Signs of Wheel Bearing Failure in Your Volvo

If you drive a Volvo, you have a quality-manufactured, European-engineered car. While these are dependable vehicles, they do have mechanical failures on occasion. One common problem that Volvo owners might experience is wheel bearing failure. This is a problem that you should have addressed right away by an experienced Volvo mechanic. You should be attentive to your vehicle and stay alert to notice any new issues that might arise. There are several symptoms that warn drivers of impending wheel bearing failure in a Volvo, so you can have the problem fixed before it worsens.

How is a Bad Wheel Bearing or Hub Assembly Diagnosed?

Technology plays a major role in today’s modern cars. For modern vehicles and for those manufactured after 1997, there is a single bearing and hub assembly attached to each wheel on the vehicle. The wheel hub assembly includes wheel studs that attach the car’s wheels to the car itself. It is mounted to the suspension and steering system on the front of the car and on the rear axle at the back of the car.

In all actuality, the single hub design is supposed to last the vehicle’s entire lifespan, but just as with any other mechanical part, it can suffer from wear and tear that causes it to break down and wear out prematurely. There are several driving situations that can damage the vehicle’s wheel bearing or wheel hub:

● Hitting potholes
● Collisions
● Hitting curbs

While the wheel bearing and hub are designed to take a lot of abuse, it is often overlooked when other parts of the car, such as shocks, coils, struts, suspension parts, or tires and wheels are repaired or replaced. When the bearing or hub is damaged and showing signs of premature wear, it will show the driver some warning signs of the problem.

Symptoms of a Failing Wheel Bearing or Hub Assembly

There are several things that could warn a driver of a failing wheel bearing or hub assembly. If you have noticed any of these problems, you should have your car checked by a qualified Volvo technician.

A loud sound, such as roaring, from the tire or wheel area

When the hub assembly goes bad, it is because of a damaged wheel bearing. This part will cause a metal to metal grinding sound that resembles a roar, which lets you know that the bearing is wearing out. The sound might be misleading, and you might not be able to determine which bearing is going bad. If one side wheel hub assembly has failed, you should replace both sides on the same axle.


If there are vibrations from the steering wheel at lower speeds and it worsens as the car accelerates, you most likely have a damaged wheel hub assembly. The steering might feel loose while you are driving, negotiating dips or making turns.

Tire and wheel combination have excessive play when car is lifted

When the mechanic lifts your car for brake service or an oil change, if the tire and wheel combo that are tightly attached to the wheel hub assembly wiggle when they are pulled, there is a problem with the wheel hub assembly.

Wheels make a clicking noise

If there is a clicking sound that is audible when the vehicle accelerates, that could signify a wheel hub assembly problem.

Dangers of Bad Wheel Bearings

If your vehicle has a bad wheel bearing, it is very dangerous. You shouldn’t drive the vehicle until you repair the wheel bearing because you could be putting your life at risk. If the bearing completely fails while you are traveling at a high speed, it could lead to a fatal crash. If you must drive the vehicle a day or two until the repair is made, drive at low speeds.

If you suspect a problem with your wheel bearing, contact Orion Automotive Services in Ann Arbor, MI. Call us today at (734) 995-3188 to schedule your Volvo service. For more than 2 decades Orion Automotive Services has provided the area with quality automotive repairs. We have years of experience handling European vehicles, so you can rest assured the job will be handled properly.

* Volvo XC40 image credit goes to: y_carfan.

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