. Most people are familiar with one-piece bearings – these look like metal rings with ball bearings inside that roll around inside the bearing housing. However, wheel bearings are different. They’re two-piece sets, consisting of a wheel bearing and a wheel race. Essentially, a wheel race is nothing more than the outer ring around which the bearings turn. You have four wheel races, one for each wheel on your vehicle.
When should I replace my Wheel Race?
Most people will never need to invest in a wheel race replacement, because today’s cars are manufactured with races and bearings that can last in excess of 120,000 miles, which is more than most drivers will ever put on their car (most owners trade in their vehicles when the mileage really starts to rack up). However, if your bearings have started to fail, you’ll need to replace both the bearings and the wheel race. If you notice a roaring noise from one wheel, or you can wiggle the wheel by hand, it’s time to consider replacing the bearings and race.
What happens if I don’t?
If you opt not to invest in a discount wheel race and new bearings, you’re in for some serious trouble. The bearings and race are what make it possible for your wheel to turn smoothly. As they continue to break down, your wheel will be unable to turn correctly. This puts greater strain on the engine, consumes more fuel, wears out your tires and makes unwanted noise. Eventually, the bearing and race will fail completely and the wheel will no longer turn. This this happens when you’re driving, it can be exceptionally dangerous.
How to do it: Replacing your Wheel Race
- Verify you have the correct wheel race replacement and bearings for your vehicle.
- Jack up the wheel with the failed bearings.
- Remove the wheel.
- Remove the brake caliper and pads.
- Remove the dust cap from the hub, as well as the axle nut and the cotter pin.
- Remove the brake rotor and hub assembly.
- Remove the inner and outer bearings.
- Use a press to remove the wheel race from the hub.
- Use a press to install the wheel race replacement.
- Install the new bearings.
- Reassemble in reverse order.
Anything else I need to know?
For some vehicles, you may need to remove some ancillary parts to get to the Wheel Race Replacement, so be prepared for that. If you run into problems with that process, you may need to do some research to get instructions that are specific to your vehicle.
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