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Car wheel hub assembly: failure symptoms and replacement

Wheel hubs are vehicle components mounted on the drive shaft, connected directly to the brake disc and located in the centre of the wheel. They rotate around the axle, which is connected to two bearings. Their primary function is to provide the rigid wheel journal with a rotating joint. In a sense, they act as the interface between the wheels and the body. These components are extremely robust and designed to withstand extreme loads. As a result, damage only occurs in the event of severe mechanical impact or accident. The wheel hubs are either cast steel or forged, the latter being much stronger. Does all this sound interesting? If so, read on, because in this article we will answer some FAQs about wheel hubs.

What is the service life of a wheel hub?

Wheel hubs have a long life in themselves, and how long they last depends largely on how much they are used. The average life is between 84,000 and 100,000 miles. As front-wheel hubs wear more quickly than rear-wheel hubs, they need to be replaced sooner, even if they are fitted at the same time. A worn hub can be recognised by noises and vibrations coming from the direction of the component when driving.

Other symptoms include uneven tyre wear or leaking lubricant. To check the wheel hubs on the front or rear axle, raise the car with a lifting platform or jack. Then check to see if it can be moved back and forth easily. If it does, there is probably a problem with the hub. If you notice that it has become dirty or rusty, you can solve this with a quality car rust remover spray.

wheel hub

When does a wheel hub need replacing?

As they are extremely resilient, replacement is usually only necessary in the event of accidental damage or failure due to a material defect. In any case, you should act quickly, as a small crack can quickly turn into a complete break. If this happens while you are driving, the consequences can be catastrophic, as the wheel can come loose from the vehicle. In such situations, it is extremely difficult to control the movement of the car, which can often lead to a serious accident.

In any case, when it comes to car parts, it is advisable not to fall back on just any model. After all, wheel hubs are safety-relevant, which is why counterfeits are a big risk therefore if you own a Corolla, you should get a Toyota Corolla wheel hub. However, this does not mean that you always have to use original parts. In fact, it is not always necessary to buy original parts. After all, they may no longer be produced for certain makes and models of cars.

What is the best way to remove a hub?

Old wheel hubs are best removed with the wheel mounted. Once the cap has been removed, the locknut can be loosened with a suitable special wrench. The wheel can then be lifted. It is essential to secure it with an undercarriage block. If the wheel is removed first, it is important to secure the wheel hub to prevent the propeller shaft from turning. If you need more detailed information, you can find it in our article Wheel fasteners: how to install them properly.

How much does a wheel hub cost?

The wheel hub price usually starts at around £13 and is part of a wheel bearing kit. It’s definitely worthwhile to purchase your own part and bring it to a trusted mechanic as this may reduce the cost of replacement, which ranges between £170–£250 depending on the make and model of your car.

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SKF VKBA 3643 Wheel bearing kit with integrated ABS sensor
Parts Details
  • Supplementary Article / Supplementary Info Info 2: with integrated ABS sensor
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Article number: R154.54
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RRP is the recommended retail price set by the manufacturer or importer of the product and provided by the manufacturer, supplier or retailer. AUTODOC displays the RRP (VAT incl.) for a product if it has been received from at least one supplier or another source that has such information.

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METZGER N 3500 Wheel Hub 4, Front Axle Left, Front Axle Right
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RRP is the recommended retail price set by the manufacturer or importer of the product and provided by the manufacturer, supplier or retailer. AUTODOC displays the RRP (VAT incl.) for a product if it has been received from at least one supplier or another source that has such information.

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  • FAG: Wheel bearing kit
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FAG Wheel bearing kit
Article number: 713 6106 10
RRP

RRP is the recommended retail price set by the manufacturer or importer of the product and provided by the manufacturer, supplier or retailer. AUTODOC displays the RRP (VAT incl.) for a product if it has been received from at least one supplier or another source that has such information.

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