Wheel Bearing Replacement Cost [Front or Rear]

If you hear squealing or growling sounds produced by your car or truck, there is a good chance that the wheel bearings need to be replaced. Before getting them replaced, it’s important to know how much it costs. So, how much does wheel bearing replacement cost?

Typically, wheel bearing replacement cost ranges between $100 and $800. The cost depends on several factors, including the vehicle’s make, model, and year. It also depends on the mechanic or shop that will do the job for you.

Typically, the noise becomes more intense as the speed of the vehicle increases. It’s essential to confirm which side of the vehicle makes the noise to help you identify the worn-out wheel bearings’ location; also whether the noise is coming from the front or rear wheels.

Read on to learn more about replacement wheel bearing costs and the different types of wheel bearings.

Wheel Bearing Replacement Cost

wheel bearing replacement cost

Typically, wheel bearing replacement cost ranges between $100 and $800. The price depends on various factors, including the vehicle’s make, model, and year. It also depends on the mechanic or shop that will do the job for you.

Both the front and the back wheels have wheel bearings. Each wheel has its bearing. So, it is possible that only one bearing is worn out while the rest are still in good condition. This means that you don’t have to replace all wheel bearings simultaneously.

Now, let’s talk about the following wheel bearing replacements costs:

  • Front-wheel bearing replacement cost
  • Rear-wheel bearing replacement cost 
  • Hub wheel bearing replacement cost

Front Wheel Bearing Replacement Cost

Front-wheel bearings are linked to the driving axle components of the vehicle. They are connected to the steering knuckle arm assembly. While these wheel bearings wear out, they are expected to last and need no replacement for years. If they get worn out, the front wheel bearing replacement cost ranges between $260 and $480.

The front wheel bearing parts alone cost approximately $120 to $200. Due to the extensive labor needed to get this job done, labor costs range between $140 and $280.

The exact cost varies depending on the rates offered by repair shops. The cost also depends on the vehicle’s make, model, and year. Suffice it to say that the cost for larger and pricey vehicles is higher. These include luxury cars, sports cars, and trucks.

If you replace only one of the front wheel bearings, it will be less costly. It will most likely cost you about $130 to $220. The front wheel bearing parts cost will likely range between $60 and $100. At the same time, the labor cost will most likely vary between $70 and $140.

Rear Wheel Bearing Replacement Cost

The rear wheel bearing replacement cost is slightly cheaper than the front wheel bearing replacement cost. A complete rear wheel bearing replacement will cost about $240 to $460.

The rear wheel bearing parts will cost $100 to $180. At the same time, the labor cost is approximately $140 to $280. But then again, the exact cost will also all depend on the make, model, and year of the vehicle.

If you replace only one of the rear wheel bearings, the cost will range between $120 and $240. The parts will most likely cost $50 to $90. In contrast, the labor will most likely cost you $70 to $140.

These prices are only estimates, but these figures will give you a clear idea of how much budget should be allotted. Remember that the wheel bearings do not wear out easily if you find them costly. It will take years before you will have to replace them again.

Rear Hub Bearings

Some vehicles make use of a rear hub bearing assembly. With this, the wheel bearings are prepacked in the hub. They are installed as one complete set or unit. When the wheel bearings wear out, you have to replace the entire hub assembly and not merely the wheel bearings.

Replacing the hub assembly is more costly than simply replacing the hub bearings. The cost will most likely range between $400 and $800. This includes both sides of the axle already.

The cost of the assembly parts varies. It all depends on how advanced the hub bearing assembly is. The labor is slightly less costly than the labor for a typical rear-bearing replacement.

Suffice it to say that the wheel bearing replacement cost ranges between $100 and $800. The cost highly depends on various factors, including the make, model, and vehicle year. It also depends on the mechanic or shop that will do the job for you.

Symptoms of Bad Wheel Bearings

front wheel bearing replacement cost

Before discussing wheel bearing replacement costs further, let’s first talk about bad wheel bearings symptoms. They include the following:

  • Tires wear unevenly
  • Grinding sound
  • The vibration of the steering wheel
  • The vehicle seemingly pulls to one side
  • Excessive wobbling of wheels

Tires Wear Unevenly

Since wheel bearings don’t wear out simultaneously, the worn-out one causes its corresponding tire to fail to sync with the movement of the other tires. This then causes the tires to wear unevenly.

Typically, if there is no problem with wheel bearings, the tires are expected to wear out evenly. So, observe the tires if they are uneven or not. If yes, there is a likelihood of an issue with the wheel bearing.

You must, however, remember that if the tires wear unevenly, it is not only due to a bad wheel bearing. There are other reasons behind it, such as unbalanced tires and bad wheel alignment.

Grinding Sound

While driving, observe if there is a loud grinding noise associated with your tires. If there is, there must be a problem with the wheel bearing. This happens because the wheel bearings lose their lubricity. This results in a lot of heat building inside of them.

The sound seems to be two pieces of metal being ground together. This noise is typically heard when turning or shifting. Typically, you only hear the noise coming from one wheel, which most likely has a bad wheel bearing.

Vibration of Steering Wheel

There is a severe issue with the wheel bearing if the steering wheel starts to vibrate. When driving at a slow speed, you will notice an abnormal vibration. This gets more intense when you step on the gas pedal and accelerate.

At times, this occurrence is mistaken to be caused by unbalanced tires. While vibration also occurs due to unbalanced tires, this typically occurs when driving at high speed.

Vehicle Pulls to One Side

A wheel bearing has a smooth lining. But if the lining is no longer there, the wheel bearing is worn, pitted, or corroded. The rough surface then results in vibration to the tire. When this occurs, you will notice that the vehicle pulls to one side as you drive it. This means that it is pulling to the side of the worn bearing.

When applying brakes, you will also notice the vehicle pulling to the side. While this may be a symptom of worn-out brake rotors or calipers, it also indicates a serious problem with a wheel bearing.

Excessive Wobbling of Wheels

The only way to confirm that the wheels are experiencing excessive wobbling is when the vehicle is jacked up or a hydraulic lift. Once the vehicle is lifted, try to grab and rock each wheel. Move it back and forth and observe how wobbly the movement is.

If the wheel is wobbly, then there is a big possibility that the issue is with the wheel bearing. Remember that the wheel bearings are in good condition if the wheels do not wobble.

Types of Wheel Bearings

When a wheel bearing is turned, friction is created. A more intense resistance is expected if the wheel has a heavy bearing. This is the reason why there is a wheel bearing. The wheel bearing minimizes the friction between these parts while the vehicle is in motion.

If there is less resistance between the moving parts, wearing out and erosion formation are minimized. This then prolongs the lifespan of the wheels.

There are several types of wheel bearings. Let’s discuss the most common ones. These include the following:

  1. Ball Bearings
  2. Precision Ball Bearings
  3. Roller Bearings
  4. Tapered Roller Bearings

1. Ball Bearings

rear wheel bearing replacement cost

While various wheel bearings are available, the most common one is the ball bearing. Precisely because it is the most versatile of all. Ball bearings are capable of absorbing both thrust and radial loads.

The thrust load refers to the cornering pressure. At the same time, the radial load refers to the amount of weight placed on the wheel. There are ball bearings available for all-wheel sizes, including roller skate wheels.

2. Precision Ball Bearings

Precision ball bearings are designed to achieve high performance. They can reduce friction, which then decreases the amount of heat.

Compared to regular bearings, the rotation speed of precision ball bearings is typically higher. This type of bearing is usually attached to airplanes’ landing wheels or the wheels of racing cars. It is designed mainly for extensive radial and thrust loads.

3. Roller Bearings

Roller wheel bearings are also commonly used in vehicles. However, they are not as versatile as the ball wheel bearings. Roller bearings are not great for cornering, but their strength is in handling weight.

The roller wheel bearings are not ideal for you if you drive so that the wheels must corner at medium to high-speed levels. Suffice it to say that if you are a racer, do not even consider using roller bearings.

4. Tapered Roller Bearings

Tapered roller wheel bearings are usually found in regular wheels of vehicles and trucks. These feature a cone shape that minimizes the friction when cornering and while the thrust load is high.

When turning a vehicle, the angle of the wheels has various degrees. The tapered roller wheel bearings prevent the occurrence of grinding when shifting.

Conclusion – Replacement Wheel Bearing Cost (Front or Rear)

In general, wheel-bearing replacement costs range between $100 and $800. The price varies, considering such factors as the vehicle’s make, model, and year. It also depends on the mechanic or shop that will do the job for you.

To determine whether or not your vehicle needs new wheel bearings, look for these symptoms:

  • Tires wear unevenly
  • Grinding sound
  • The vibration of the steering wheel
  • The vehicle seemingly pulls to one side
  • Excessive wobbling of wheels

It is best to have the wheel bearings replaced when you notice these symptoms. Remember that wheel bearings play an essential role in a vehicle. They provide the initial connection involving the movement and the static area of the vehicle.

Choose the best type of wheel bearing for your vehicle. There are several types available on the market. But the most common ones are the following:

  1. Ball Bearings
  2. Precision Ball Bearings
  3. Roller Bearings
  4. Tapered Roller Bearings

These wheel bearings are significant in minimizing friction. They allow an efficient and convenient rotation of the tire and wheel. If you replace worn wheel bearings immediately, it will prevent further damage to the other vehicle parts. Most notably, it will prevent the tires from wearing out unevenly.

If you think that wheel bearing replacement is costly, remember that it is cheaper than any other serious damage it could cause if you opt not to replace the bearings. Besides, wheel bearings are durable and last for many years. Even if you shell out some money to have them replaced, they are guaranteed to be worth it.

New wheel bearings are not only durable and do not only last for many years. They will also make your wheels and tires last longer too.

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