How To Check Rear Wheel Bearings On A Truck

By Nicholas Bourgeois

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Are you aware of the crucial role that rear wheel bearings play in your truck’s performance and safety? If the bearings become worn out or damaged, it can lead to severe problems that could compromise your security on the road.

It’s essential to know the signs of worn-out rear wheel bearings and how to check rear wheel bearings on a truck to avoid such risks. This article will supply a comprehensive guide on checking a truck’s rear wheel bearings.

From inspecting the bearings for wear and damage to replacing them, we’ll take you through a step-by-step process. You’ll learn how to identify any signs of wear or damage and how to take action to ensure that your truck is safe to move.

Take your time – read on to learn how to keep your truck’s rear wheel bearings in optimal condition and ensure you’re driving safely.

Key Takeaways

  • Regularly checking for signs of worn-out rear wheel bearings ensures maintenance and safety.
  •  Driving with worn-out rear wheel bearings can lead to compromised suspension systems, tire misalignment, instability, and increased fuel consumption and repair costs.
  •  Proper tools such as a jack, jack stands, torque wrench, pliers, and socket set are required for checking rear wheel bearings.
  •  Steps for checking rear wheel bearings include jacking up the truck, inspecting the bearing, reinstalling the wheel, and test-driving the vehicle to confirm proper functioning.

Signs of worn-out rear wheel bearings

Worn-out rear wheel bearings can be identified through tell-tale signs, including noise, vibration, and uneven tire wear.

The first sign of worn-out rear wheel bearings is a grinding or humming sound when the truck is in motion. This sound will become louder over time as the bearing wears down further.

When driving at higher speeds, an accompanying vibration may also be felt in the steering wheel or pedal area.

Lastly, uneven tire wear is one of the most common symptoms of worn-out rear wheel bearings. This problem occurs due to a decrease in balance caused by damaged bearings that create excessive friction on one side of the axle while allowing too much play on the other.

Thus, it is essential to check for these signs regularly to ensure proper maintenance and safety on the road.

The risks of driving with worn-out rear wheel bearings

Driving a vehicle with rear-wheel bearings no longer functioning can lead to dangerous accident
Driving a vehicle with rear-wheel bearings no longer functioning can lead to a dangerous accident

Driving a vehicle with rear-wheel bearings no longer functioning can lead to dangerous consequences. Without fully-functioning bearings, the suspension system will be compromised, and there may be increased noise when turning the steering wheel.

Furthermore, further damage may occur if not addressed promptly, such as tire misalignment or possible destruction of other parts of the suspension system. If any of these occur, it could cause an accident due to instability while driving or loss of control over the vehicle.

In addition, worn-out bearings can increase fuel consumption, resulting in higher costs for repairs and maintenance. In order to prevent such risks from occurring, it is essential to check regularly on the condition of bearings and replace them as needed.

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Tools Required for How To Check Rear Wheel Bearings On A Truck

Inspecting the condition of suspension components requires tools to identify any potential issues with rear wheel bearings. These tools include:

  • Jack: Used to lift the vehicle off the ground to gain access to the rear wheel bearings.
  •  Jack stands placed under the vehicle for safety while checking or replacing parts.
  •  Torque wrench: Used to tighten or loosen fasteners such as nuts and bolts on the rear wheel bearing assembly.
  •  Pliers: Necessary for gripping and manipulating components within tight spaces.
  •  Socket set: Required to access nuts and bolts stuck due to corrosion or rust build-up.

By using these essential tools, proper inspection and maintenance of rear wheel bearings can be easily accomplished.

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Step-by-Step Guide to Checking Rear Wheel Bearings

Remove the wheel and jack up the truck
Remove the wheel and jack up the truck

Conducting a thorough examination of the rear wheel bearings is essential for ensuring the safe and reliable operation of the vehicle. The process involves several steps that should be followed in a step-by-step manner:

  1. Remove the wheel and jack up the truck. 
  2.  Inspect the bearing for wear, play, noise, and heat. Look for any indications of damage or excessive wear, such as pitting or scoring on the bearing surfaces. Check for any looseness or play in the bearing by wiggling it with your hands. Listen for any unusual noises or grinding sounds when rotating the bearing. Also, feel for any excessive heat from the bearing, as this could indicate a problem.
  3.  Reinstall the wheel and torque it to the manufacturer’s specifications. A torque wrench tightens the lug nuts to the proper torque value. This step ensures the wheel is securely attached and will not loose while driving.

Finally, double-check all work before taking your truck back on the road. Make sure that everything is properly tightened and secured. Also, take the vehicle for a test drive to ensure the rear bearings function correctly. Following these steps, you can adequately check the rear wheel bearings and help ensure a smooth ride with maximum safety and performance.

How to Replace Rear Wheel Bearings

Replacing the rear wheel bearings involves several steps:

  1. Loosen the axle nut.
  2. Remove the hub assembly.
  3. Press out the old bearing. Install a new bearing and seal.
  4. Reassemble the hub assembly.

It is crucial to use high-quality replacement components. You will need specific tools such as a bearing puller, press, seal driver, torque wrench, or breaker bar. Following the torque specifications for the new bearings and seals is essential to ensure proper fitment and prevent damage. After installation, regularly inspect the bearings for wear or signs of deterioration to maintain optimal performance.

Tips for Maintaining Rear Wheel Bearings

Continuing from the previous subtopic, it is essential to note that replacing rear wheel bearings is not enough for optimal performance. Reasonable maintenance should be observed to ensure that the rear wheel bearings continue to function correctly and have a prolonged lifespan.

Keeping the rear wheel bearings clean and adequately lubricated are essential tips for maintaining them.

Additionally, it is recommended to service them at least every 30,000 miles or per the manufacturer’s instructions to keep them functioning optimally.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the common causes of rear wheel bearing wear?

Common causes of this part wear include lack of lubrication, improper installation, contamination by dirt or debris, and excessive heat.

How often should rear wheel bearings be checked?

It is necessary to check it at least once a year or more often if the vehicle is frequently used in off-road conditions. Regular checks help to identify any signs of wear or damage that may require service.

Is it possible to repair a worn-out rear wheel bearing?

It is possible to repair a worn-out rear wheel bearing, depending on the severity of wear. Generally, bearings can be replaced or repacked with fresh grease if necessary. A professional mechanic should evaluate the damage and recommend appropriate action.

What are the differences between front and rear wheel bearings?

Front-wheel bearings are typically single-row ball or tapered roller bearings, while rear-ones are usually double-row angular contact ball or tapered roller bearings. This difference is due to the more significant load on the rear wheels of a truck versus the front.

Are there any special safety procedures to follow when checking rear wheel bearings?

When checking bearings, safety must be a priority. It should follow special procedures to ensure complete the task safely and correctly. These may include wearing protective gear, using appropriate tools, and following manufacturer guidelines.


Rear wheel bearings are a critical component of a truck’s suspension system, helping to ensure smooth operation and reduce wear on other parts. If these bearings become worn out, it is essential to take the necessary steps to inspect and replace them as soon as possible.

How to check rear wheel bearings on a truck requires specific tools and should be done by the manufacturer’s instructions. Once inspected, if the bearings need replacing, it is recommended that they should be replaced with new components to ensure optimal performance and longevity of the truck’s suspension system.

Regular maintenance and inspection of rear bearings can help avert costly repairs in the future.

Nicholas Bourgeois is a lifelong pickup truck enthusiast with a passion for sharing his knowledge and expertise with others. From a young age, Nicholas has been fascinated by the versatility and reliability of pickup trucks, and has made it his mission to learn everything there is to know about these amazing vehicles. Through his pickup truck blog, Nicholas shares his insights and tips with fellow enthusiasts, offering advice on everything from maintenance and modifications to buying and selling pickup trucks. With a focus on providing accurate and up-to-date information, Nicholas is committed to helping others discover the joys of pickup truck ownership. Whether you're a seasoned pickup truck fan or just starting out, Nicholas welcomes you to his community, and invites you to join him on his journey of discovery and exploration of these amazing vehicles.

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