How to Check a Wheel Bearing (Sound, play in the wheel, ABS light)

hey guys chrisfix here and today I'm

going to show you the three methods to

check your wheel bearing to see if it's

bad you can check the wheel bearing by

listening to it by physically shaking

the tire to feel for any play and by

checking your car's computer if you have

a newer car let's do the first test and

listen to the wheel bearing this is what

a bad wheel bearing sounds like

it typically gets louder the faster you

go and it makes a howling noise almost

like there's a lot of wind noise or tire

noise more than normal

here's how the exact same car sounds at

the same speed with a good bearing and

then here's the bad bearing and here's

the good bearing so you can really hear

the difference

this is the most popular way to know if

a bearings going bad and you can even

tell which ones going bad in this case

the driver's side front bearing you can

just hear the location that the noise is

coming from and it's a very noticeable

noise so while you're driving you're

definitely going to hear now let's go to

the next step and physically check the

wheel bearing by shaking the tire to do

the second test we need to Jack the car

up so with the vehicle safely supported

on jack stands and I use the jack as

extra protection and with the rear tires

blocked off so the car won't roll we

could go check out the front wheel

bearing and make sure that is our

problem so what we're going to do is

we're going to grab the tire at the

three and nine o'clock positions we're

going to shake it back and forth and you

can see right there you see that little

play yeah I can actually feel it and

almost hear it

like a little click and that's a bad

wheel bearing now to verify that that's

a bad wheel bearing and not a bad tire

rod all you do is you grab the 12 and 6

o'clock positions and you do the same

thing now when you're doing this you

need to make sure that your vehicle is

jacked up you have blocks on the rear

wheels and that you're on jack stands

because you're going to put your hand

underneath the tire and shake the

vehicle you don't want the vehicle

falling on your hand make sure it's

stable before you do this I could

actually hear that so it's even more

pronounced the up and down position so

because we have play in both directions

we know it's not a tie rod problem or

even a ball joint problem but to verify

let's take a look behind the tire so I'm

going to move the tire back and forth

and we want to make sure there's no

movement in this tie rod the lower ball

joint or the upper ball joint so you can

hear right there and you can see the

tire moving back and forth but as that's

clicking this isn't moving the bottom

ball joint isn't moving and the top ball

joint up here isn't moving so it has to

be the wheel bearing now remember not

all bad wheel bearings will have a play

or it might not be noticeable here's a

bad wheel bearing assembly that are

replaced on a Pontiac g8 and you can see

when I move back and forth there's no

play I'm trying to separate the bearing

like if we're shaking the tire but

there's no movement here it's solid but

it feels gritty it doesn't feel smooth

and let me put this up to the mic so you

could hear it

you could really hear the grittiness now

here's the Pontiac g8 with a bad front

driver's side bearing I want you to hear

the bad bearing and how gritty it sounds

you already heard it off the car but

listen to this

and in this case just to show you

there's no play when we try to shake the

tire yet this bearing was bad so just

keep that in mind okay so we saw the

first test where you listen the second

test where you feel now let's check out

this third test where you actually use

an obd to scanner in this case I'm using

a Bluetooth one it plugs right in and

this gives you information now this only

works on newer vehicles and it's not

going to work on every newer vehicle but

any vehicle that uses an ABS sensor in

the wheel hub bearing and it detects a

problem with that ABS sensor it's going

to tell you if the wheel bearing is bad

or not I definitely say that this last

test the check the wheel bearing is a

lot less common but if you're getting an

ABS light this is a potential way to

check the wheel bearing so I had to

include it got a love technology

sometimes so you can see the ABS and

traction control lights are on as well

as that little wrench in the information

center so I'm going to go scan the

computer real quick and it'll get the

exact codes and will verify that the

front driver side wheel bearing is no

good so I'm going to hit the read codes

button I'm going to do an all system

module check and we'll let that go and

see what codes we get okay so we have a

few codes we want to check out first one

code see one two three three you can see

the frequently reported fix is to

replace the left front wheel bearing

assembly check out this other one see

one one five five left wheel bearing

assembly replacement again so using a

scan tool and more advanced vehicles is

a possible method to check the wheel

bearing in this case since the ABS is

built into the wheel bearing and the ABS

is no longer functioning it's going to

let you know when the wheel bearings bed

so there you go those are three methods

I have for checking the wheel bearing in

your vehicle first method of listening

for your wheel bearing while you drive

and the second method of moving your

wheel around to feel for any play while

the car is jacked up in the air both of

those methods work for any car and any

wheel bearing it could be the front

wheel bearing or the rear wheel bearing

and then the third test is good for some

vehicles when you get an ABS light and

you think your wheel bearing might be

bad hopefully this video is helpful if

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button as always if you have any

questions about your wheel bearing just

leave it in the comments section below

and I'll get back to you