How Much Do Wheel Bearings Cost?

Written by: Staff

Wheel bearings, which are a set of steel balls held together by a metal ring, are a crucial part of an automobile’s suspension because it allows the wheel to rotate freely as a car travels down the road.  Every car will have four wheel bearings located at each wheel.  If this bearing were to fail, the wheels, as well as the steering wheel, will begin to shake, making for an unsmooth ride.  As soon as you feel anything starting to shake, it’s important to bring it to a mechanic to get the problem fixed as soon as possible.  Other symptoms may include a grinding or squealing sound coming from the tires or the wheel may feel harder when trying to proceed forward.

off the ground. by librarianfinsen, on Flickr
“off the ground.” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by librarianfinsen

How much do wheel bearings cost?

On average, the cost of wheel bearings will depend on the type of car you drive, which axle and the mechanic you plan on using.  Older cars and some other models have bearings meant to be serviced, whereas newer cars will have bearings that are meant to be sealed for life, meaning you can’t take them apart and simply grease them.  If the bearing is sealed, it can lead to more work such as replacing the hub as well; however, a permanently sealed bearing means they can last longer, oftentimes, as long as the car.

For the parts alone, wheel bearings can cost anywhere from $20 to as much as $200. For example, Amazon has a parts selector that allows you to check for your particular model.  A car, such as a Toyota Corolla, has parts available for $20 to $110.  When labor is factored in, the total labor costs can cost anywhere from $150 to as much as $350 per front or rear bearing.  If more than one bearing needs to replaced, this quote can easily double. This will all depend on the shop’s labor rate, but most will be between $40 to $75 per hour, and each bearing should take about two hours to fix/replace.  Most of the time, the front wheel bearing will cost a pinch more than the rear bearings since the bearings in the rear tend to have cheaper parts and the process can be faster than those replaced in the front.

According to the website, a user had asked what wheel bearings would cost on a 1997 Honda Accord, and according to the answers, the price would range anywhere from $60 to $85 for the part itself and upwards of two hours for the labor, bringing the labor total to about $70 to $280.

To clean and repack the wheel bearings, which is the process of greasing and cleaning the bearings, can cost about $100 to $150.

Where?Average Price
Front- $400 to $650 to replace BOTH
- $200 to $300 to replace ONE
Rear- $350 to $550 for BOTH
- $175 to $250 for ONE
Both Front and Rear- $700 to $1,300 for ALL

We reached out to a few local mechanics and asked what it would cost for some of the most popular makes and models.  Inside our table below, you can see the average price most shops quoted us.

Car Make/ModelAverage Price (Labor + Parts) Per Bearing
Dodge Ram$175 to $275
Ford Explorer$175 to $300
Ford F-Series$150 to $220
Ford Focus$200 to $300
Honda Accord$250 to $350
Honda Civic$200 to $270
Jeep Patriot$150 to $285
Subaru Forester$175 to $300
Subaru Outback$150 to $275
Toyota Camry$200 to $300
Toyota Corolla$220 to $350

Wheel bearing overview

There are two common wheel bearing designs:  bearings that can be taken apart and bearings that are sealed.  If the bearing can be taken apart, a mechanic can simply take it off, clean it and re-pack it with a fresh coat of grease.  If the bearings are sealed, then it can’t be taken apart and will have to be replaced.

During most repairs, a mechanic will first verify the bearing is, indeed, faulty.  If deemed faulty, he or she will simply remove or replace the bearing, depending on the type of bearing as mentioned earlier.  Aside from the bearing, the steering and suspension system will be inspected for any damaged or worn out components.

What are the extra costs?

If other work has to be done, such as replacing a bad rotor, the costs can increase by more than $500 to $600.  The same can be said if the brakes and rotors need to be replaced as well.  Sometimes, the bearings will be only a part of the problem, and each side, if any of these repair jobs need to be done, can make the price closer to $1,000 per side.  However, keep in mind that this will greatly depend on the car and your situation as every repair will be unique.

Tips to know

Most car manufacturers recommend you clean and re-pack the bearings with grease every 30,000 miles.  If you have a routine brake service done, this job is often done alongside it.

Older cars made before 1997 often have two wheel bearings — one inner and one outer — per front tire.

Can you drive on bad wheel bearings?  A bad wheel bearing, as you have read, will help the car roll smoothly as you go down the road.  If your car were to have a bad bearing, more friction will be placed on the wheel, which in turn, can cause the wheel to wobble more.  This, in turn, can lead to some dangerous situations since the bearing is an essential part of your vehicle as it keeps the wheel on.  Without a wheel, your car, well, won’t be able to function and/or could cause you steer off the road at high speeds.

The sound of a bad wheel bearing

How can I save money?

Check with your local dealer to see if the car is still under the manufacturer warranty.  If this is the case and the part was deemed to be faulty, you may be covered up to 100%.

Always shop around.  You will find that independent shops and dealerships will greatly vary in pricing; however, don’t focus on just the price.  Be sure to ask about what parts they use, the warranty involved and the experience of the mechanic.  Plus, always make sure they are certified.

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