Why You Need to Get Your Car to the Right Largo Auto Repair Shop
Do you know what a wheel bearing is? The average driver in Largo, Florida would not have a clue about the importance of wheel bearings. But if you have a wheel bearing that is beginning to fail, it is absolutely critical that you bring your car to an auto repair shop immediately.
This cannot be overstated. If, when you are done reading this article, you realize that the wheel bearings on your car or truck may be failing, you absolutely need to stop driving it and get it to an auto repair facility as soon as possible.
What Wheel Bearings Are
Wheel bearings are small ball bearing systems or rod bearing systems that allow each wheel on your car to turn smoothly. When your car is driving down the road, it is being turned by a series of axles and in order for this to work properly, and in order for the wheel to stay in the right place and to be facing the right direction, it needs to be fixed onto an axle. When that happens, you have an incredible amount of friction being generated.
In most cases, these wheels are turning on those axles with what is considered metal on metal force. In order to reduce friction and actually allow the car to move properly and smoothly, bearings are used as the connection point between the wheels and the axles.
Wheel bearings are packed with grease, but that does not mean they are going to last forever. General maintenance and inspections should be done on a regular basis, depending on how many miles your car has. Most general maintenance and service inspections for new cars will include checking the tires and wheels to ensure that the bearings are still functional and safe to drive.
However, you still need to be aware of the potential signs that a wheel bearing may be beginning to fail.
Signs of Potential Wheel Bearing Failure
Unless you are planning to take the tires off of your vehicle, remove the brake calipers, and then the rotors, the only real way that you are going to know that your wheel bearings may be failing is to use your hearing.
When you are driving down the road, and you turn the wheel slightly, you may hear a slight groaning sound coming from your car. Depending on the location of the wheel bearing (which wheel is affected), the sound may be difficult to place. One time it could sound as though it is coming from under your feet while another time it may sound like it is coming from the back passenger side of the vehicle.
Where the sound seems to be coming from is not the major concern. It is how it sounds. The faster you travel, the louder that noise will become. When you hold the wheel straight and you do not turn, the sound may be completely gone.
However, if you begin to notice the groaning sound when you begin turning the steering wheel, even the slightest amount to guide your vehicle in a different direction, this could very well be an indication that the wheel bearings are beginning to fail.
The harder you turn the wheel at higher speeds, the louder the groaning noise will become. This should indicate that the wheel bearings need to be replaced and it is essential and critical that you bring your car to a certified Largo auto repair center immediately.
Three Key Reasons to Not Ignore these Signs
Why is it so important to make sure that you get your vehicle to an auto repair technician when you realize that the wheel bearings may be failing?
There are a number of safety reasons to take care of a wheel bearing issue as soon as possible. There are also reasons with regard to the expense to repair failed wheel bearings when you ignore them for too long.
1. Wheel bearings that fail can cause serious accidents.
When you are driving down the road at a high rate of speed and a wheel bearing completely seizes, it will cause the wheel itself to stop spinning. Just imagine what a sudden lockup of a wheel can do. You can completely lose control of your vehicle, causing a serious accident and put in your life and others in danger.
2. Wheel bearings can cause a tremendous amount of damage.
If a wheel bearing is indicating that it is beginning to fail, it will eventually seize. When the wheel bearing seizes, as noted above, the wheel will completely stop turning. If it is a front wheel and you have front-wheel-drive, that means the half axle coming from the transmission to the tire will be placed under an incredible amount of torque and pressure. This could cause the axle to completely rip apart or it can even cause significant transmission damage as well.
Forget about losing control the vehicle, because if you didn’t and were able to pull over to the side of road, you could have a car that needs several thousand dollars’ worth of repairs when all you would’ve needed to do was replace a relatively inexpensive part.
3. Safety should be number one.
Any time that you get behind the wheel of your car, you are essentially driving a weapon. Making sure that every component of your car is safe should be your first priority. You wouldn’t plan on driving down the road without working brakes, would you? If not, then you should never continue to drive your car when you realize that the wheel bearings could be failing.
If you are not sure whether the sound you are hearing from your vehicle is caused by the wheel bearings or some other issue, bring it to Peterson Auto and Truck, serving the greater Largo, Florida area. Our technicians will be able to determine if your wheel bearings need to be replaced or if it is a different issue that should be addressed as well.