Signs Your Car is About to Die

Hello, my name is Roy. For many years, I drove a 1976 Ford estate car around Sydney. The car had belonged to my grandpa. It was passed down to me when I had just passed my driving test at the age of 18. That was in 1986 and the car was already in a pretty bad condition then. Fast forward to 2006 and I was now aged 38 and still driving the same car around. Sometimes the car wouldn't start, white smoke came out of the exhaust and the gearbox made a terrible sound. I did my best to patch it up, but eventually, I had to scrap the car and buy a new one. I decided to start a blog to encourage others to service their cars.

Why Trailer Bearings Fail and How to Avoid The Situation


If you've ever had to deal with a failed trailer bearing, you'll want to ensure that it never happens again. After all, in the worst-case scenario, such a failure could lead to the loss of a wheel, with significant consequences. Yet, why should the bearing fail in the first place, and what can you do to avoid a recurrence?

How Bearings Work

A wheel bearing is designed to cope with tremendous radial and thrust loads while dealing with high levels of friction. Each bearing is self-contained with ball or tapered roller bearings within, surrounded by a copious amount of grease.

Remember, the bearing allows the wheel to turn at high speed while it is sitting on a static axle stub. It must be mounted correctly, or the entire assembly could heat up to an unbearable degree, with failure almost a certainty. When such a failure occurs, it is normally due to poor assembly, inattention to detail or bad maintenance.

Reasons for Failure

If you're in the habit of overloading the trailer, this can place too much stress on the hub assembly, and the bearing may not be able to cope with the extra weight. Even if you are careful when adding your car or boat, you may not pay the appropriate amount of attention to maintenance. Are the bearings sufficiently lubricated, or if they are self-contained, when was the last time that you checked their overall efficiency? Are the protective grease caps and seals still in place, or has damage allowed contamination to get inside? If this happens, it will compromise the efficiency of the grease, and failure will inevitably occur.

Careful Installation

Also, be careful to install the axle nut properly following any maintenance. It should never be over tightened or too loose as both of these scenarios can lead to impending failure. You should always use a torque wrench and consult the trailer manufacturer for the correct reading. There should always be a certain amount of "free" play but not too much, and you should always install a lock to ensure that the axle nut cannot move once tightened.

Taking Action

If it has been some time since you checked the condition of your bearings, reach out to a mechanic. They will adjust or replace if necessary and look at the axle's overall condition. Remember, bearings can quickly fail if they are subject to too much heat or fatigue, and this is something that you'll want to avoid at all costs. Look into trailer repair near you for more information.


22 April 2022