Toyota, Lexus, Scion: Axel Bearings/Wheel Bearings
Toyota, Lexus, Scion: Axel Bearings/Wheel Bearings The axle bearings allow the wheels to turn freely while bearing the weight of the car and to maintain proper alignment while going through all the stresses of cornering.
When they get worn, they commonly will make a harsh, growly noise while moving. When you turn to either direction, the weight of the car shifts so that more of it is on the outer wheels and less weight is on the inner wheels.
This often causes the tone to change, which can help diagnose whether the noise is in fact an axle bearing or not, and can often (but not always) indicate on which side of the vehicle the bad bearing is. On rear wheel drive cars, sometimes the noise of a bad rear wheel bearing will be dampened while braking.
On rear wheel drive cars with a solid axle housing, a bad axle bearing will eventually allow differential oil to leak past the axle seal and foul the brake shoes, with the result that the brakes will have to be replaced as well. If a rear axle bearing goes bad enough, it can also result in the brake drum making constant contact with the brake shoes and ruining them with excessive heat resulting in brake failure.
Front axle bearings can allow the wheel to lay over a little so that it’s constantly rubbing against the brakes and can heat them up so much that it ruins the brake caliper and causes brake failure.
On front-wheel-drive cars, sometimes the rolling portion of the bearings are still good, but where the inner bearing race presses into the wheel hub can get worn and loose, resulting in extra play in the wheel. This extra play can result in the rotors rubbing excessively on the brake pads and cause damage the brakes due to excessive heat. Sometimes this can run quietly. In other circumstances it will make a cyclic harsh squeaking noise.
In order to minimize cost of any of the above repairs, it’s best to take care of them sooner rather than later. Left unrepaired, bad axle bearings will eventually damage related components that are critical to your safety. See personal note under General discussion of service and repair issues to keep in mindheading, and make an appointment with one of our Toyota mechanics today.
Certified Independent Toyota, Lexus & Scion automotive service and repair specialists serving PDX, Portland, Fairview, Forest Grove, Gladstone, Gresham, Happy Valley, Johnson City, Beaverton, Clackamas, Oregon City, Fairview, Wood Village, Maywood Park, Milwaukie, Oak Grove, Troutdale.