Top Factors to Consider When Shopping for Wheel Hub Assemblies

As a big-time road traveller and gear head, I spend a lot of money on my car making sure it’s running properly so it doesn’t leave me stranded in the middle of my travels. A couple of weeks ago, I had to replace a rear hub, so naturally, the first place I looked was Amazon. I ordered what I thought would be the perfect replacement, only for the branded hubs I received to be fake Chinese ripoffs. On top of it all, the hubs weren’t the appropriate size, so all my money went to waste. The internet is flooded with fake products, especially on websites like eBay and Amazon, which is why you should avoid buying such parts from there unless the brand themselves sell products there, but even then, it can be difficult to separate the real from the fake ones.

rear wheel bearing

Some of the best front and rear hub manufacturers around the world are OTC, ECCPP, MOOG, Kelpro and Dorman. And while you’ll probably find a fair amount of quality hub assemblies from less-known brands, consciously choosing a product from a reliable manufacturer is better than risking it and making the same mistake I did. The best way to get an idea of which brands are good and which ones aren’t is to do your due diligence about the manufacturers and read reviews by previous customers. Besides that, there are a couple of factors that define every product, and wheel hub assemblies are no different. Here are some of the factors you should consider when shopping.

Compatibility

The car-making industry is what it is today due to versatility. Every car model has several different makes, so there are also several different models of hub assemblies. Read the specification list carefully and see whether the front or rear wheel bearing assembly is compatible with your specific model, make and year of the vehicle. Alternatively, you can look at the measurements provided, but for that, you’ll need to know the size of the hub assembly your vehicle already uses to ensure compatibility.

Authenticity

How and where the hub assembly is manufactured is key to how it performs. With that said, knowing this will help you figure out where the item can be sourced and how easily it can be replaced or fixed in case it gets damaged or worn down. As aforementioned, do your due diligence and research the brand or vendor you’re buying from, and make sure they offer proper support if you need it.

rear wheel bearing and hub assembly

Cost of Replacement

Replacing your front or rear hub assembly can cost you a few hundred dollars for the replacement hub assembly, plus labour costs. While you can do the replacement yourself and save a hundred bucks, you shouldn’t take on this task if you’re not someone who knows their way around cars. You always want to get the best front or rear wheel bearing assembly that your money can afford, as that will save you money on replacement and repair costs down the road.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you know if you need to replace your hub assembly?

Well, there are a couple of symptoms that indicate that your bearings are failing. Most of the time, you’ll notice wheel wobbling and vibrations, which are usually associated with worn or damaged tyres or suspension, but they can sometimes indicate the loss of clamp or severe bearing damage. Another common symptom is hearing snapping, clicking or popping noises coming from the bearings, especially when making sharp turns. The last common symptom is abnormal pulling when you brake, which indicates work brakes, a defective calliper, warped rotors or severe bearing looseness.

rear wheel bearing and hub assembly

What’s the difference between 2 wheel and 4 wheel ABS?

ABS is an acronym for the anti-lock braking system, which prevents the wheels from skidding while you brake. In other words, this allows your car to maintain steering while stopping, as well as stop faster in general. In order to determine whether your vehicle has 2 or 4 wheel ABS, check the hubs for electrical connections. 2 wheel ABS feature electrical connections on one axle, whereas 4 wheel ABS has it on both axles.

How often should you replace your bearings?

Even though wheel bearings can be used for a long time period, how long exactly they can last can depend on your driving habits and the overall quality of the bearings. Despite their relatively long lifespan, you’ll need to maintain the hub bearings regularly by lubricating it. When you’re lubricating the bearings, you should do so using synthetic oils.

To conclude, the bearing hubs you pick for your car will play a crucial role in its optimum performance. Low-quality products will loosen your steering and wheel, whereas high-quality products provide a smoother and more reliable ride. Knowing what to look for and what questions to ask when shopping can help you make the right purchase.