Beginner's Mechanic Guide: How To Replace A Front Wheel Bearing Assembly

Automotive Blog

Wheel bearings are essential to having a smooth driving vehicle to operate. When the bearings go bad, you'll start to hear grinding sounds coming from the front of the car. The front wheels will also start to feel loose and your steering wheel will start to vibrate. You'll also notice increased wear and tear on your tires. You have to change the bearings as quickly as possible to protect your tires and get that smooth easy handling ride back. A beginning mechanic should be able to replace the wheel bearings by themselves. Here is how to change the front wheel bearings assembly on a vehicle.

Step One: Set Car on Jack Stands

Jack up your car on a flat surface and set it on jack stands. You never want to work on a vehicle that hasn't been properly secured in the upright position when you have to reach under a car to work while it's lifted up in the air. A regular car jack is not very sturdy and it can tip over or collapse. Always make sure you place jack stands under the car to stay safe when you are replacing wheel bearing hubs.

Step Two: Remove Wheel and Rotor

First, remove the wheel from the car and then remove the brake caliber and the rotor. There is a bolt on the top and bottom of the brake caliber you have to remove before you can take it off of the rotor. Remove those bolts and lift the brake caliber off of the rotor. Gently tap the caliber upward with a hammer or rubber mallet to loosen it if it's stuck too tightly to the rotor.

The rotor should slide right of the lug nuts. If not, gently tap the backside of the rotor with a rubber mallet to loosen it. Do not use a hammer as you could easily damage the surface of the rotor.

Step Three: Remove Wheel Bearing Hub

The wheel bearing hub assembly is exposed once you remove the rotor - it has the lugs nuts running through it. In the center of the front of the assembly is a metal or plastic cover. Remove the cover to expose the end of the steering drive shaft. Take out the cotter pin on the steering drive shaft and remove the axle nut (also called a  castle nut).

On the backside of the hub assembly, there are several bolts that connect the assembly to the axle. Remove these bolts. The wheel bearing hub assembly should slide right off of the drive shaft. If not, tap the backside of the hub assembly a hammer or mallet toward you to loosen it.

Step Four: Install New Assembly

Slide the new wheel bearing hub assembly over the drives haft and bolt it to the axle (the assembly will come with new lug nuts). Replace the axle nut and cotter pin. Place the rotor back on the wheel hub assembly and replace the brake caliber. Put the tire back on the car and remove the car jacks. Lower the car and you're done.

To learn more, contact a car repair company like Foothill Service


16 February 2016