Saturn Front Wheel Bearings
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About Front Wheel Bearings
Front-wheel-drive vehicles with separate rear suspension configurations and non-driven rear hubs feature tapered roller bearing assemblies or even ball bearing assemblies. A pair of tapered-style bearing assemblies are used for front-wheel-drive hubs because the weight of the vehicle is more evenly spread upfront, and the lateral forces produced as the wheels rotate can be extreme. Sometimes, bearing assemblies for front-wheel-drive hubs are sealed devices that do not need lubrication. Others are intended to be serviced and have a replaceable grease seal that is adjusted every time bearings are repackaged with grease. For older cars, front-wheel bearings were equipped to be serviced with repair kits so components can be disassembled, cleaned, and re-packed with grease. Newer vehicles are usually fitted with front-wheel assemblies which include a hub, a bearing assembly, mounting, and a wheel flange combined into a single unit known as a wheel bearing and a hub assembly. Depending on the vehicle manufacturer's choice, certain bearing assemblies are pressed into the knuckle and can not be removed without special equipment. Although the majority of integrated wheel hub bearing assemblies cost more, they are relatively easy to install using standard tools.
While bearings minimize friction to a considerable amount, they also take in a lot of abuse. Not only do they have to take the weight of your vehicle when driving over potholes, uneven roads, and occasional roadblocks, but they also have to endure the lateral forces of the corners you take and do all of this while encouraging the wheels to rotate with minimal friction at thousands of revolutions per minute. They must also be self-sufficient and securely sealed to avoid the accumulation of dust and water. Wheel bearings are primarily constructed from high-quality material. The inner and outer races, the groove rings where the balls or rollers rest, and the rolling components, rollers or balls, are all heat-treated. The hardened surface contributes to the wear resistance capacity of the bearing. Premature wheel failure results from damage caused by impact, corrosion, loss of grease, or a combination of all these. Failure to hold a wheel can have severe consequences, particularly if it happens when driving at highway speeds, and the vehicle loses the wheel. As a measure, careful treatment and control are often advisable.