Being a responsible driver is far more than making sure you obey the rules of the road. It’s about knowing the vehicle you drive, giving it the care it needs, as well as knowing when something’s wrong. However, you don’t need to have the knowledge of an expert mechanic.
Instead, you just need to be aware of some of the basic warning signs of common motoring issues. A common issue that Dodge trucks can develop is wheel bearing problems. Let’s take a closer look at this part and learn how and why it fails and when you should seek a replacement.
The Purpose of Wheel Bearings
Wheel bearings are important pieces of the collective parts that make up a wheel assembly. They are needed to connect the wheel to the car’s axle. It’s quite a simple part, with either ball bearings or tapered bearings encased in a metal ring. However, the wheel bearings have an essential role to play.
The purpose of the wheel bearings is to make sure that the wheel can rotate easily with no friction. The bearing is able to take on the hefty radial and axial loads created by factors such as gravity, accelerating, braking, and cornering. Because they have such a vital role when they start to fail, wheel bearings must be replaced as soon as you notice deterioration.
Wheel Bearing LifeSpan
Wheel bearings are hardy parts, which means they have a fairly long lifespan of up to 100,000 miles. Of course, as with any car part, this estimate can be reduced or extended depending on how you drive your Dodge and the quality of the part which has been installed in your vehicle.
The Causes of Wheel Bearing Failure
There are 5 key reasons why your wheel bearing may fail prematurely. Some of these are due to unfortunate flukes, while other causes can be the direct result of driver action. Let’s take a look at those below:
1. Bad Installation
If the wheel bearings have been poorly installed, then they probably won’t last their full life span. The use of hammers or impact wrenches when installing the wheel can impact greatly upon the bearing. Shoddy practices, such as recycling bolts or nuts, will also affect your wheel bearing and can put you at greater risk of accidents. This is why it’s so vital to only take your Dodge to licensed specialists.
2. Impacts and Bad Roads
Anything that jars your wheels, such as rocky terrain or potholes, will exert strain upon the wheel bearings. The same can be said for frequently driving upon poorly-maintained roads.
3. Aftermarket or Low-quality Parts
While aftermarket or cheaper parts are great to save money, they will directly impact the performance of your Dodge and can cost more to fix down the line, not to mention the safety risk that they can pose. Like with anything in life, items of a lower quality tend not to last as long as those of premium quality.
4. Driving Conditions
Like with any possession, how you treat your belongings will affect how long they work as intended. If you beat up your phone, for example, by constantly dropping it or putting it in your pocket with your keys, you can expect it to become damaged quickly. The same can be said for your Dodge. Driving off-road, on rocky terrain, through mud, or though water can cause the wheel bearings to deteriorate faster.
5. Dodge Modifications
Modifying your car can give you great cosmetic and performance benefits, but they can also take a toll upon your vehicle. Modifications which put increased loads upon the wheel bearing are wider rims or stiffened shock absorbers. These will affect the lifespan of the wheel bearings.
Warning Signs of Bad Wheel Bearings
Bad wheel bearings dramatically reduce the safety of your Dodge, as they are responsible for keeping your wheels attached to your car. Therefore, if you notice any of the following, you need to act swiftly:
- humming noises which get louder when turning or increasing speed
- grinding noises when driving
- clunking sounds when driving over bumps or dips
- vague steering
- a vibrating steering wheel
- ABS Malfunction
You Can Rely on Diesel Pickup Pros
At Diesel Pickup Pros, we know the stress that part failure can place upon a driver. That’s why our team of experts strives to take the stress and worry out of automotive repair. You can rest easy knowing that your hard-working pickup is in safe hands, as we’re ASE certified as well as Chrysler, Ford, & GM Certified, and are factory trained and experienced. We have the expertise to repair, replace, and maintain your Dodge truck quickly and efficiently. So, for automotive repair you can rely on, call our customer service team today. We proudly serve the communities of Floyds Knobs, Georgetown, Jeffersonville, New Albany, IN and Louisville, KY.