ExecutiveChronicles.com | What to Look For When Replacing Your Wheel Bearings | With the global automotive aftermarket industry estimated to be valued at USD 369 billion, car owners have unlimited options when sourcing automotive parts.
But even though aftermarket parts are big business, not every aftermarket product is produced to the same exacting standards as original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts. Some aftermarket parts are poorly manufactured or cheaply made due to some reasons, such as to reduce production cost.
This can result in your vehicle becoming unreliable or experiencing poor performance and could lead to serious vehicular problems. Even something like multi-purpose automotive grease should be sourced from a high-quality producer so you can avoid premature failure and potential problems down the road. Otherwise, it will not serve its purpose and will just probably cause more dire damage.
When it comes to automotive safety, quality should never be compromised. How your vehicle performs on the road equally depends on the quality of its parts as it does on the way you and others on the road drive.
This is especially true in the case of bearing manufacturing.
The importance of quality wheel bearings
Despite being overlooked, wheel bearings play a critical role in the safety and drivability of your vehicle. Wheel bearings connect the static and moving areas of your vehicle, reducing the amount of friction between such components.
Without quality wheel bearings, certain components such as the tires can wear out quicker. The wheel bearings themselves can quickly fatigue themselves, causing the tire to loosen and fall off when driving.
While this is a worst-case scenario, such an example emphasizes the importance of quality bearings.
There are several reasons for wheel bearing failure. The most common include incorrect alignment, side-impact collision, and a damaged or leaking bearing seal.
When these occur, your wheel bearings will require immediate replacement. Always seek assistance from your trusted bearing supplier and distributor in Dubai that supplies high-quality aftermarket parts from premium brands such as SKF, global business leader in the aftermarket industry.
Wheel bearing failure should not be taken lightly. Here’s what you need to consider when you need to find aftermarket part replacements for your current wheel bearings.
The quality of materials
One of the first factors to consider when seeking out OEM-quality wheel bearings is the quality of the materials.
Premium quality wheel bearings manufacturers will not skimp on the quality of the raw materials used to manufacture wheel bearings. Certain economical bearing manufacturers will use lower quality materials to save on costs.
The difference in quality has a substantial impact on the strength of the wheel bearing and its reliability. For example, premium quality bearings use nitrile rubber as the seal material. Nitrile is proven to have strong resistance against heat aging, which is necessary as wheel bearings serve to reduce friction.
When sourcing aftermarket wheel bearings, confirm that the steel, cage, rolling elements, and the seal are produced from high-quality materials and finishes. This will not only result in a smoother and more reliable drive but will also prevent the possibility of premature bearing failure.
The quality of lubrication
Lubrication serves to reduce friction, prevent corrosion, and dissipate heat. This critical role is often overlooked by car owners looking to replace their lubricant when servicing their wheel bearings.
Like its raw materials, economical bearings will use a lower-grade lubricant in their wheel bearing.
And as most modern wheel bearings are permanently sealed and non-serviceable, choosing low-quality wheel bearings means using a low-grade lubricant. This can come at a high cost as low-grade lubricant produces premature wear and reduces the life and performance of the bearing.
The use of a low-quality lubricant will mean that your bearings will need to be changed more frequently. And this cost will include both time and money.
The quality of sensors
Wheel bearings are not only metal parts, rubber seals, and lubricant. Housed inside the wheel hub assembly is the wheel speed sensor, a component critical to the dynamic behavior of the vehicle.
Advanced driver assistance systems and other control systems rely on the wheel speed sensor to determine wheel speed information. Without this information, driving safety is compromised, along with the driving dynamics and comfort. Fuel consumption and emissions may also increase as a result.
Economical wheel hub assemblies will use inferior sensors and cable material to offer their low-performing hub assemblies at a low price. While this may seem like a great value, lower-quality sensors and materials can compromise the integrity of your driver assistance and control systems.
When your wheel speed sensor loses its integrity, the safety and handling characteristics of your vehicle can malfunction, leading to serious safety concerns.