How much does it cost to replace a wheel bearing in the UK?

According to our research, a wheel bearing replacement cost in the UK ranges between £172 and £350.

On average, the cost of a wheel bearing replacement works out at £210.

How often should you replace your wheel bearing?

Wheel bearings have an average lifespan of 85,000 – 100,000 miles. However, this is only an estimate, the actual lifespan of a wheel bearing depends on the quality of the wheel bearing, the driver and the surroundings.

What causes a wheel bearing to break?

There are a number of reasons that a wheel bearing may break or fail. Impact damage, such as mounting a kerb badly or driving over speed bumps or potholes, can damage a wheel bearing and reduce its lifespan.

Driving through deep water or mud can also be bad news for your wheel bearings. Water, mud or dust could get past the seals and enter the bearing, causing the bearings to wear down quickly. Wheel bearings made of low-quality materials are also more likely to wear down quickly, leading to premature failure.

Additionally, car modifications, such as lowering your car, fitting bigger or wider rims, stiffer shock absorbers and suspension springs, can increase the load on the wheel bearing and can accelerate wear.

Can I carry out a wheel bearing replacement myself?

A front or rear wheel bearing replacement isn’t a huge job, however it is fairly complex and can be time-consuming even for the most experienced mechanics. 

There are quite a few parts that must be removed to get access to your wheel bearing, so unless you have the necessary training and equipment to do the job safely, we strongly recommend that a wheel bearing replacement is only carried out by a professional mechanic.

What additional factors could affect a wheel bearing replacement?

Usually, the cost of replacing a wheel bearing is down to the make and model of your vehicle, which garage carries out the work and where in the country you’re based. 

However, there are a few extra circumstances that could bump up the price of this repair. Due to the location of the wheel bearings, particularly on the front wheels, the mechanic will have to remove numerous parts in order to reach the wheel bearing. If the mechanic discovers that any of these components are faulty, damaged or defective, these too may have to be replaced which will bump up the price of this job.

What are the costs of wheel bearing replacement parts?

Prices for a new wheel bearing varies for each make and model. The average price of a wheel bearing from Eurocarparts is £150.

What are the labour rates for a wheel bearing replacement?

Wheel bearing repair costs can vary across the country according to the garage or dealership’s size, location, types of service they offer, and the local demand. We conducted research to work out the average hourly rate for a wheel bearing replacement, to keep things as simple as possible for our customers.

We found that for garages within the London area the average rate came out at £78 per hour. For the garages throughout the rest of the country, the price was a little lower, as you’d expect, at £72 per hour.

How long does a wheel bearing replacement repair take?

We found the average wheel bearing replacement job will take between 1 to 2 hours.

Wheel bearing parts can vary greatly between different car makes and models, therefore the time this replacement takes can vary a lot from car to car.

The time taken to replace a wheel bearing is also slightly different depending on whether the bearing is on the front or rear wheel. A front wheel bearing replacement on average takes around 90 minutes, whereas a rear wheel bearing replacement takes on average just under 1 hour.

Can I drive with a broken wheel bearing?

No, driving with a bad wheel bearing can be very dangerous. Your steering won’t be as responsive as it should be, your tyres will wear out faster, and your wheel could even fall off completely while driving.

As soon as you notice issues with your wheel bearing you should have it checked out and replaced by a trusted mechanic to make sure your car remains safe and roadworthy.

What are the signs of a faulty wheel bearing?

Usually, there a few signs you can look for:

  • If you notice a grinding, grating or humming noise coming from your wheel or tyre. This noise usually increases with acceleration or as the vehicle turns.
  • A car that feels loose as you drive it – your steering seems less responsive or less precise than usual.
  • Steering wheel vibration which changes with speed or as your car turns.
  • Extremely uneven tyre wear.
  • ABS malfunctioning.
  • When a wheel does not move (bearing has seized).

What else could be the problem if my wheel bearing isn’t broken?

If there is no issue with your wheel bearing, there are a few other car problems with similar symptoms. Tyre problems and faulty suspension systems can result in uneven tyre wear, strange noises from your wheels and loose steering. We recommend booking a vehicle diagnostic check with an experienced mechanic to help get to the root of the problem.

At Fixter we vet and personally select all garages on our network to ensure you receive the best service possible. We can also pick up your car and deliver it back to you once the work is complete!

What happens during a wheel bearing replacement?

Our certified mechanics will:

  • Jack the car safely and inspect the wheel with the faulty bearing.
  • Replace the faulty bearing, if necessary.
  • Refit the bearing and wheel.
  • Torque the wheel to the correct pressure. This is set by the car manufacturer.
  • Test drive the car.
  • If necessary, they will make any final adjustments.

How can I carry out a wheel bearing repair?

As well as being fundamental to a smooth ride, wheel bearings are a crucial safety feature as they enable the hub, tyre and wheel assemblies to work together and allow your car’s load to remain balanced. Because of this we recommend leaving this repair to the professionals rather than trying to do it yourself.

If you do have the skills and equipment required to complete a wheel bearing replacement, be sure to raise the car safely and torque the wheel to the correct pressure after replacing the bearing.

About Fixter

Fixter is revolutionising the car maintenance industry, one repair at a time. Fixter was founded to make car maintenance as easy as booking a taxi. Digital, transparent and stress-free, with world-class customer service. Since launching in Manchester in 2017, Fixter has expanded to more than 100 towns and cities across the UK and provided thousands of car owners with honest, convenient and affordable car repair services.