Best Wheel Bearing Hub Assemblies: Boost Safety and Performance

Buying a good one means you won’t need to do this job again for a long time.

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Best Wheel Bearing Hub Assemblies: Boost Safety and Performance © Best Wheel Bearing Hub Assemblies: Boost Safety and Performance

When a wheel bearing goes, you'll feel the need to throw the whole dang car away. At least, that's the case here in the rust belt, where nature loves welding crappy parts on so well that removal almost isn’t an option. To add a little spice to stress levels, wheel bearings have an incredibly important job. So between all the bashing, smashing, and pressing, you need to make sure you're taking your time to do things the right way. 

Sorry to start off on such a negative note. The point is that this is not the kind of job you want to do twice. A big part of making sure you don't have to is buying quality parts in the first place, which you've come to the right place for help with. 

Summary List 

Best Overall: Timken Bearing and Hub Assembly

Best Value: Detroit Wheel Bearing & Hub Assembly

Honorable Mention: Moog Wheel Bearing and Hub Assembly 

Best OE Replacement: ACDelco Original Equipment Front Wheel Hub and Bearing Assembly

Best Kit: Detroit Axle Front CV Axle and Wheel Bearing Hub Replacement

Our Methodology

Wheel bearing hub assemblies aren't the kind of thing you want to spend a lot of time with. Therefore, any wrench slinger quickly learns what the best names in the business are along with the best practices. Between hands-on experience in our personal lives and plenty of research, we are able to produce a buying guide we're sure will serve the general public well. 

Best Wheel Bearing Hub Assemblies Reviews & Recommendations

Our Verdict

Again, the Timken Bearing and Hub Assembly takes our top pick. Personal experience shows Timken to be the name to call on whenever bearings are needed. However, the Detroit Wheel Bearing & Hub Assembly is representative of a solid value option for many applications.

Things to Consider Before Buying Wheel Bearing Hub

Wheel bearing selection, though simple, is incredibly important. It's something you want to take your time with and get right. Don't let it intimidate you, though. These few simple tips are all you need to nail it. 

Key Features 

Application Compatibility 

Wheel bearing hub assemblies are an application-specific item. That's good news, as it means 90% of the work you need to do is simply making sure whatever you're considering is a direct match to your car. Make sure you take your time and go through all of the details, though. If you're working with a truck, make sure you match the drive-type, double-check if you need ABS sensors on all applications, and so on. The last thing you want is to realize you made a mistake when the old wheel bearing is sitting in your lap. 

Quality Construction

Let someone else tell you from experience how frustrating it is to go through all the work of replacing a wheel bearing just to have the new one fail in a few months. That's not something you need to experience firsthand. Take your time during installation and spend a little more on the better brands. They use far better materials and employ better standards for production, resulting in products you can trust to last a long time. This is truly one of those areas where spending less upfront will cost you more in the long run. 

Warranty

Sometimes, even the best manufacturers get it wrong. You need to protect yourself from situations when they do, even if it rarely happens. Making sure you buy a wheel bearing assembly with a good warranty and go with a manufacturer with a good reputation honoring warranties can save you big headaches down the road.

Wheel Bearing Hub Pricing 

Wheel bearing hub assembly prices are highly dependent on the application. For some 2WD vehicles, $80-$100 is about average, whereas a big 4WD truck might have hub assemblies listed for $120-$150 or more. Therefore, it's hard to say what you can expect to pay. The only valuable bit of advice to provide here is that wheel bearings that list for half of what the majority do are not to be trusted. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't shop around for the best price on the good stuff. Just don't waste your money on the really cheap offerings, as you will be replacing it shortly. 

FAQs 

You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.

Q. Can I change a wheel bearing hub assembly at home? 

A: Yes. However, it can be difficult to remove the old assembly if it has seized in place, which is common on older applications and in the northern parts of the country. At which point, hours of work and special steps may be required. 

Q: How do I know if my wheel bearing assembly needs replacing?

A: Wheel bearings can make a lot of strange sounds. Everything from grinding to sounding like a spaceship is possible. If you hear a noise you suspect is a wheel bearing, jacking the car up and checking for play in the assembly can confirm the problem. 

Q: How often should I replace my wheel bearings?

A: 85,000 to 100,000 miles is about what you can expect from wheel bearings. However, there's a lot of room for play in that life expectancy. Driving habits, maintenance and upkeep, and the environment the car lives in can all change how long you should expect wheel bearings to last. 

Q: Why should I replace my wheel bearing hub?

A:  Bad wheel bearings cause all kinds of issues from uneven tire wear and brake problems to failure to keep the wheel mounted on the vehicle. They’re incredibly important and should be kept up with accordingly. 

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