press a new bearing onto the new hub before installing it.
- Finally, perform all the same steps in reverse order to re-install the brakes and wheel. Remember to observe proper torque specifications for each bolt and nut.
You've come to the right place.
With so many different places online selling new wheel hubs, it can be hard to make sense of what's good and what's not. It is generally a good rule to equate price with quality, however at Car Parts Discount we don't believe that good parts have to break the bank. We offer new replacement wheel hubs from top manufacturers at low prices every day, and we can get them to your door as soon as you need them. So whether you are looking for an inexpensive, quick fix for your domestic daily driver or the top of the line original equipment for your import sports car, we will have what you need to get your vehicle back in tip top shape.