How To Tell If Your Rear Wheel Hub Bearing Is Worn Or Damaged

Signs that your rear wheel hub bearing has become worn or damaged can vary, and it may not be possible to determine if that’s the problem on your own. Sometimes, the part is damaged beyond repair before you can take corrective action. However, it is still likely that you can get to a mechanic or go to your home before the problem gets too bad.

Snapping, Popping, Clicking

If you should hear a popping, clicking or snapping sound, it can indicate that the outer CV-joint is damaged or worn. It can also mean that the rear wheel hub bearing is close to the end of its life or incorrectly clamped. You’re most likely to hear this noise when making a sharp turn or cornering.


When you drive down the road and hear grinding, you know it isn’t the braking system. This could mean that there is damage to the wheel-end system, which is related to the bearings. It could mean that the raceway or roller is damaged. You’re most likely to hear this noise when the load of the vehicle shifts or when turning.

Clunking, Knocking

Knocking and clunking can also indicate that the U-joint or CV-joint has excessive play. Likewise, it can be caused by backlash in differential gears. While this isn’t usually associated with your bearings, it could cause damage to the part if not taken care of promptly.

Humming, Growling, Rumbling

While usually associated with electrical, drivetrain, and tire components, you can hear rumbling, growling or humming when the problem is related to the rear wheel hub bearing. The vibrations and noise will often be present all the time but will become more noticeable when you turn slightly right or left.

Non-Noise Signs

Other indications of something wrong can include shuddering, vibrations, shimmying and more.

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