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#4726033 - 04/13/18 06:14 PM Wheel Bearings Going Bad Just Sitting There?
willbur Offline


Registered: 06/06/13
Posts: 264
Loc: sw ohio
Greetings-
Had to replace a rear wheel bearing on my favorite garage queen with 20K miles (driven maybe 3k a year). Mechanic said it went bad because car was used infrequently- use it lose it. I think it was a manufacturing defect. One YouTube site actually showed how little grease was in these bearings.

Mechanic's diagnosis make sense? Opinions/thoughts welcome

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#4726040 - 04/13/18 06:30 PM Re: Wheel Bearings Going Bad Just Sitting There? [Re: willbur]
BrocLuno Offline


Registered: 09/06/15
Posts: 5226
Loc: Kalifornia Kollective
OK, so the rear end oil level is often below the bearing when sitting level. They get occasionally oiled when you turn or side hill, park on off camber, etc. Ball and roller bearings do not need a lot of oil. But they need a good residual film.

So I have to ask, did you use synthetic gear lube?

The reason I ask, is because many synthetics have a lower surface tension than dino oils. That is one reason they can go lower viscosity when cold like 5W w/o needing a ton of VII's. But, the downside to these lubes is they also have less ability to maintain capillary fill. They drain off quicker. There is a some residual film of course, but it may be thinner ...

Dino oils usually have a mix of constituents and these tend to up the surface tension and do a better job at capillary fill. So I usually use high quality dino oils for stuff that sits around a lot. Of course if it's wet because it's under the full line, there is no need. But for components that have "splash" lubrication, I think dino's are better for the long sitters smile


Edited by BrocLuno (04/13/18 06:31 PM)
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#4726045 - 04/13/18 06:33 PM Re: Wheel Bearings Going Bad Just Sitting There? [Re: willbur]
Reddy45 Offline


Registered: 08/15/08
Posts: 2745
Loc: USA
How exactly did the bearing fail? Rust or lack of lubrication?

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#4726047 - 04/13/18 06:34 PM Re: Wheel Bearings Going Bad Just Sitting There? [Re: willbur]
jhellwig Offline


Registered: 07/01/13
Posts: 1420
Loc: Ottumwa, Iowa
This is an issue in the industrial world but not in a car parked in a garage world.
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#4726052 - 04/13/18 06:35 PM Re: Wheel Bearings Going Bad Just Sitting There? [Re: willbur]
benjy Offline


Registered: 08/23/10
Posts: 740
Loc: pa
if its a GM product later model wheel bearing failures are often + common at low miles!! owners report replacements are just as bad + only last until warranty is gone!!

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#4726062 - 04/13/18 06:52 PM Re: Wheel Bearings Going Bad Just Sitting There? [Re: BrocLuno]
willbur Offline


Registered: 06/06/13
Posts: 264
Loc: sw ohio
Thank you Bronc-
I think we are talking about two different things. These bearings are sealed greased for life rear hub bearings. No oil or gear lube ever comes in contact. No oil to check...

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#4726064 - 04/13/18 06:54 PM Re: Wheel Bearings Going Bad Just Sitting There? [Re: Reddy45]
willbur Offline


Registered: 06/06/13
Posts: 264
Loc: sw ohio
Don't know. It's sealed. Just felt very rough and noisy when I spun it in my hand.

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#4726127 - 04/13/18 07:32 PM Re: Wheel Bearings Going Bad Just Sitting There? [Re: willbur]
Silk Online   content


Registered: 07/26/03
Posts: 4383
Loc: New Zealand
I get it every spring with boat trailer bearings. The customers moan that the bearings were replaced last year, there shouldn't be a problem. Yeah, but it's been sitting doing nothing for 6 months since you last put the boat in the water...rusting away...
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#4726132 - 04/13/18 07:36 PM Re: Wheel Bearings Going Bad Just Sitting There? [Re: willbur]
clinebarger Offline


Registered: 12/19/13
Posts: 1755
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Make & Model??
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#4726150 - 04/13/18 07:49 PM Re: Wheel Bearings Going Bad Just Sitting There? [Re: clinebarger]
willbur Offline


Registered: 06/06/13
Posts: 264
Loc: sw ohio
Originally Posted By: clinebarger
Make & Model??


Porsche 911

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#4726208 - 04/13/18 08:33 PM Re: Wheel Bearings Going Bad Just Sitting There? [Re: willbur]
Ducked Offline


Registered: 10/25/12
Posts: 4074
Loc: Taiwan
Originally Posted By: willbur
Originally Posted By: clinebarger
Make & Model??


Porsche 911


Hmm...not much GM-knocking mileage there then.

If I lived a bit closer, I'd offer to exercise it for you occaisionally.


Edited by Ducked (04/13/18 08:35 PM)

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#4726268 - 04/13/18 09:29 PM Re: Wheel Bearings Going Bad Just Sitting There? [Re: willbur]
Kestas Offline



Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 12222
Loc: The Motor City
Are you telling me it's a sealed bearing, and the mechanic made the diagnosis without taking the bearing apart?

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#4726316 - 04/13/18 10:33 PM Re: Wheel Bearings Going Bad Just Sitting There? [Re: willbur]
CR94 Offline


Registered: 03/20/16
Posts: 976
Loc: Western S.C. since 1996
Rust never sleeps.
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#4726338 - 04/13/18 11:18 PM Re: Wheel Bearings Going Bad Just Sitting There? [Re: willbur]
Dave9 Offline


Registered: 08/28/17
Posts: 147
Loc: Cincinnati, USA
It makes no sense at all with a vehicle driven 3K a year. The five possibilities I can think of at the moment are:

Junk Chinese bearing
Improper installation
Incorrect fastener torque
Brake dragging, excessive heat (but then brake problem is evident)
Wheel alignment off (but then tire wear problem is evident)


Get a different mechanic, he doesn't know squat if he thinks a sealed bearing driven 3K in a year needs driven more. If anything it would have worn out faster had it been driven more.

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#4726339 - 04/13/18 11:19 PM Re: Wheel Bearings Going Bad Just Sitting There? [Re: Ducked]
dishdude Offline


Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 8510
Loc: Phoenix
Originally Posted By: Ducked
Originally Posted By: willbur
Originally Posted By: clinebarger
Make & Model??


Porsche 911


Hmm...not much GM-knocking mileage there then.

If I lived a bit closer, I'd offer to exercise it for you occaisionally.


It's still GM's fault. Somehow. Everything is. ???
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