The wheel bearings in your Lada serve a crucial role in supporting the weight of the vehicle and enabling the wheels to turn smoothly. Over time, wear and corrosion can cause the bearings to fail, resulting in noises, vibrations and impaired handling. Upgrading to a high-quality wheel bearing kit can help restore like-new performance.
How Wheel Bearings Work?
Wheel bearings are comprised of inner and outer races with rolling elements in between. The inner race fits into the hub while the outer race sits in the knuckle arm. Ball bearings or tapered roller bearings act as the rolling elements that allow the two races to rotate relative to each other.
By permitting free rotation between the wheel hub and steering knuckle, the bearing assembly performs three essential functions:
- It allows the wheels to turn for steering
- It absorbs impacts from road irregularities
- It transmits loads from the wheels to the suspension and frame
Signs Your Wheel Bearings Need Replacing
Over time, wear, corrosion and lack of lubrication cause wheel bearings to degrade. Common signs that your wheel bearings need replacing include:
- Abnormal noises – Clunking, humming or squealing sounds coming from the wheels is a telltale sign of worn bearings.
- Steering wheel vibration – Loose or faulty bearings can no longer dampen vibrations, resulting in a shaking steering wheel.
- Pulling to one side – Uneven wear of the inner and outer bearing races can cause the vehicle to veer or pull to one side.
- Rough ride quality – Degraded bearings perform poorly at absorbing impacts, leading to a firmer, less comfortable ride.
- Excess play and looseness – When bearings develop looseness within their races, replacement becomes necessary.
The Benefits Of An Upgraded Wheel Bearing Kit
When it’s time to replace worn wheel bearings, upgrading to a premium aftermarket kit can offer benefits like:
- Stronger materials: Bearings manufactured with premium-grade steel and alloys last longer due to their increased strength.
- Improved seals: Upgraded rubber seals and metal shields provide better protection against water, dirt and corrosion.
- Smoother bearing operation: Precision engineering and tighter tolerances result in quieter and more consistent bearing performance.
- Reduced friction: Premium bearing materials experience less friction, extending the lifespan of parts.
- Enhanced damping: An optimized design more efficiently absorbs impacts and dampens vibrations.
- Complete kits: Premium kits include all required components like new inner and outer bearing races, rolling elements, seals, hardware and accessories for easy installation.
By upgrading to a reputable wheel bearing kit, Lada drivers can restore – and potentially exceed – the handling, comfort and durability their vehicles delivered when new. Proper installation using the correct tools and procedures is key to ensure the bearings function optimally and outweigh any potential cost premium versus OEM replacements.
Difference Between Lada Tensioner Pulley Bearing And Wheel Bearings?
Tensioner pulley bearings and wheel bearings have some similarities but also key differences:
Similarities For Both Of Two Bearings:
- They are both types of rolling element bearings
- They use similar bearing designs with inner and outer races and rolling elements (balls or rollers)
Differences Between Tensioner Pulley And Wheel Bearings:
- Tensioner pulley bearings allow the tensioner pulley to pivot and maintain proper tension on the timing belt or chain.
- Wheel bearings allow the wheel and hub assembly to rotate freely on the steering knuckle for steering and suspension functions.
- Tensioner pulley bearings experience mostly axial loads from the tensioner spring and tension on the timing belt.
- Wheel bearings experience radial loads from the weight of the vehicle as well as axial loads from brake torque and acceleration/deceleration.