Nothing is more annoying than the cyclic chirping or squealing noise entering directly into your ears while you drive. No matter how loud you raise the music, that noise keeps playing with your nerves as if it demands something. Well, there actually is a demand, which is the replacement of wheel bearings.
At most a thousand miles, that’s how much worn out wheel bearings can carry on. However, every turn you take with those works as an amplifier for the growling. Not to mention how much heat is produced, eventually crashing the wheels.
Installing a top-notch wheel bearing may not seem like the fanciest of car upgrades. But the result it brings along is simply marvelous. With all the risks as well as irritation finally foregone, the best wheel bearing will bring relief in exchange for every penny it costs.
Hands on the Best Wheel Bearing
Even after feeding your brain with adequate information, the task of choosing a particular unit from a plethora of products is quite daunting. To make it obvious, we’ve collected seven top products worth your investment. Here we present our research findings regarding them in as understandable a fashion as possible.
1. ECCPP 513121 Wheel Bearing Hub Front Wheel Hub and Bearing Assembly Allure, Aurora, Bonnevile, Century, Impala 5 Lug W/ABS
When it comes to mixing affordability with performance, no other manufacturer knows the recipe better than ECCPP. They have designed FBA 051402D2 to provide precise guidance while your wheel hub rotates. Therefore, it supports the gravity of your vehicle by keeping the wheels attached.
Apart from that, this product is designed to conduct less amount of friction, producing as little heat as possible. As a result, you get a smoother rotation of the wheels and attached components for a safe and smooth ride every time.
Furthermore, FBA 051402D2 has a smaller number of contact points, which increases efficiency by preventing stress and vibration. Because of this, the gas consumption rate of your vehicle drops, saving you some extra bit of cash.
Despite the unparalleled low price, it is made of high-quality materials to ensure the utmost durability and longevity. Moreover, it comes with unique seal design and protective coating that make sure it stays clean and free from rust or corrosion. Also, they offer a one-year service warranty to keep you backed up.
Most importantly, you’ll find it quite versatile since it’s compatible with a wide range of vehicles due to OE fitment. It will meet the exact fitment requirements for Venture, Monte Carlo, and Impala from Chevrolet, and several models from Buick, Cadillac as well as Pontiac.
- Poor ABS sensor.
2. Detroit Axle – 4WD 515036 Front Wheel Bearing and Hub Assembly 6LUG 2PC Set for 4WD 4×4 Cadillac Escalade ESV EXT Chevy Avalanche Express 1500 Silverado Suburban Tahoe GMC Sierra
Detroit Axle is well known for its premium craftsmanship of wheel bearings, and this model is no exception to that. The 515036DA will be ideal for AWD or 4×4 models due to its ability to handle a certain level of heavy loads. You’ll find it compatible with a number of vehicles from Chevy, Cadillac, etc.
Moreover, the two wheel-bearings featured in this unit have been explicitly designed for both driver and passenger side hubs of your vehicle. Therefore, if you’re willing to replace both sets of bearings at the same time, you won’t find a better deal than this one.
On top of that, these bearings come with an ABS molded cord system that being made of blended materials increases the abrasion resistance of your vehicle. As a result, your vehicle not only becomes more stable but also stays protected from adverse conditions on the roads.
Aside from its superior performance, the 515036DA comes with an exceptional level of durability and longevity. Due to its unique anti-corrosion lubricant that is pre-installed, you’ll enjoy rides smooth as butter for an extended period.
Lastly, they have used the latest technology of front-end assembly for all its applications. Along with this assembly, comes the included lug bolts to make sure you can install them with a minimum mechanical experience in hand.
- Makes noises after long-term use.
3. MOOG 515036 Wheel Bearing and Hub Assembly
MOOG 515036 has been precision engineered to remove and solve problems on roads and deliver a reliable performance, smooth, each time you take your vehicle out. In fact, these wheel bearings are made of heavy-duty steel and are quality tested to make sure they don’t fail you any soon.
Most importantly, once you’ve installed it, the abrasion resistance of your vehicle will get increased due to its abrasion-resistant ABS cord. This cord is manufactured by a material that is blended so that it provides superior ABS protection to your vehicle against adverse conditions.
Apart from its unparalleled performance, its excellent durability will make sure your investment pays off. You’ll also enjoy an easier process of removal and proper torquing of the wheel nut because of this unique coating.
Furthermore, this product has a record of wide compatibility behind its name, as it fits well into a broad list of imported and domestic vehicles. Installation of this bearing isn’t a daunting task either, and you can get it done within a short period.
- May give false ABS warnings in some vehicles.
4. MOOG 515096 Wheel Bearing and Hub Assembly
The 515096 is another top-notch wheel bearing and hub assembly from MOOG that comes with an application-specific design to deliver the utmost performance. Such a performance becomes possible due to an innovative roll form design that ensures consistent and optimal preload.
Thanks to the ABS cord, your vehicle will stay protected against the most adverse of conditions so that you feel at home while driving. Besides, the abrasion resistance of your vehicle will also increase since the cord is made of blended materials of high quality.
Furthermore, they’ve provided premium wheel stud bolts in this unit so that you find the installation and removal process as easy as pie. Also, these bolts feature a protective coating, reducing the risk of undergoing loss due to corrosion and rust.
Aside from its easy installation, these bearings are likely to last for years since they feature molded shield and socket connections. Such a shield feature will provide them optimal defense against decay so that rough driving conditions can hardly cause them any harm.
Finally, the MOOG 515096 will improve the torque of the wheels of a number of vehicles in the market. Fitting into several foreign and domestic vehicles is no big deal for this particular product because of its broad compatibility.
- ABS sensor not up to the mark.
5. Detroit Axle 513121 Front Wheel Hub and Bearing Assembly Pair for Buick Century
Needless to say, Detroit Axle has been in the industry of automotive parts for a long time, and therefore it manufactures bearings of top quality, including this particular model. The 513121 bearings are highly functional and suitable for all the GM vehicles out there.
Moving on to compatibility, you won’t have to worry about vehicle fitment issues, whether yours is a two or four-wheel drive. As per OEM specifications, it will fit into models like Buick Rendezvous, Allure, Park Avenue, Cadillac Seville, Chevy Impala, Monte Carlo, Venture, Lumina, Pontiacs, and so on.
In addition to that, while installing, they won’t require any modifications at all since they are precisely designed. Moreover, they come with top quality ABS sensor wires to notify you when they’re worn out and require attention. So, once you install them, you can forget about manual inspections now and then.
When it comes to building quality, the Detroit Axle 513121 will definitely outperform its counterparts due to its sturdy yet lightweight construction. Not to mention how much durable Detroit Axle tends to make its products. Apart from all these, they’re offering a surprising warranty of up to ten years.
- ABS leads are a bit short.
6. Rocky Mountain Bearings Polaris RZR XP 4 900 1000 Scrambler 850 Front & Rear Wheel Bearings
Unlike other wheel bearings on this list, the Pola002-1 has been designed particularly for a number of Polaris RZR and Scrambler vehicles. This unit includes both front and both rear wheel bearings for all the related two and four-seat models out there, regardless of sub-model designations.
When it comes to fitment, you’ll be utterly surprised to know how precisely they fit, as they not only meet but also exceed the OEM specifications. Due to such preciseness, you won’t need to make any modifications during installation.
Apart from its smooth installation, it will make the wheels rotate smoothly even at high speeds because of ABEC precision design. Besides, its premium performance allows you smooth rides not only on roads but off roads as well.
Most amazingly, the Pola002-1 comes with extremely close contact NBR seals so that they stay safe from corrosion. Furthermore, a rustproof proprietary synthetic grease prevents any decay due to rust, making it last for years. Finally, to make sure you purchase with confidence, it has a 3-year warranty from the manufacturer.
- Not compatible with vehicles other than the Polaris ones.
7. DRIVESTAR 4WD Only 515036 Chevrolet Silverado/Suburban/Avalanche 1500 Tahoe GMC Sierra Savana Cadillac Escalade(Pair)
Our last pick, the 515036×2 from DRIVESTAR, is constructed to provide superior load-bearing capacities and longer service life. Whether yours is a passenger vehicle or a tow pickup, it being induction hardened will ensure smooth noise-free rides, even while carrying tons of loads.
Aside from its sturdy construction, 515036×2 features a unique triple lip seal, which prevents moisture and contamination from entering the bearing. As a result, you get corrosion and rust-free service for an extended period. However, in case of any occurrence, its quality tested ABS sensors will keep you updated.
On top of that, it has been manufactured and tested to meet the OE specifications so that you hardly find any hassles during its installation. Besides, this wheel bearing comes with matching clips for fitting with specific make and model, requiring no further modifications.
When it comes to compatibility, this wheel bearing will fit into your 4×4 or AWD vehicle if it’s among Avalanche 1500, Escalade ESV, Express 1500, Sierra 1500, Silverado 1500, Suburban 1500, Cadillac, and several other models. Lastly, it has a 1-year warranty from DRIVESTAR to keep you backed up.
- May produce false ABS signals on some vehicles.
Ingredients for the Best Wheel Bearing
Just like any other automotive part out there, purchasing a wheel bearing requires a notable amount of analyses beforehand. That being said, we’re not offering you to pursue a career as a professional mechanic. We believe that all it requires to evaluate wheel bearings is a proper understanding of the following factors.
Types of Bearings
You’ll find three basic types of bearings in the market.
Ball bearings are the most common and versatile ones. These absorb radial and thrust loads on the rear and front wheels and are typically used in smaller wheels like that of roller skates. However, they can suit larger wheels as well.
Bearings of this type don’t have the same versatility as ball bearings. They are better for radial loads rather than thrust loads. Consequently, they’re not used in wheels that travel around corners at high speeds.
Tapered Roller Bearings
Most of the standard cars and trucks use bearings of this type. Their unique shape helps to reduce the friction when thrust load is at its maximum. As your car takes turns, the wheels can lean to different angles due to these.
Since ball bearings are easily found in the market and widely compatible with a number of models from different brands, you should aim for them. Another reason to choose them is the affordable price tag attached to them.
Carefully read the fitment specs of the unit you purchase since wheel bearings are designed to fit as per OEM specifications. For instance, a bearing compatible with Chevrolet Monte Carlo may fail to fit if yours is a Polaris RZR. Using the compatibility tools provided by the e-commerce sites may prove helpful.
Material and Protective Coatings
Wheel bearings are generally constructed using steel, along with some hardening or coatings to prevent decay. However, not all steels are of the same strength, and therefore you should look for a rigid forged steel build. Also, make sure it features rust and corrosion-resistant coatings to prevent contamination.
Make sure the wheel bearings come with a double or triple lip seal so that they can operate with less friction. Such fluency will allow the bearing to rotate at high speed with a minimum amount of heat dissipation. Beware of the bearings that don’t offer a proper sealing mechanism.
Pre-installed lubricants such as rustproof proprietary synthetic grease will keep the parts of the bearing free from rust and decay. Besides, this grease, along with other anti-corrosion lubricants, will make sure the bearings last for years. These will also come handy for the balls between the rings to rotate fluently.
Quality of ABS Sensor
The more accurate the ABS sensors, the less frequently you have to check the bearings manually for damages. Hence, it is recommended to ensure ABS sensors that not only give precise signals but also have longer threads for a cleaner interface with the wheels.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How long does a wheel bearing last?
Ans: On average, wheel bearings have an estimated lifespan of approximately 85 to 100 thousand miles. However, this rule of thumb doesn’t have to be true in every case. The actual lifespan of wheel bearings depends mostly on their quality and operating conditions.
Q: Is it possible to drive with a worn-out wheel bearing?
Ans: Well, it’s not impossible though the heat produced from such an action is likely to crash the wheel entirely. Nevertheless, if you drive at an extremely low speed, they might last a few hundred miles, but the replacement is unavoidable.
Q: Can I change a wheel bearing by myself?
Ans: You can save a few bucks by changing your wheel bearings by yourself instead of calling on a mechanic. However, remain cautious and only proceed if you have adequate mechanical understanding, as it is quite an intricate task.
Wrapping It Up
Driving with worn out wheel bearings is nothing less than performing a stunt that puts life at stake. And since none of us is a professional stuntman here, it will be better if we stick to making routine replacements of wheel bearings. Putting cautionary statements apart, let’s proceed hunting the best wheel bearing.
Amid the above list of ours, the 515036DA from Detroit Axle caught our attention because of its unique abrasion resistant ABS cord. With the help of this feature, it makes your vehicle withstand adverse conditions while driving.
Alternatively, if you’re low on budget, ECCPP FBA 051402D2 will indeed be an ideal choice. It will not only fit your budget but also reduce stress and vibrations of the wheels, delivering hassle-free rides. However, if you own a Polaris RZR or an equivalent vehicle, go for the Pola002-1 from Rocky Mountain Bearings.