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Car bearings: What are they and how much does it cost to change them?


What are car bearings?

Car bearings are devices that are usually mounted between the wheel hub and the brake disc, the purpose of which is to minimize friction between a fixed component, the hub, and a moving component, the wheel. The bearings mounted in cars are almost always of the "ball" type.

Ball bearings consist of two metal rings between which is placed a cage containing lubricated steel balls. Thanks to the action of the metal balls, the friction surface between the two components is reduced to a minimum. These automotive bearings have a function of both comfort and noise reduction as well as reducing the wear of the metal components.


What are car bearings used for?

Auto bearings are used to reduce the friction between the wheel hub and the brake system disc. In this way, thanks to the lubricated balls inside, the wear generated by friction is greatly reduced.

Without car bearings, the two metal components would erode each other after only a few kilometres.

How much does it cost to change car bearings?

The cost of changing car bearings can vary greatly depending on the type of car and the man hours required to perform the operation. The car bearing cannot be repaired and therefore must be replaced with a new one. The cost of the replacement car bearing usually ranges between 40 and 200 euros for an average small car. In the case of luxury cars the car bearing can reach higher figures.

If the damaged car bearing is on the drive shaft, the cost of replacement can increase.


When should the car bearings be changed?

There is no real interval for changing car bearings. Thanks to modern manufacturing techniques, car bearings are very resistant and, as they are not particularly exposed, they can hardly be broken or damaged.

It is not uncommon to find car bearings that last as long as the life cycle of the car. Like many components, the level of wear depends on the type of driving and the number of kilometers driven.

Therefore, car bearings should only be replaced if they are broken or excessively worn, forgetting this in most cases.

What malfunctions can cause car bearings to break?

Car bearings, as we explained before, do not have a specific lifespan and therefore should be checked by the mechanic during the cutting process. The mechanic will certainly be able to check the car bearing to see if it is worn or damaged.

In most cases it may be necessary to grease the wheel bearings of the car. In this case, the mechanic will use bearing grease to restore lubrication to the bearing balls. This grease can wear off over time until it disappears completely.


One of the typical car bearing failures becomes evident with a loud humming sound coming from one of the wheels when turning or increasing speed. If you hear this buzzing sound, you should anticipate your visit to the mechanic.

What to do about a noisy car wheel bearing?

A noisy car bearing can be indicative of a bearing problem or a simple lack of car bearing grease. Whatever the cause, it is essential that you visit your mechanic immediately and report the noise you have heard.

The mechanic will then examine the condition of each bearing and check whether or not there are cracks in the ball cage.

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