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Wheel Bearing & Hub - Front

Wheel Bearing & Hub - Front

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Wheel Bearing & Hub - Front at 1A Auto

What are front wheel bearings and hubs and where are they located?

Your front wheel bearings and hubs are important parts of your vehicle's steering, suspension, and braking systems. Most modern vehicles use a one-piece hub assembly that incorporates the hub, wheel bearing, ABS wheel speed sensor, and mounting flange. While less common, there are still some vehicles that still use a separate wheel hub and press-on bearing. The knuckle attaches to the front wheel hub which attaches to the rotor. Bearings typically mount to the end of the axle in the center of your front brake rotor. The hub itself is what holds the brake rotor and wheel onto the vehicle.

How do I know if my front wheel bearing and/or hub needs to be replaced?

A wheel hub itself rarely has problems because it is simply a block of steel. The most common reason why a front wheel hub needs to be replaced is due to wheel bearing failure. Wheel bearings can fail because of age, dirt, and water contamination, or improper installation in the case of a two-piece hub and bearing assembly. A worn out front wheel bearing will usually make a grinding noise, which is more noticeable when turning in the direction of the side with the worn hub. Another reason why a wheel bearing and hub assembly will need to be replaced is if an ABS sensor built into the hub itself and is not working. When this happens, even if you have a perfectly good working hub, the entire front wheel hub and bearing assembly will need to be replaced.

Can I replace a front wheel bearing / wheel hub myself?

Wheel hubs and wheel bearings are usually a job that requires some automotive experience. If you live in a dry, low-rust area, they are far easier to replace. In areas where vehicles are prone to rust, front hubs can sometimes be a process to remove. Use plenty of rust penetrating oil, and gather up as much patience as possible before beginning the job. If you have never replaced a wheel bearing and hub assembly before, a service manual is useful. For vehicles that use a press-on bearing, professional installation is recommended.

For an even more in-depth explanation of wheel bearing and hub assemblies, how they work together, why they fail, replacement tips, and more, check out our wheel bearings and hubs guide.

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