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Truck Maintenance: How Loose Wheel Bearings Affect Tires & Brakes

Truck Maintenance: How Loose Wheel Bearings Affect Tires & Brakes

Many people don’t realize that loose or improperly installed wheel bearings can lead to a number of truck repair issues. This makes it a good idea to make sure those wheel bearings are inserted and perfectly adjusted each and every time. Some of the issues that can occur due to loose wheel bearings include uneven wear and tear taking place on the tire, early wheel seal breakdown and even irregular ABS fault codes going off. Although uneven wear and tear won’t get in the way of a truck being able to stop, it’s definitely going to lessen the overall brake performance due to a decrease in the brake contact area.

Because there are many fleet truck operators who tend to believe that loose wheel bearings aren’t really an issue, it’s important for them to understand that something as seemingly simple as having loose wheel bearings can indeed create a number of truck issues that are going to need some form of repair.

Loose Wheel Bearings

It’s not only loose wheel bearings that can affect the overall performance of the truck, the bearings can also be too tight. This makes it essential for all truck repair mechanics to properly adjust the wheel bearings when they’re installing them by following the proper adjustment procedures. And it’s also important to understand that loose or too tight wheel bearings aren’t always going to be a major issue. Sometimes the issue is something that’s more simple, which can turn out to be more irritating or difficult to deal with vs. something that needs to be addressed right away.

Truck Repair Mechanics

There are some truck repair mechanics who would rather be a little more cautious when it comes to tightening up those wheel bearings, which means that they would rather leave it a little loose then tighten it too tight. Although this is understandable, it’s truly essential for every mechanic to properly install the wheel bearings for the best driving and brake performance. One company has even created a new system that utilizes an innovative locknut and retainer ring that’s able to properly and accurately measure the area, and then it simply locks that bearing into its proper place.

Dr. Preload

They call this new system Dr. Preload, which is basically a measuring device that allows truck repair mechanics to easily set the correct measurements so that they can then preload the wheel bearings, and all in only about one minute. And there’s no need to use any other measurement tools, i.e. dial indicator, torque wrench. New studies are even showing that this new wheel bearing method is not only easier to install, it’s also much more accurate and thus a safer system to use.