Wheel bearing’s lifespan is in accordance to its maintenance. With yearly lubrication and proper care, a wheel bearing can last for years. When annual maintenance is not done, a wheel bearing can cause expensive damages to its surrounding parts. These easy steps will likely keep you away from being stranded on the side of the road, avoiding a costly repair bill related to an overheated or under lubricated wheel bearing.
Lift the vehicle and remove the wheel. Make sure to use a jack stand to be safe. It would be better to ask help in installing the jack stand. Find the safest vehicle jacking point and raise it off the ground with the jack. Remove the wheel by turning the lug nuts counterclockwise using the vehicle’s lug wrench.
Dismount the two brake caliper pins to take off the caliper, or hammer the drum off with a rubber mallet, depending on the vehicle. After removing the caliper or drum, remove the wheel hub that contains the bearings. To do this tap on the cap, use a rubber mallet until it’s loose enough to remove with your hand. Pull out the cotter key using your needle-nose pliers, and then turn the wheel hub nut counterclockwise using an adjustable crescent wrench. Now you can remove the hub.
Remove and clean the wheel bearings. Wheel hub contains front and rear wheel bearings that both must be removed for cleaning or replacement. The bearing should fall right out of the hub. Once you have the bearings, take them and the hub to a wash basin containing a solvent (engine degreaser will work best) to remove all old bearing grease.
Dry the cleaned bearing with a compressed air and a blow gun. Check thoroughly for dirt or foreign matter. Take your wheel hub and blow it dry with the air, inspecting it as well. Look inside the hub at the bearing races for any dirt or foreign matter.
Take the bearing in one hand and a palm full of grease, I would suggest to use high temp grease in this application. Press the bearing to your palm, forcing the new grease through the bearing and out through the needle rollers. Continue in a circular motion until the entire bearing is packed full. Make sure to avoid setting the bearing on any dusty or dirty surfaces at this time. Repeat this process with other bearings, front and rear.
Reinstall the wheel bearings in the wheel hub and install the hub in the reverse order that you removed it. Install the brake caliper by replacing the two caliper pins. Place your wheel back on by putting the lug nuts in place and turning clockwise until tight. Remove the jack stand and let the vehicle back down to the ground. We hope that is article would be helpful on performing another year of wheel bearing maintenance.
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