Ultimate Wheel Hub Assembly Buying Guide
A Quick Guide For Buying Wheel Hub Assembly
From safely negotiating a tight turn on a winding country road to changing lanes on the freeway, you depend on your vehicle's wheel hub assembly to steer exactly where you want it to. The wheel hub is the only part that holds the wheels to the car, so special attention must be paid to its maintenance. This buying guide will assist you in understanding the hub assemblies, their types, failure, consequences and help you in purchasing the correct part suiting your vehicle’s best requirements.
Top Picks For Wheel Hub Assemblies
Table Of Contents
1. What Is A Wheel Hub?
The function of the wheel hub assembly is to keep the wheel spinning freely on the wheel bearing while keeping it attached to the vehicle. A wheel hub is a pre-assembled unit that features precision bearings, seals, and sensors. It is also called wheel hub bearing, hub assembly, wheel hub unit, or hub and bearing assembly. The wheel hub assembly is a crucial part of your steering and suspension system contributing to the safe steering and handling of your vehicle. Wheel hub assemblies are located at both front and rear wheels of vehicles, and there is no major difference between the two.
2. What Type Of Hub Assembly Should I Choose?
2.1 Based On Material
When buying new hub assemblies you can select either aluminium or steel wheel hubs based on the construction material. Deciding what is best for you, depends on your needs.
A. Aluminum Vs Steel Hub Assemblies
2.2 Based On Construction Type
A. Pre-Set / Pre-Adjusted
In pre-set hub assemblies all parts of the wheel hub unit like the bearings, seals, sensors and sensor wire are pre-assembled. Therefore, it decreases installation time, reduces the possibility of installation errors and keeps your expenses low as you don’t have to invest in installation tools. Even though preset hubs reduce installation errors, this type of hub will still require maintenance and replacement over time.
B. Conventional Hub Assemblies
Conventional hubs require assembly and do not come manufactured and assembled with bearings and seals which leaves room for alignment errors during installation compromising the vehicle’s safety. Although purchasing these separately can save you on costs but unless you have adequate skills, the right equipment and knowledge these assemblies are not recommended.
2.3 Based On Type Of Bearing Used
A. Ball Bearings
They are the most common type of wheel bearing and also the most versatile. Ball bearings can absorb both radial and thrust loads. Radial load is the amount of weight put on a wheel, while thrust load is the cornering pressure. They also offer low friction owing to their minimal contact area of the rolling elements. These types of bearings are suitable for vehicles like sports cars with high engine speeds.
B. Tapered Roller Bearings
Tapered roller bearings are most often used in standard car and truck wheels or vehicles that are subjected to higher side loading. That’s because of their ability to absorb high radial forces due to their large contact area of the rolling elements in the races. However, tapered roller bearings aren’t suitable for high engine speeds.
3. What Factors Should I Consider Before Buying A Hub Assembly?
For the wheel bearing to fit properly and ensure your vehicle and all passengers remain safe, you should check the make and model of the vehicle as well as the number of lug nuts in the wheel. Lug nuts hold the wheel and tire assembly on the vehicle and are fastened onto special studs. These studs are pressed through the back of the hub. It is important to take into consideration the number of lug nuts and vehicles’ load capability as this can impact the bearing you choose.
3.2 Choosing The Right Material
Aluminium hub assemblies are lighter, corrosion-resistant, and have better thermal conductivity. The higher thermal conductivity value of aluminium ensures to protect the bearing from damage if it becomes heated due to friction. The only drawback to aluminium is the higher cost. Whereas the steel hub assemblies are heavier but require low maintenance, provide greater strength and are less expensive. If you want to keep your costs down and looking for a balance of all features it is recommended to select steel hubs.
3.3 OE Vs Aftermarket
Replacement OE components offer the same advantages as the factory-equipped parts. But this means you will not be receiving any additional benefits which can be found in aftermarket products. OE parts will also cost quite a bit more than aftermarket counterparts. Aftermarket components are generally cheaper and provide many benefits over the standard hub assemblies. Aftermarket components match the fit and performance of the OE parts and some even exceed that. Hence making them a bargain over OE counterparts.
4. Which Brand Hub Assemblies Should I Choose?
4.1 Moog Hub Assembly
Moog is one of the leading manufacturers of auto parts and manufactures some of the best wheel bearings. One of the best features of the MOOG hub assembly is found in its construction. Each is built to be highly reliable and perform without fault. MOOG's level of engineering makes the wheel bearing hub assembly relatively quiet when driving.
- Wheel bearing hub assembly is simple to install, reduces stress, cools quickly, and is coated with a rust-resistant paint.
- Roll form design ensures consistent and optimal preload.
- Hub assembly features moulded ABS shield and socket connections to provide better defence against contamination.
- Wheel stud features a protective coating that helps prevent rust and corrosion.
For more products, please refer to our Moog Hub Assembly section
4.2 Mevotech Hub Assembly
Mevotech engineers focus on making parts faster and easier to install and providing a longer service life. They employ punishing durability testing and validate every new design to ensure you get the performance you can trust. Every component they make is thoroughly checked, due to which they deliver 100% satisfaction for you.
- All hub assemblies have precision machining of raceways and flanges for a better fit.
- Bearings utilize premium rolling elements optimized for size, finish and high-quality materials.
- High quality lubricating grease is used for better thermal resistance.
- Durable seal construction and material for more protection against contamination.
- ABS sensor signal and plug are highly accurate.
For more products, please refer to our Mevotech Hub Assembly section
4.3 Transit Warehouse Hub Assembly
Transit warehouse offers premium quality products and is known to keep pace with industry changes and deliver advanced products to meet the needs of today's automobile market. They manufacture superior quality and offer a wide range of parts and accessories for cars, light trucks and trailers, such as brakes, suspension, wheel accessories, electrical accessories, lighting, wipers and much more. They have a rich experience in manufacturing automotive components and offer a wide range of options to select from.
- High-quality Molybdenum grease is utilized to ease rolling resistance.
- Multi-lip seals made with nitrile rubber to protect inner components from contaminants.
- The inner race is made of heat-treated 52100 high carbon steel for better tensile strength.
- Bearings use maximum capacity balls to effectively support axial and radial loads.
- Encompasses chamfered ring to facilitate installation of shafts.
For more products, please refer to our Transit Warehouse Hub Assembly section
4.4 Dorman OE Solutions Hub Assembly
Dorman is one of the leading manufacturers of automotive components and their products are precision-engineered and offer different types of repair solutions for the large majority of vehicles on the road.
- Complete repair – hub assembly includes the wheel hub and application-specific bearing components.
- Saves time - consolidates all four components into one pre-assembled ready to install the unit, thus saving time and money.
- Precision - engineered to match the dimensions of the original equipment.
For more products, please refer to our Dorman OE Solutions Hub Assembly section
4.5 Raybestos Hub Assembly
From hub assemblies, brake parts to rotors, calipers to hydraulics, Raybestos produces dependable automotive parts with expansive coverage. All of their products are extensively tested so you can be sure you are buying a product that is reliable and safe. Rely on Raybestos to deliver parts that you can depend on.
- An integral ABS sensor is included with most applications.
- Double row bearing with angular bearing contact for axial stability.
- Pre-lubricated with an integral lifetime seal.
- Simplified installation and requires no adjustment
- Compact size, maintenance-free, maximized bearing life and no preloading required.
For more products, please refer to our Raybestos Hub Assembly section
5. What Are The Symptoms That My Wheel Hub Assembly Is Bad?
Driving with a bad wheel hub assembly is dangerous. As the bearings inside the assembly become worn out, they can cause the wheels to stop turning smoothly. If the hub assembly degrades, the steel can fracture and cause the wheel to come off. It is always recommended to get your damaged hub assemblies replaced to ensure a smooth ride and vehicle safety. The most common signs of a bad wheel bearing are:
A. Rumbling Noise
A grinding noise or rumbling loud noise coming from the tire or wheel of the vehicle. It will sound like metal grinding on metal and will get louder as the vehicle goes faster.
B. Uneven Tire Wear
A bad wheel bearing can lead to uneven tire wear. Therefore, it is best to have the bearing replaced before the tires go bad to save money.
C. Steering Loss
If the steering of your vehicle feels loose and wobbles excessively, it can be another sign of a wheel bearing gone bad. This is an unsafe situation.
D. Wheel Damage
If a wheel bearing is missing, it is not recommended you drive the vehicle at all as the wheel can fall off entirely while the vehicle is in motion.
6. How Much Will It Cost Me For A New Wheel Hub Assembly?
The average price range for wheel hub assemblies varies from $23 to $685 and will vary depending on the brand, make and model of the vehicle.
Up to $100: Cheaper wheel-bearing hub assemblies tend to be compatible with limited car makes and models. They also come with minimal tools, so you typically need to make additional purchases.
$100 and Up The high-end wheel bearing hub assemblies offer a smoother and safer ride and feature corrosion-resistant and weatherproof materials. They’re generally more durable and reduce friction while you drive your vehicle.
Q. What Does A Hub Assembly Consist Of?
A full wheel hub assembly in most cases will include the wheel hub unit, the bearings, seals, sensors and sensor wire.
Q. Do I Need To Replace The Hub Assembly Or Just The Bearing?
If the bearings are not operating correctly it could be internal to the bearing in which case the hub doesn't need replacement. On the other hand, it could be that the bearing is loose in the hub in which case you might need to replace the hub. It completely depends on what the problem is.
Q.How Do I Know If I Need A New Hub Assembly?
If you hear a grinding sound coming from your wheel and there’s too much wheel wobble, it might be a sign that you need a bearing hub replacement. Other common symptoms include abnormal tire wear and steering wheel vibration.
Q. Can You Drive With A Bad Hub Assembly?
Driving with a damaged hub assembly can be very dangerous and can even damage the wheels. A damaged wheel bearing puts a lot of stress on the hub and the constant velocity or the CV joint that connects the drive-shafts to the wheels.