How to Choose the Right Axle Bearing and Seal Kit for Your Vehicle
Among the most critical parts of your car would probably be the tires. You can't possibly run a vehicle without a properly working set of tires. This is due to the fact that this component facilitates proper use of the engine power, guides the vehicle, and lets the brakes perform their best. Together with the tires, the axles carry the weight of your car and send power from the drivetrain to your vehicle's wheels. When looking for a new axle bearing and seal kit for your car, here are some of things you can consider:
Types of bearings
One of the crucial factors that you need to take into account when buying a new axle bearing is the type of bearing that is compatible with your vehicle. You can refer to your owner's manual for a more accurate reference, or simply ask your mechanic which type you should get.
Ball bearings - From the name itself, this type of bearing comes perfectly round in shape. These metal balls can be used in automotive bearing assemblies, but are mostly employed in skateboards, household equipment, and electric motors. Thanks to their spherical form, they can spin in any direction, which in turn, enables them to bear both radial loads and thrust loads. However, they can only be used in vehicle components that are not subjected to heavy pressure and extreme road impacts.
Straight roller bearings - Cylindrical in shape, these bearings usually have a constant diameter straight across their length, which closely resembles a log. These are ideal for heavy-duty tasks, since the radial loads positioned on them are spread out equally across a much wider touchpoint. Nevertheless, they still have their limits. Straight roller bearings can't handle much thrust loads due to their shape. They're mostly used in tight spaces like gear boxes.
Tapered roller bearings - The appearance of this type of bearing will give you an impression that it's made up of cylindrical rollers, all tapered to one side. These bearings are typically employed inside cone-shaped bearing assemblies. This is primarily due to its shape, which enables them to hold large amounts of radial pressure, thrust loads, and hard shocks. Tapered roller bearings are mostly used in bearing assemblies mounted inside the wheel hubs.
Size of the bearing seal
Ideally, if you have performed a number of bearing seal replacements, you should already know which seal size matches your vehicle. But for beginner DIYers, one quick way to know which seal size is compatible with your car is by referring to your owner's manual.
If you don't have the manual with you, then you can browse through a parts catalog or consult with an expert mechanic on which size to purchase.
Quality of the bearing seal
Commonly made of hardened rubber, the O-shaped bearing seal should be made of high-quality materials that make it last long before another replacement. The bearing seal is a wear item, so it's inevitable to replace it every now and then. But what's important is that you get the correct replacement based on where exactly the seal will be used.