View Full Version : Auto Mechanics, Opinion: Wheel Bearings
06-05-2010, 02:29 PM
This is PtII. Thanks to all of those who shared their thoughts/experience/expertise with my Brake System Fluid Flush inquiry.
I have a 2001 2WD Ford Expedition.
The last oil change I got they recommended to repack the front wheel bearings.
The oil change just yesterday, they recommded to replace them this time.
I talked to my brother-in-law, who is a mechanic in the army, but learned a lot working on cars during his teens.
He said unless they took the car completely apart, which they couldn't do during a 30-min oil change, that they wouldn't know the bearings needed replaced.
He also said, unless they brought them to me and they were all 'scarred' that a re-packing would be fine.
Just thought I'd get some input on this one, too.
Agree/disagree with the mechanic's recommendation?
06-05-2010, 02:43 PM
No mechanic here, but I do a lot of my own car work. I have a 99 taurus, and i knew I needed new front bearings when i was doing my brakes and noticed some play in the wheel on the spindle.
I think yours are like mine - the front bearings are a bearing/hub assembly. you can't replace the bearing inside the hub unless you have specialized equipment, or take it to somebody who does. I think anyway. And i'm pretty sure they are sealed, you can't repack them.
But replacing the hub assemblies is easy and inexpensive. And even without noticeable wear, you're usually supposed to replace bearings at a certain mileage, depending of course on the vehicle and bearing used. But they are a part that wears out.
06-05-2010, 03:16 PM
How many miles on your Taurus when you noticed it?
They gave me two options, but I also called the Ford dealership, and they had the re-pack option as well. Same price, too.
The re-pack is $100.00, while the remove/replace is $300.00.
06-05-2010, 03:49 PM
that's cool man. like i said i'm no mechanic, i only really know about the cars i've had.
I was right at 100k when i noticed it.
If you have a shop or a mechanic you trust, i'd maybe go run it over to there and see what they say. that's what I do whenever i'm not sure. One shop i use regularly doesn't charge me for estimates, but even ones that do, I don't mind paying the 35 bucks to get a second opinion from a pro. good luck man.
06-05-2010, 04:09 PM
Right, I noticed some play in the wheels of my 2002 Grand Prix with 65000 miles when it was up on the lift. I had them replaced...
06-05-2010, 04:33 PM
Most people will repack front wheel bearings when replacing brake pads. You might as well 'cause you have it all apart already. Unless you have been doing some off road driving with lots of water or mud they're probably fine - 73,000 miles is not excessive. You could wait and have them done when you need brake pads which will be very soon.
It's not that hard to repack inner and out bearings. What is a pain is knurling the surface for a new race that won't stay put or using locktight and of course pounding in the new race etc. I use a tool made from an old 6 x 9 car speaker to pound in a race and set the new seal in place.
06-05-2010, 04:54 PM
The brakes were completely redone around 30K miles.
Upgraded discs, pads, etc.
I've replaced pads since then, as well.
The latest tune-up showed no wear/tear with the brakes at all right now.
I can stop on a dime.
I am going to have a few things done when the bearings are worked on though.
As you mentioned, having things opened up saves a lot of labor costs.
06-05-2010, 05:39 PM
Wheel bearings (and the tech behind them) are simple...
Checking procedure is pretty simple - PROPERLY pre-load the bearing, (very important) spin the wheel with the brake pads removed (or shoes adjusted well away of the drum) and feel for any roughness. This of course assumes that the bearing in question has ample grease. If there is ANY roughness, the bearing needs to be cleaned and inspected, and if it's even questionable, it gets replaced.
Just look at the (clean) part - we always used a ball-point pen to check the races for go/no go status.
Milage is irrevalent, as you can have an inferior part frag on you in less than a 1000 miles...
Been in the biz off and on my whole life, and this just isn't that hard to deal with, really.:)
edit: +1 re. what Gene said about knurling...
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