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Wheel Bearing Replacement Cost (DIY vs. Mechanic Pricing)

Wheel Bearing Replacement Cost
TABLE OF CONTENTS

The Average Cost for Wheel Bearing Replacement Is $107 to $347 Depending On If You Go to the Mechanic or DIY

Image via Pixabay by DmitrySteshenko

This price range is based on national averages for all vehicles and does not factor in taxes, fees, or your particular make and model. For a more accurate estimate based on your make, model, and location, use the RepairPal Fair Price Estimator.

Get a more accurate estimate for your wheel bearing replacement cost using RepairPal’s Fair Price Estimator:

Cost at the Mechanic: $265 to $347

Parts: $107 to $147

Labor: $158 to $200

If you take your vehicle to a mechanic to have your wheel bearings replaced, you’re generally looking at a wait time from 90 to 120 minutes, depending on your vehicle. Most modern vehicles have sealed bearings that can last over 100,000 miles. You should check your owners manual to see how often you should get your wheel bearings replaced, but on average, they need to be replaced every 25,000 to 30,000 miles if you have traditional tapered wheel bearings, which use longer rollers instead of balls.

Cost to DIY: $107 to $147

Those who don’t already have all the tools needed to replace a wheel bearing should know that it can possibly be just as expensive or more to purchase everything you need to replace your wheel bearing. Since you have to replace wheel bearings so infrequently, it may be more cost-effective to simply take your vehicle to a mechanic. If you already have the tools and the confidence, you can save some money by performing this maintenance task yourself. This article covers the three most common types of wheel bearings that are found on most vehicles and how to replace them.

Know that each manufacturer has its own setup for wheel bearings. Some make it easy to remove the wheel bearing from its hub, especially in older models. Some require such specialized tools to be removed from the hub that it’s more cost- and time-effective to just buy a new hub assembly. That being said, wheel hubs are significantly more expensive than wheel bearings.

Some models, especially of German and Japanese origin, even require you to remove the entire steering knuckle from your vehicle before you can press in a new wheel bearing. Know what your vehicle calls for and know your own abilities before you DIY.

What Is a Wheel Bearing?

A wheel bearing’s main job is to let your vehicle’s wheels spin without creating too much friction. Each wheel has a wheel bearing for this purpose. Inside each wheel bearing, there are small steel balls or sometimes longer rollers that sit inside metal rings. The inside of the ring is fitted around your vehicle’s axle and the wheel hub is mounted on the outside. Wheel bearings have to be tough, as they carry the weight of the entire vehicle.

There are several types of wheel bearings. You can find out which type your vehicle has by referring to your owners manual. Ball bearings are the most common style. Your vehicle might also have precision ball bearings, roller bearings, or tapered roller bearings. Most vehicles use ball bearings, with precision ball bearings reserved for performance-focused models. You generally only see standard roller bearings in low-speed industrial vehicles, but some vehicles do have tapered roller bearings.

What Does a Wheel Bearing Replacement Include?

As we mentioned above, you can expect a mechanic’s shop to take 90 to 120 minutes to replace your wheel bearings. If you’re performing a DIY attempt at the job, you might be looking at four to six hours of work. When you get your wheel bearings replaced, you’re actually getting its entire apparatus replaced, which is called the wheel bearing hub assembly.

What Happens If You Don’t Replace Your Wheel Bearings?

If you’re driving with bad wheel bearings, it’s likely that you’ll eventually damage your suspension system. The worst-case scenario is that your wheel will completely freeze and be unable to rotate due to its worn-down wheel bearing. This can have bad consequences, as it takes away your ability to control your vehicle while it’s moving. Bad wheel bearings can also cause your tires to wear out unevenly, forcing you to purchase new sets more often.

You can check to see if your wheel bearing has started to go bad by taking hold of the top of the wheel and shaking it. It should have little to no movement. If it has some give, it’s time to head to the mechanic’s shop.

How Often to Replace Your Wheel Bearings

Most modern vehicles use sealed wheel bearings that only need to be replaced when they show signs of going bad. If you want to be safe, you can replace these every 100,000 miles. If you have an older vehicle with tapered wheel bearings, you should have those wheel bearings replaced or at least maintained every 25,000 to 30,000 miles.

Common Symptoms You Need to Replace Wheel Bearings

Some common symptoms that are trying to tell you that you might have a bad wheel bearing include:

  • Tire noise such as rumbling and grinding
  • Uneven tire wear and tear
  • Steering wheel vibrations
  • Steering pulling off to one side
  • Smoking wheels
  • The ABS light is on in your instrument cluster. Read this article to learn everything there is to know about fixing an ABS warning light.

If you start to hear rumbling noises that you think might be due to a bad wheel bearing, listen to see if the noise is worse when you turn to one side than the other. This can let you know that a wheel bearing is the problem and also which side the faulty wheel bearing is on. That being said, it’s a smart idea to replace sets of wheel bearings rather than just one at a time.

Keep an eye out for these symptoms to protect both your vehicle and yourself. Symptoms such as these are your vehicle communicating with you about something being wrong. The longer you ignore these communications, the worse the problem will be over time.

Related Maintenance Services

The following services are commonly performed with wheel bearing replacements:

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FIXD Research Team

At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.

We’re here to help you simplify car care and save, so this post may contain affiliate links to help you do just that. If you click on a link and take action, we may earn a commission. However, the analysis and opinions expressed are our own.

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About the Author

FIXD Research Team

FIXD Research Team

At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.

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