MINI’s are the gold standard for customized styles, punchy engine performance, and enviable agility. The MINI combines design, performance, and fun with sensitive steering and quick-functioning brakes. It is natural for MINI’s to have problems with wear and tear because they are used to fast stops and sharp corners. Wheel bearings are a common source of this problem.
Damaged wheel bearings are one of the most prevalent MINI issues we see in our shop. While the problem may not appear to be a major issue, there is an increased risk of harm if the problem is left unattended for a long period.
You must safeguard your wheel bearings from further damage whenever they get faulty to ensure your safety on the road and avoid putting yourself and other road users at risk. This article will discuss the function of the wheel bearing, the signs of a bad wheel bearing, and why it gets damaged.
Specifics of the Wheel Bearings
The wheel bearing is a collection of ball bearings that allows a wheel to rotate freely. The bearing fits firmly into the hub of each wheel, and while it can resist much wear, any one of your four wheel bearings may get severely damaged by heat and water.
Although most wheel bearings may last 100,000 miles, if properly fitted and maintained, wheel carelessness, accidents, or broken seals can accelerate its wear. Whenever you notice that your wheel bearing is damaged, it is crucial to have them fixed. Failure to do so may result in more damage to your drive axle, as well as the entire detachment of your wheel while driving.
Symptoms of Bad Wheel Bearings
- Unusual sounds: Bad wheel bearings may produce a wide range of unusual noises, so pay attention to anything you hear. If your wheel bearing is faulty, you may hear humming, screaming, squeaking, growling, clicking, snapping, popping, clunking, or banging When you turn, accelerate, or switch between gears, you may hear these noises. If you suspect your MINI is having problems with a wheel bearing, it is best to report them to your mechanic for quick repairs.
- Pulling when brakes are applied: If your MINI occasionally pulls to one side whenever you apply the brakes, this is another indicator of a faulty bearing.
- Vibrating steering wheel: Another indicator of faulty wheel bearings is a vibrating steering wheel. Typically, the issue manifests itself at a slower pace and worsens as the vehicle speeds up. If the vibrations occur at high speeds, a tire-balancing issue likely exists.
- Grinding: It’s not a good sign if your vehicle makes grinding sounds while you’re driving. This might indicate that your wheel’s mechanism is already damaged. Your wheel bearings likely are to blame if you experience this while shifting gears or turning your car.
- Unevenly worn tires: Your tires may wear out unevenly and need to be changed sooner if one wheel bearing is missing or damaged.
Causes of Faulty Wheel Bearings
- Driving in Water: The wheel bearings are exposed to moisture when driving through a flood, and the lubrication wears down. If your wheel bearing has been exposed to excess water, it is advisable to replace the entire wheel bearing. This is one of the difficulties your bearings encounter that threatens the longevity of these bearings, so you must exercise extreme caution.
- Bad Roads: The bearings absorb the brunt of the load and a bumpy and rough ride. All these factors damage the bearings over time. When you drive over road imperfections, the ball of the bearings is driven out, causing minor damage to the wheel bearings.
- Wrong Installation: If a wheel bearing has recently been changed or repaired and noise detected, the wheel bearings may have been damaged or fitted incorrectly during installation. It’s also possible that the manufacturer’s advice was neglected.
Seek Professional Help for Your MINI Wheel Bearing Issues
To avoid putting yourself and other road users at risk, it is best to seek professional help whenever you notice a fault with one of your four wheel bearings. This is why it is important to take proper care of your car and preserve its performance by conducting regular repairs and maintenance.
At Tanner Motors, we have the expertise and equipment to deliver accurate and quality services, no matter how big or small. We take pride in working on your MINI Cooper, Volvo, BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, and Audi vehicles. We are located in Phoenix, AZ, and we have been providing premium repair services to the drivers in the area.