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Your Wheel Hub worn out? » Read more about common malfunctions • Repair • Replacement manual
Pivoting wheels with the wheel hub
The wheel hub is a massive cast steel component mounted on the stub shaft, the rigid part of the axle. The wheel bearing is integrated in the wheel hub. The wheel hub is a disc with a ring of holes enabling the fixing of other components such as the brake disc or front wheel.
Defect of the wheel hub
For the sake of driving safety a wheel hub is not built as a wear part. It lasts the entire life span of a car without fracturing despite high strain. Theoretically, a fractured wheel hub is possible, though in that case it would have had a material fault already. The wheel bearing on the other hand is a defined wear part, situated in the centre of the wheel hub and connected to the stub shaft. Depending on the vehicle a wheel bearing must be replaced after 50.000 – 80.000 kilometres. The wheel hub is checked for damage at every occasion of wheel bearing replacement. If major malfunctions are found, the wheel hub is generally replaced as well.
Replacement of the wheel hub
The challenge of a wheel hub replacement is removing it from the stub shaft, which requires a special tool. This repair is very rare and the purchase of this tool for home use is generally not worthwhile. Wheel hub replacement should therefore be performed in a garage. A defective wheel hub makes itself heard by beating and knocking sounds occurring very suddenly. If the hub is actually fractured, loss of the wheel is imminent. The wheel hub nut keeps the hub in its place. It is secured by a spring plate, which is always replaced as well. The wheel hub nut is screwed very tight. If it does not come off immediately, try heating it with a Bunsen burner until it loosens. Additionally, making the wrench longer could establish the required leverage. The retaining ring on the rear of wheel hub connects it to the axle. Removing the ring is almost impossible without special tools. If a wheel hub is up for replacement, the wheel bearing always should be replaced as well. Even if this is brand new, potential damage to the wheel hub might have affected the bearings. Therefore, wheel bearings are generally not sold separately but as part of a kit. The wheel bearings and axle sleeves are often included in one kit. Wheel hub replacement always implies replacing all connected parts.
Costs for a wheel hub kit
Necessarily, wheel hub should always be a high-quality component. For some wear parts, like e.g. the end silencer, a cheap product can be an adequate spare part. A wheel hub on the other hand is vital and leads to very dangerous situations in case of its malfunction. Therefore you should not save on brand, quality or price for a new part. Price for complete wheel hub kits starts from 29,90 EUR (c. £27). For a high-quality spare part, be prepared to invest twice that amount. This is how to play safe as you are certain to obtain a fitting, quality-checked car part.