[Cars] When does a bad wheel bearing get real dangerous?

aScotiA
05-16-2005, 11:38 AM
So I drive a ****box 89 Sunbird. The RF wheel bearing has been going bad over the past few months, but I don't know exactly when to pull the plug and say it's not safe to drive it anymore. All it's done is make a humming noise at speeds >40mph. There doesn't seem to be any play in the tire, and the car doesn't shake or pull (much). I bought the car for $800 like 3 years ago, so I'm not going to drop the cash to get it fixed or fix it myself (if it's even possible as this point through the corrosion).

If you guys are lucky, maybe my wheel will fall off and I'll never post here again.

Project2501
05-16-2005, 11:39 AM
But your sig makes me lol :( Don't die.

Oenone
05-16-2005, 11:40 AM
A good indicator would be heat. If it is getting hot then dont drive it. Also jack the wheel up and see how much it moves in and out.

BigPappa
05-16-2005, 11:40 AM
the longer you let it go the more damage its going to do and cost you more money.

TonyElTigre
05-16-2005, 11:40 AM
if the tire starts to move its ****ed, the bearing will eat out the spindle and slip the wheel clean off. Sounds like it isnt too bad if you just keep you eyes open in parts traders or junkyards you could find a used spindle.

DocHolliday
05-16-2005, 11:41 AM
It gets dangerous when the heat builds up so bad the rollers start melting. Its also possible to melt the inner and outer ring of the bearing so when it cools it fuses together thus not allowing your wheel to spin. Its not pretty.

Fix it now.

aScotiA
05-16-2005, 11:42 AM
the longer you let it go the more damage its going to do and cost you more money.The point is, I don't care. This car's on its last legs anyway. I'm gonna get a new one when I recieve an inheritence sometime this year.

I was an automotive student for a year but decided not to continue it. I have a few connections at local shops and can probably get it looked at for free or very cheap. I only have ramps that I use for oil changes and other misc things, don't have a real jack ATM unfortunately.

-]DoW[-RedDeath
05-16-2005, 11:43 AM
yeah, when a wheel bearing goes out big time, it tends to gall up and sieze in the race, causing the race to spin. that's a really, really bad thing to happen, because genenerally you'll have to replace whatever the race was seated in(like the entire hub)

BigPappa
05-16-2005, 11:44 AM
well just drive the damn thing until it breaks then, its not like you are going to die unless you are going over 45mph

nSpectre
05-16-2005, 11:46 AM
Holy ****, replacing a wheel bearing is one of the simplest and cheapest things you can do.

Here's what'll happen if you don't... it'll overheat so bad that it will weld itself to the spindle. You'll know this when you're tooling along and it starts making a screaming noise and you smell and see smoke. You'll pull to the side of the road and find it glowing red hot. You'll get towed home.

Then, to fix it you'll be looking at replacing the ENTIRE assembly. We're talking upper and lower A-arms, drum or disk brake assembly, spindle, the works. I hope you know how to use a picklefork. :D

DeathMonk
05-16-2005, 11:52 AM
the least you could do is repack it.

aScotiA
05-16-2005, 12:18 PM
Holy ****, replacing a wheel bearing is one of the simplest and cheapest things you can do.

Here's what'll happen if you don't... it'll overheat so bad that it will weld itself to the spindle. You'll know this when you're tooling along and it starts making a screaming noise and you smell and see smoke. You'll pull to the side of the road and find it glowing red hot. You'll get towed home.

Then, to fix it you'll be looking at replacing the ENTIRE assembly. We're talking upper and lower A-arms, drum or disk brake assembly, spindle, the works. I hope you know how to use a picklefork. :DIn my experience, it's not very easy... at least on the vehicles I've done it on. Keep in mind, my car is 16-17 years old... my frigging rotors might not even come off.

Keeper
05-16-2005, 12:52 PM
So I drive a ****box 89 Sunbird. The RF wheel bearing has been going bad over the past few months, but I don't know exactly when to pull the plug and say it's not safe to drive it anymore. All it's done is make a humming noise at speeds >40mph. There doesn't seem to be any play in the tire, and the car doesn't shake or pull (much). I bought the car for $800 like 3 years ago, so I'm not going to drop the cash to get it fixed or fix it myself (if it's even possible as this point through the corrosion).

If you guys are lucky, maybe my wheel will fall off and I'll never post here again.

Short answer would be "When it catches on FIRE"

Had this happen to me in my 68 Camero. Damn grease cap fell off and all the grease flew out. (Was on I-75 when it happened) Stopped at a rest stop to see my front wheel on fire. Not a cool thing to see.

After I got it to the shop had to replace the whole spindle assembly. Luckily I caught it before the whole wheel fell off.

Fix it as soon as you can. A bearing should cost about $120 + installation

JuggerNaught
05-16-2005, 01:00 PM
like BP said, the longer you drive it, the more its going to **** it up. A wheel bearing is only about 10 bucks, replacing it is like a 2-3 hour job if you have all the tools. if you let it go, then it goes from just replacing a bearing, to replacing a bearing and a bearing race..what the bearing rides in. If you keep letting it go, then it turns into replacing a bearing, bearing race and a rotor, after that then youre up to all the above plus a spindle, and when it gets that bad, you run a good chance of driving down the road one day, the bearing litterally getting so hot it welds itself solid and that tire locking up or possibly shearing off

iNVAR
05-16-2005, 01:23 PM
don't listen to these idiots. just keep driving it. :brows: