The Garage Car Parts

Best Wheel Bearing Hub Assemblies: Boost Safety and Performance

Buying a good one means you won’t need to do this job again for a long time.
Best Wheel Bearing and Hub Assemblies

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When a wheel bearing goes, you’ll feel the need to throw the whole dang car away. At least, that’s the case here in the rust belt, where nature loves welding crappy parts on so well that removal almost isn’t an option. To add a little spice to stress levels, wheel bearings have an incredibly important job. So between all the bashing, smashing, and pressing, you need to make sure you’re taking your time to do things the right way. Sorry to start off on such a negative note. But there’s a good reason for doing so—this is not the kind of job you want to do twice. A big part of making sure you don’t have to is buying quality parts in the first place, which you’ve come to the right place for help with. 

Summary List 

Our Methodology

Wheel bearing hub assemblies aren’t the kind of thing you want to spend a lot of time with. Therefore, any wrench slinger quickly learns what the best names in the business are along with the best practices. Between hands-on experience in our personal lives and plenty of research, we are able to produce a buying guide we’re sure will serve the general public well.

Best Wheel Bearing Hub Assemblies Reviews & Recommendations

Best Overall: Timken Bearing and Hub Assembly

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It’s important to note that this Timken wheel bearing hub assembly, as well as anything else on this list, is application-specific. But even if it isn’t a direct match to your vehicle, it’s still representative of the quality you should search for. These are professionally trusted units for a reason. This is sure to last as long as, if not longer than, your factory wheel assembly, the fit and finish are perfect, and a lifetime warranty protects you to top things off.

It’s very hard to find an issue with Timken products other than the fact that they tend to bring in a premium price. Depending on the vehicle, they can cost substantially more than your other options. Also, some reports of mispackaged products being shipped make it essential to double-check fit before installation.

Best Value: Detroit Axle Front Wheel Bearing Hub Assembly

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Detroit Axle wheel hub assemblies are a great option for those needing to save money where they can. The low pricing is no indication of poor quality, though. These are a good fit for many situations and are backed by a 10-year warranty. That warranty really helps increase the value, as some premium units offer far less protection. However, the warranty still takes a back seat to the fact that this is a set containing both the right and left sides.

Scrutiny is extremely important during examination when buying these wheel hub assemblies, as quality control issues are very common. Also, service life, while acceptable, isn’t as good as what you’ll get with some others.

Honorable Mention: MOOG Wheel Bearing and Hub Assembly

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Moog is a go-to for many mechanics when it comes to any kind of steering work. Its product is of premier quality and is sure to offer the best service life one could ask for on street-driven vehicles. This wheel hub is no exception. It’s miles above much of what’s out there, and you can rest easy knowing it’ll keep you safe. Of course, the 3-year warranty helps with peace of mind as well. For all intents and purposes, you can view this as a near tie for our pick of Best Overall.

As for the downsides, the premium pricing holds this back from our top spot. That’s not to say it’s not worth the money, just that you can get an equally as good product for a little less. It’s also worth pointing out that, despite the higher price, quality control issues are a somewhat common problem for this particular part number.

Best OE Replacement: ACDelco Original Equipment Front Wheel Hub and Bearing Assembly

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ACDelco is the name to turn to if you’re after OE quality, as it is the OE supplier for many vehicles on the road. That said, this hub assembly is sure to offer the same service life and fit as the original unit on your vehicle. And since this is part of the Genuine GM line of product, ACDelco backs it with a lifetime warranty, which is far better than what most offer. Unless you’re buying a Genuine GM part, that lifetime warranty doesn’t apply.

ACDelco does not offer the same coverage to other lines. Another drawback for many is the premium price of a product that simply matches factory quality and doesn’t necessarily improve it as other brands can.

Best Kit: Detroit Axle Front CV Axle and Wheel Bearing Hub Replacement

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This entry from Detroit Axle is a good option to consider if you’re looking to do a complete service on a budget. Not only does it include the wheel bearing assemblies for either side, but the CV axles are included as well. Despite that, the price remains relatively low for all that’s included, even with a solid lifetime warranty. It really is everything someone with little financial room to work with could ask for.

The issues here are the same as the previous entry from this brand. Service life is just ok, and quality control needs some improvements. Still, those are to be expected when pricing is so low.

Our Verdict on the Best Wheel Bearing Hub Assemblies

Again, the Timken Bearing and Hub Assembly takes our top pick. Personal experience shows Timken to be the name to call on whenever bearings are needed. However, the Detroit Wheel Bearing & Hub Assembly is representative of a solid value option for many applications.

FAQs 

You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.

Q. Can I change a wheel bearing hub assembly at home? 

A: Yes. However, it can be difficult to remove the old assembly if it has seized in place, which is common on older applications and in the northern parts of the country. At which point, hours of work and special steps may be required. 

Q: How do I know if my wheel bearing assembly needs replacing?

A: Wheel bearings can make a lot of strange sounds. Everything from grinding to sounding like a spaceship is possible. If you hear a noise you suspect is a wheel bearing, jacking the car up and checking for play in the assembly can confirm the problem.

Q: How much do wheel bearing assemblies typically cost?

A: Wheel bearing hub assembly prices are highly dependent on the application. For some 2WD vehicles, $80-$100 is about average, whereas a big 4WD truck might have hub assemblies listed for $120-$150 or more. Therefore, it’s hard to say what you can expect to pay. The only valuable bit of advice to provide here is that wheel bearings that list for half of what the majority do are not to be trusted. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t shop around for the best price on the good stuff. Just don’t waste your money on the really cheap offerings, as you will be replacing it shortly. 

Q: Can I just buy any wheel bearing assembly for my car?

A: Wheel bearing hub assemblies are an application-specific item. That’s good news, as it means 90% of the work you need to do is simply making sure whatever you’re considering is a direct match to your car. Make sure you take your time and go through all of the details, though. If you’re working with a truck, make sure you match the drive-type, double-check if you need ABS sensors on all applications, and so on. The last thing you want is to realize you made a mistake when the old wheel bearing is sitting in your lap. 

Q: How often should I replace my wheel bearings?

A: 85,000 to 100,000 miles is about what you can expect from wheel bearings. However, there’s a lot of room for play in that life expectancy. Driving habits, maintenance and upkeep, and the environment the car lives in can all change how long you should expect wheel bearings to last. 

Q: Why should I replace my wheel bearing hub?

A:  Bad wheel bearings cause all kinds of issues from uneven tire wear and brake problems to failure to keep the wheel mounted on the vehicle. They’re incredibly important and should be kept up with accordingly. 

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Hank O'Hop

Staff Writer

Hank is a Staff Writer at The Drive. He recently came to us as a freelancer with three years of industry-related experience and eventually earned his official title among our staff. As a self-taught gearhead, he spends the majority of his free time dissecting and playing with all things mechanical. He may be here to recommend tools and parts, but he's always happy to venture deep into the world of tech discussions and how-to guides, especially when it gives him the opportunity to display his beloved classic Dodge.