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Mazda Miata Wheel Hub Assembly

Identifying Problems with Mazda Miata Wheel Hub Assembly

Perhaps the most important part of any vehicle is the wheel. Without wheels, the vehicle just would not run or even move an inch. The wheel hub assembly is found at the center of the wheels and plays an essential role in the movement of the wheels. It contains the bearings that are responsible for the smooth and quiet turning of the wheels. Most problems with the wheel hub assembly arise from faulty wheel bearings. Failure to function properly may cause severe accidents. Here are a few tips on how to identify any problems you may have on your Mazda Miata wheel hub assembly:

Grinding, whining, squealing sound

Wheel bearings are found inside the wheel hub assembly and are the ones responsible for carrying the weight of the vehicle. When you hear grinding, whining, and squealing noises coming from the back of your vehicle while driving, there is certainly something wrong with your wheel bearings. The noise usually starts at slow speeds and grows even louder as you accelerate, so it is quite impossible to miss. A grave result of driving with this is having the wheel come off. Surely, you don't want this to happen to you.

Loose and rough suspension

Another way to tell if you have bad wheel bearings is when you feel roughness while driving. When the wheel bearings go bad, they become pitted and rough. This negatively affects the vehicle ride quality, disturbing the spinning motion of the tires.

Excessive tire play

To confirm the defective wheel bearings, check the rear tires one at a time for play. Jack up the car and support the axles with jack stands. Then, placing one hand on top of the tire and the other at the bottom, wiggle it up and down. Do the same with the other rear wheel. If there is any play while doing this test, your Mazda Miata wheel hub assembly needs to be replaced.

Excessive tire vibration

When wheel bearings go bad, they lose their ability to effectively spin the wheels noiselessly against the rotating tire hub assembly. Since the bearings are already pitted and rough, they cause a lot of vibration throughout the drive. Driving with such can result in a difficulty in controlling or maneuvering.

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  • Helpful Tips to Maintain Mazda Miata Wheel Hub Assembly

    The Mazda Miata wheel hub assembly contains the wheel bearings that are responsible for giving you a reliably smooth ride on your car. The distances you have covered can take a toll on the bearings found in the wheel hub assembly, the damage of which will require you to get new ones installed. Here are some helpful tips to extend the useful life of your wheel hub assembly.

    • Repack the wheel bearings.
    • The wheel bearings have to be repacked every 24,000 miles or every two years. This is necessary, because over time, grease has a tendency to cake and dry out. Oil is present in grease and will eventually drain out of the grease thickener. This process is especially faster in the wheel hub assembly because the wheel bearings carry the weight of the vehicle. And as the grease dries out, friction increases, which also increases the heat within the bearing. Aside from this, regular greasing will also protect the bearings from elements that might corrode or wear them down.
    • Clean the wheel hub assembly.
    • Every time you change brake components on your car, make it a point to also clean the wheel hub assembly. This is to prevent rust and corrosion buildup and prevent swollen spots on the metal. Otherwise, it will result in vibrations, pulses while braking, and even disruption in your Miata's alignment. You can clean it by blasting the wheel hub assembly with an air compressor hose to remove all loose debris and dust. If you spot any huge corrosion or rust spots, just scrape them off using a screwdriver. Once done, wipe the hub assembly clean using a clean shop towel.

    Important reminder: Replace wheel hub assembly every 85,000 to 100,000 miles.

    Wheel hub assemblies have an expected life of 85,000 to 100,000 miles. And even before they reach this range, if the seals that keep the contaminants out of the assemblies are already broken, the assembly should be replaced immediately. If you keep driving with a worn wheel hub assembly, you will experience difficulty in controlling your vehicle and may wander off the road. Aside from this, there is a huge possibility that the tire will come off and result in a deadly accident.