Wheel bearings turn at high speed. A good quality wheel bearing has a very refined design. The design allows for minimal friction and maximum longevity. Yet, using the best wheel bearing grease is always necessary.
Wheel bearing grease provides lubrication and prevents corrosion. The bearing and the areas around it can rust without wheel bearing grease. That will affect the bearing’s performance.
Benefit of Grease
Wheel bearings carry out two important jobs in your vehicle. They allow the wheel to rotate freely and with hardly any friction, and they have to support the vehicle’s weight. Over many thousands of miles, they have to withstand mighty forces. To do this job properly, they must be in perfect condition. Therefore, they must be packed with heavy grease. The purpose of the grease is to lubricate them and protect them. A seal is provided around the bearing, which is there to keep the grease in and water and other contamination out.
If the grease is not there or becomes contaminated, it will not provide lubrication, and there will be friction between the wheel and the bearings. If there is no grease, the wheel bearings will start to rust and break down. Ultimately the wheel will not be able to turn at all. An initial problem indicator will be an unusual noise that sounds like chirping or rumbling. Some wheel-bearing assemblies are entirely sealed, and you cannot apply more grease yourself. All you can do is replace the whole unit. However, if it is not sealed, you need to remove and clean the bearings and pack them again with fresh grease. Don’t forget that the wheel bearings on trailers also need to be serviced and trailer bearing grease applied when required. If wheel bearings fail, the wheel could come away from the vehicle, which is very dangerous. Wheel bearings that are not adequately lubricated will not allow the vehicle wheels to spin quickly and evenly because there will be too much friction. This causes excessive and uneven wear on the tires and may damage other parts of the hub assembly.
Here’s what you should consider when choosing the best wheel-bearing grease.
- Is it water-resistant? Water resistance indicates the grease’s ability to form a protective sheet to shield the wheel bearings against water and moisture. This is usually related to the oil content of the grease. Greases used in marine environments must be very water-resistant. This allows them to protect metal parts from becoming corroded. So they last longer. Saltwater is a particular danger when it comes to corrosion.
- Will it withstand the extremes of temperature? Often you will see the temperature range of the grease stated on the container it is supplied in. Beyond this stated range, the grease loses structure and breaks down. It no longer supplies lubrication or protection. Temperatures can get very high on the wheels of a motor vehicle, so look out for grease with a wide operating temperature range. Lithium greases are known for having a wide operating temperature range.
Appropriate maintenance of the wheel bearing using grease is essential to curtail friction and prevent abrasive particles from engraving the surface of the bearings. Deficient or inadequate wheel bearing lubrication poses a significant threat to humanity. Friction from lack of proper upkeep can cause the bearings to seize up and lock the wheel.