Improve auto handling while keeping your wheels perfectly aligned. Equip your ride with a quality Hub Assembly and Hub Bearing Assembly.
Bad handling is the last thing you want from your ride. You can get superchargers, turbo kits, and other enhancement parts to boost your car's horsepower, but if your wheels don't respond well to your steering wheel, then you have a big problem. More often than not, steering problems are the cause of wheel misalignment. To keep your wheels in proper alignment, you should make sure that your hub assembly is in perfect working condition.
This assembly consists of the hub, the hub bearings, and the front hub assembly. The hub is the rotating part of wheels located at its center. It helps keep the wheels in proper alignment to establish better handling and steering. On the other hand, the hub bearings support the entire assembly to keep it in place. These bearings are available in various shapes and sizes, which are specifically designed for your wheel assembly's specifications. Lastly, the front hub assembly protects the inner designs of your wheels from unwanted debris. When your car has gone for about 80,000 miles, the rule of thumb suggests that you should have your front hub assembly checked.
The hub assembly is an essential part of your wheels. Without it, steering and handling would be extremely hard. While getting different speed upgrades is all well and good, these performance parts should be paired with high-quality hub assemblies. Remember, speed counts for nothing if it can't be controlled.
Wheels transport a vehicle over a ground surface. Simultaneously, the steering system controls the wheels and the direction that the car travels in. These two different powertrain components can work together smoothly and safely thanks to the efforts of the wheel hub assembly that attaches them.
What is a wheel hub?
The wheel hub serves as the connection point between the wheel and the rest of the vehicle. It sits between the brake drums and the drive axle, and the wheel itself bolts onto the pre-assembled part.
Other terms for the wheel hub include wheel hub bearing, wheel hub assembly, wheel hub unit, hub assembly, and hub and bearing assembly. It forms a mainstay part of most cars, trucks, and passenger vehicles.
What does the wheel hub assembly do?
The wheel hub fulfills roles whose importance proves disproportionate to its size when compared to the wheel or the steering system. If the assembly goes out of whack, the wheel attached to it will behave erratically and even dangerously, affecting the entire car.
Perhaps the wheel hub’s most apparent and important role is making sure that a wheel rolls properly and smoothly. Its bearings reduce the friction experienced by the spinning wheel and lesen the noise made by the wheel. The vehicle becomes easier and more pleasant to operate.
Aside from wheel bearings, a wheel hub assembly contains sensors that keep track of the speed at which the wheel spins. It sends the data to the vehicle’s ABS and TCS.
As its full name implies, the ABS prevents the car from skidding uncontrollably. When the wheels threaten to lock up, the system pops the brakes just long enough to let the wheel’s surface continue to grip the road surface.
Likewise, the TCS also gets data from the sensors in the wheel hubs. The two systems team up with the driver to keep control of the vehicle while driving on slippery roads.
Bad wheel hub bearing symptoms
When a wheel hub does its job right, its attached wheel rolls quietly and quickly. But like any other car part, it will wear out over time and with use. Since the vehicle always uses its wheels, the hubs never get a break for long.
Common scenarios that can batter or wear out wheel hub assemblies include driving over potholes, hitting fairly large animals like bear cubs and deer on the highway, and collisions with other vehicles.
You should have your wheel hubs checked as soon as possible if you experience the following symptoms:
While operating your vehicle, you may suddenly get an earful of sharp noises made by two metal surfaces as they scrape together. Either the wheel hub unit’s wheel bearing wore out or the entire assembly gave up the ghost. The latter case becomes more likely if you can hear the grinding noise during driving despite the other noises made by a running car.
A faulty wheel hub assembly doesn’t just grind metal together. It can also produce a sound that resembles humming. Treat the humming sound with the same care as grinding sounds and bring your vehicle to the nearest auto shop, preferably by tow truck.
The ABS monitors the status of the wheel through electronic sensors. If the system diagnoses anything amiss, it will activate the ABS indicator light on the vehicle’s dashboard.
Given the wheel hub belongs to the wheel assembly, the ABS keeps track of its performance. When the wheel finds it harder to spin because of a bad or ailing hub and bearing assembly, the diagnostic system switches on the ABS light.
When a car with a worn-out wheel bearing in its hub assembly builds up speed, it may cause vibrations in its steering wheel. The faster the vehicle goes, the worse the vibration becomes, and it can make the steering wheel feel loose.
Why you shouldn’t drive with a bad wheel hub bearing
Wheel hubs keep the vehicle stable and controllable. As they and their bearings wear out, the wheel attached to them starts experiencing more friction during its spinning, which affects its performance and the vehicle’s controllability.
Worn-out bearings and bad wheel hubs cause the vehicle to shake. In the worst-case scenario, the assembly develops cracks that eventually cause it to break apart. When that happens, the connected wheel can pop off and cause an accident.
If you hear grinding or humming noises from your wheels or notice that the ABS light is switched on, bring your vehicle to a reliable auto repair shop as soon as possible.
Wheel hub repair
Many factors determine the cost of a repair job involving a bad or failing wheel hub. Your vehicle’s type, make, model, and features can make the task easier or harder.
In general, the larger the vehicle, the heavier and more expensive the wheel hub. So, installing new hubs on a pickup will cost more and require more effort than on a passenger car.
The presence of an anti-lock braking system drives the cost even higher. Auto repair technicians need to take extra steps and care to avoid disturbing the ABS system while replacing the wheel hub.
Fortunately, it is possible to service worn-out wheel bearings without having to replace the entire wheel hub. A trained technician can tell if the fault lies with the bearings or the hub assembly.
How much does a wheel hub replacement cost?
You can save money by obtaining the replacement wheel hub from a trusted company like CarParts.com. Available with or without ball bearings, wheel hub assemblies can cost anywhere between $1 to $878. They get sold in individual parts, sets of two or four, or as part of a replacement kit with multiple hubs.
By entering the year, make, and model of your vehicle in the filter tab, you can quickly track down a wheel hub guaranteed to fit your pickup or car.
Wheel Hub Buyer's Guide
- A wheel hub assembly is a hollow piece of round metal with studs sticking out on the other side to hold the wheel. It has two main parts: the hub and bearing.
- Wheel hubs cost around $13 to $190, including on items of varying part inclusions, quantity, fitting locations, and type.
- Replacing a faulty wheel hub can save you from minor and fatal road accidents and maintain your tires’ condition. These results to better fuel economy and smoother ride, giving you peace of mind on the road.
If it weren’t because of the wheel hubs, your car would be useless. A wheel hub is basically the component that attaches your wheels to the axles of your car. It is a mounting assembly that holds your wheels with studs and bolts, as well as the bearings, brake rotor, anti-lock braking system (ABS), and brake calipers. Due to its function, the wheel hub is considered to be one of the most essential components inside your car. You can find the wheel hub directly behind the wheel and you can access it by unscrewing all the lug nuts using a cross bar and removing your wheel from its mount.
What are the parts of a wheel hub?
A wheel hub assembly is a hollow piece of round metal with studs sticking out on the other side. It is where you install or attach the brake shield (also known as backing plate), the rotor disc, brake calipers, anti-lock braking system (ABS) harness cable, and the wheel itself. The number of studs protruding out from the hub depends on the make, model, and what vehicle type it is for. There are hubs with four studs, while others have five or six. These studs are where the lug nuts are installed to hold the wheel firmly on the hub assembly. The assembly is then inserted to the axle and bolted onto the steering knuckle.
Main components of wheel hub
A wheel hub assembly is composed of multiple parts including hardware like washers, nuts, retainers, and a cotter pin. However, its main components are the hub itself and the wheel bearing.
The hub is where you mount your wheel on. It’s the round metal piece that has four or more studs protruding outward. Four-wheel drive (4WD) vehicles use a locking hub and there are two types known as manual and automatic locking hubs.
1. Manual locking hub
This is a type of 4WD hub that can be disconnected from the 4WD system manually. This means you have to step out of your vehicle and physically turn the knob on the hub with your hand. Manual locking hubs are believed to be more durable than automatic ones due to its simple mechanism.
2. Automatic locking hub
This type of locking hub is controlled by a computer and can be triggered with a press of a button. Some 4x4 vehicles can lock the hubs on the fly, while some demands a quick stop to activate the system. Automatic locking hubs, when compared to manual, are far more convenient because you won’t need to step out of the vehicle to disconnect it from the system.
The bearing is a set of steel spheres bonded inside a metal ring known as a race. It helps the wheels spin freely by eliminating friction and is considered to be the primary link between the static and moving parts of the vehicle. The wheel bearing is the inner component of a wheel hub assembly as it is directly facing the metal axle shaft.
What are driven and non-driven wheel hubs?
Driven and non-driven wheel hubs often look the same, although driven wheel hubs need to support the drive shaft. Drive shafts are what make your wheel spin through the use of splines and grooves. Splines are ridges at the end of a metal rod that fits snuggly into the grooves of the hub. Driven wheel hubs are found either in front or at the rear, depending on the drivetrain layout of your car. Front driven hubs are usually more intricate because they need to do two jobs, which are to spin and swivel. Rear driven hubs don’t need to swivel as rear wheels don’t need to turn.
How much is a wheel hub?
Prices for wheel hub assemblies are specific to the type, fitting location, and quantities it is being sold. For the type, there are driven and non-driven; fitting locations are front driver or passenger and rear driver or passenger sides; while quantities include individual, kit, or set parts. These categories branch out to even more subcategories, such as hubs that don’t come with bearings or those without ABS harness cables. Driven and non-driven hub assemblies that are sold individually (regardless of fitting location and part inclusions) are priced around $13 to $890, while kits have price tags ranging around the $50 to $890 budget mark.
Why maintaining your wheel hub in good condition is important
Maintaining a good and properly working wheel hub will save you from further unnecessary expenses that minor and major problems can bring. A malfunctioning wheel hub can easily be missed by unsuspecting drivers. Since the hub assembly is the sole connector of the wheel and the vehicle, serious accidents may occur if one of the four hubs fails. A failure in the hub assembly could cause sudden changes in handling and braking, as well as abrupt stoppage in wheel spin. Replacing the damaged hub can save you, everyone around you, and your beloved car from any fatal accidents caused by loss of control.
Another instance is tire wear. If one or two of your tires wear out quicker than the others, there are high chances of tire explosion that could be extremely dangerous at high speeds. There are tons of advantages of replacing your failing wheel hubs, including improved their fuel economy and smoother driving experience. On top of everything, there is no better feeling than driving with a peace of mind.
Wheel Hub Assembly
Imagine a car with no wheelsit's crazy to think, isn't it? The undoubtedly most important part of the vehicle is the wheels. Without it, the automobile won't be able to run. The wheel is also composed of different units that make it possible for it to operate, such as the wheel hub assembly. If this is missing, or if there are worn-out pieces in the assembly, the wheels won't be able to function as properly. So if you notice that there are any missing units or broken components in the assembly, don't hesitate to get it replaced right away.
The wheel hub assembly make is possible for you to have a smooth and hassle-free driving experience. It's found at the center of the wheels and plays a big role to the movement of these. The most essential use of the assembly is to contain the wheel bearings, which allow the wheels to turn quietly and steadily. Remember that even the smallest broken parts in our vehicle can cause the greatest vehicular accidents. So don't take a bolt or a nut for granted; have these damaged units replaced right away.
If you're driving with worn-out wheel assembly parts, you really should not hesitate about getting new ones. In fact, it would even do you good. The wheel hub assembly holds the wheel parts together. You wouldn't want to speed up the road and suddenly have your tires come off at any time, would you? The assembly secures the wheels to the automobile's body to ensure that they stay in place no matter how fast you go. But since these are the most used parts, it's inevitable for them to get damaged earlier than some components in your car. If this happens, don't think twice about replacing them with new ones. This way, you'll still be able to drive your vehicle for a longer time.
Why driving with a damaged wheel hub is a bad idea
Wheel hubs, if it weren’t because them, your car would be useless. Basically, a wheel hub is the component that attaches your wheels to the axles of your car. Mind you, we’re not in the Flintstones era, which means a car can’t have wheels without hubs and bearings. Even a car’s powerful V12 engine would mean nothing, as it won’t be able to get the car moving no matter how much power output it got. Due to its function, the wheel hub is considered to be one of the most important assemblies found in a car so knowing how to properly maintain it is every car owner’s responsibility.
What is a wheel hub made of?
A wheel hub assembly is composed of multiple parts including hardware like washers, nuts, retainer, and cotter pin. However, its main components are the hub itself and the wheel bearing. It is where you install or attach the brake shield – or what other people call the backing plate, the rotor disc, brake calipers, and anti-lock braking system (ABS) harness cable. If you are to observe the hub, you’ll notice that it has studs protruding outwards; the number depends on what vehicle it is for. These studs are where the lug nuts are installed to hold your wheel firmly on the hub assembly. The assembly is then inserted to the axle and bolted onto the steering knuckle.
The importance of wheel hub
The wheel hub ensures you to have a smooth-sailing ride, so as it keeps the wheel rolling properly. It is traditionally located in between the axle and the brake system and contains bearings that let your wheel coasts quietly and effortlessly even when you’re not applying any pressure on the pedal. Among the importance of the wheel hub aside from riding comfort is safety. A damaged wheel hub could result in a fatal crash due to loss of control, such as when the wheel breaks off from its axle.
How to tell if your hub assembly is in bad shape
For you to tell whether your hub assembly is okay or badly damaged, you need to have an idea how a damaged wheel hub sounds when driving your car. Good wheel hubs don’t put out any signs and symptoms, meaning your car should drive and coasts smoothly. The only time you need to start thinking about getting a hub replacement is when you notice one or two of these bearing noise diagnoses:
1. Grinding sound coming from the wheel area
Typically, damaged wheel hubs and bearings put out an audible grinding noise at speeds higher than 35 mph. This could be due to the bearings not working properly or that some hardware components are already in bad shape to begin with. If your bearings are not in a smooth-sail condition, your wheels won’t spin efficiently. You could tell it by observing your car’s coasting capability. If it slows down quicker than how it usually does, it could be that your bearings are preventing your wheel from spinning freely.
2. ABS light is always on
If your car features ABS, your hub is most likely connected to a harness attached to the vehicle. A properly connected harness ensures that your ABS fires up when it is needed. If not, or once it detects some system problems, there will be an icon on the instrument cluster that will be lit up. If you have your ABS light on all the time, have your wheel hubs checked right away.
3. Whistling or humming sound coming from the wheels
A variation of the grinding noise is the humming or whistling sound that you could observe at high speeds. Like the grinding noise, the whistling could be due to the bearings not working properly. Keep in mind that all noises and symptoms coming from your car are all clear signs that you need to take your vehicle to a trip to the mechanic. Be responsible and don’t just shrug your shoulders.
4. Wheel vibration and wobbling
Audible noises aren’t the only signs you need to observe. If you feel some jerkiness or vibrations in the steering wheel when you are driving, chances are there are issues in your hub assembly. Two of the common reasons why this happens are the loss of clamp and a badly worn-out bearing. Also, you’ll observe an abnormal pull to the side when braking due to a possible defective brake rotor – although it could also mean that your calipers aren’t functioning properly.
5. Uneven rotor/tire wear
You’ll also able to tell your that hubs aren’t in good shape when you start changing rotor discs individually. Why, you ask? It’s because rotor discs often worn out together. Abnormal wear on your rotors is an indication that something’s wrong with one of your wheel hubs. Unusual tire wear, on the other hand, points to issues in one of the hubs’ bearings.
6. A play in the wheel when you shake it with two hands
One simple way of checking if you have faulty wheel hubs is by holding your wheel with two hands on a 9:15 or 6:00 clock position. If your wheel hub is completely fine, you shouldn’t be able to feel even a slight looseness, wiggle, or what mechanics call a play when you try pushing and pulling it alternately with your hands. If you tighten the lug nuts and still get a play, you need to replace your wheel hubs as soon as possible.
Driving with a beaten wheel hub
A malfunctioning wheel hub can easily be missed by unsuspecting drivers. However, driving with a damaged wheel hub can cause not only your life, but your passengers’ and other drivers’, as well. Since the hub assembly is the sole connector of the wheel and the vehicle, serious accidents may occur if one of the four hubs fails. A failure in the hub assembly could cause sudden changes in handling, braking malfunctions, abrupt stoppage in wheel spin, and other catastrophic outcomes that lead to loss of control. These does not sound alarming at low speeds but highways speeds could yield different results
For example, imagine traveling at 70 to 80 miles per hour on the highway and one of the four wheels stopped spinning abruptly. No one can defy the laws of physics so who knows where your car can be thrown after losing steering control. That’s not mentioning the fact that impact at that speed could instantly kill you and your passengers. Another instance is tire wear. If one or two of your tires wear out quicker than the others, there are high chances of tire explosion that could be fatal at speeds not less than 60 mph. So, is it okay to drive with a badly beaten wheel hub? Just don’t think about it.
Why you need to maintain your wheel hub in good condition
Maintaining a good and properly working wheel hub will not just save you further unnecessary expenses from the minor and major problems that may arise. It could also literally save your life, the lives around you, and your beloved car. In addition, you’ll be able to maximize your profit by keeping your tires, brake pads, calipers, ABS in pristine condition so you don’t have to get replacements over and over. Some people also argue that their fuel economy got better when they decided to replace their old wheel hubs. On top of everything, there is no better feeling than driving with a peace of mind.
The Automobile Basics: Wheel Hub Assembly
Road trips would be a lot more enjoyable if all auto parts are working in sync. However, a grinding sound coming from the Wheel Hub Assembly is not a sign of specs performance. When does this thing usually happen? This comes up when there is something wrong with the car's hub bearing. The grinding noise especially becomes very conspicuous when the steering wheel is turned in the direction of the defective hub. Another sign of a malfunctioning wheel hub is wandering whenever the car is steered. These are potentially harmful for the driver and his passengers. There's a chance that the driver might lose control while negotiating a sharp curve. The best solution to this is replacement because if there are other defective components in the Wheel Hub Assembly, at least all of them will be addressed at once. Experts even recommend its replacement every 85,000 to 100,000 miles. It's always good to follow this kind of sound recommendations to avoid the hassles of travelling. There are lots of quality Wheel Hub Assembly selections available in the market these days. Most of them are produced by renowned and trusted auto parts and accessories manufacturers.
Important Facts You Need to Know About Wheel Hub Assembly
It's easy to tell when you need to replace your vehicle's stock wheel hub assembly. One clear sign is a humming noise coming from the wheels. A faulty wheel hub assembly needs to be replaced right away; using damaged wheel hub assemblies will only compromise ride quality. Remember, the wheel hub assembly plays an active role in establishing your vehicle's handling. You need to keep it in top condition to keep your ride safe. Experts recommend that you replace the wheel hub assembly every after 85, 000 to 100,000 miles. And to get the best wheel hub assembly replacement, shop only right here at CarParts.com. Unlike other online stores, we offer quality replacement parts and accessories at pocket-friendly prices. So, why bother going somewhere else? Great deals await you here!
• Each wheel hub assembly we offer is a high-quality product featuring a direct OE fit.
• Our wheel hub assemblies ensure smoother vehicle handling and easier steering.
• All wheel hub assemblies from us are guaranteed to be top-of-the-line when it comes to function.
Installing a New Wheel Hub Assembly in 5 Steps
Smooth steering will be very impossible for your four-wheeled buddy if your wheel hub assemblies are in bad shape. Because they are responsible for connecting the wheels to the chassis of your vehicle, all your wheel hub assemblies must be properly maintained. If any of the four hub assemblies produces unusual noises like growling, squealing, or grinding, it means that there is already something wrong. If you think a wheel hub assembly replacement is needed, follow these instructions for the installation. The duration of the process depends on how many wheel hub assemblies you need to replace. But usually, one wheel hub assembly takes about an hour to finish.
Required skill level: Intermediate
Needed tools and materials
- New wheel hub assembly
- Floor jack
- Jack stands
- Wheel chock
- Tire iron
- Socket and ratchet set
- Bungee cord
- Breaker bar
- Sand paper
Preparing the vehicle
Park your vehicle on a spacious and level ground and apply the parking brake. If you are installing the new hub assembly on the front wheel, put the chock at the back wheel. Loosen the lug nuts about one-quarter of a turn using the tire iron. Do not remove them completely. Lift the vehicle using the floor jack and set up the jack stands underneath.
Removing the tire and the brake assembly
Once the car is lifted and properly placed on the jack stands, remove the lug nuts and pull the tire away from the wheel assembly. Look for the brake caliper bolts and take them off using the ratchet and socket. With your screwdriver, carefully remove the caliper and support it with the bungee cord. If necessary, you can also remove the brake pads. After that, take the brake rotors off the hub assembly. If your vehicle is equipped with an ABS wiring harness, unplug them from the assembly as well.
Taking out the old wheel hub assembly
Use the breaker bar and the socket to loosen and remove the spindle nut and the washer. Look for the wheel hub assembly bolts and remove them using the ratchet and socket. Move the drive shaft and the spindle to provide easier access to the old hub assembly. After that, carefully pull the old wheel hub assembly away from the spindle. Use the sand paper to remove rust or any sign of corrosion before installing the replacement hub assembly.
Installing the new wheel hub assembly
Position the new wheel hub assembly. Put the new backing plate onto the knuckle and reposition the drive shaft and the spindle. Make sure they are at the center of the hub bearing. Reattach the bolts of the wheel hub assembly and securely tighten them using the breaker bar and the socket. Put the new washer and spindle in place. Re-install the brake assembly and re-connect the ABS wiring harness. After that, remount the wheel and tighten all the lug nuts in place.
Evaluating the new wheel hub assembly
Remove the jack stands and lower your vehicle. If you are going to replace all the wheel hub assemblies in your vehicle, just repeat the entire process on each hub assembly. Remove the wheel chock. Test drive your vehicle to check if the annoying noise is gone and if everything is working properly.
Tips and warnings
- If you are having any difficulty in removing the brake rotors and/or the old wheel hub assembly, you can use a rubber mallet to tap them off the assembly and/or the spindle.
- For some vehicles, you might need to use a slide hammer before you can access and remove the old wheel hub assembly.
- In putting back the caliper, you can use a C-clamp to put pressure on it so that it will be securely attached to the rotor.