Can Wheel Bearing Cause Check Engine Light?Find Out

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The wheel bearing has the ABS sensors built into them and should those sensors fail, your light will come on. There are many other factors that are capable of making the check engine light come on as a warning that something is indeed wrong, for which your attention is needed.

Can wheel bearing cause check engine light? Yes, the wheel bearing can cause a check engine light to come on. This happens because the wheel bearing has power on the power-train system.

To find out why it happens this way, you should run a scan on the power train system of the vehicle itself. Since this is likely going to affect the drivability of the vehicle, you must make every effort to find out why it happens and resolve it properly.

Will a bad wheel bearing throw a check engine light?

A bad wheel bearing will surely throw a check engine light. In fact, simply forgetting to replace your gas cap could cause the check engine light to come on. By extension, so would a faulty ignition system too or even a spark plug that will ignite the fuel as it flows through the engine cylinders.

Any failure to replace a spark plug could lead to a catalytic converter malfunction or issues with the other sensors. In fact, even a faulty oxygen sensor can cause the check engine light to come on. Other established causes of check engine light coming on are:

* When the catalytic converter is going out.

* If the gas cap is not screwed on tight enough.

* Whenever there is a mass airflow sensor. This is air coming into the engine to make certain that only the correct amount of air mixes with the fuel.

* An oxygen sensor which measures how much-unburned oxygen is actually in your automobile exhaust, and also whether the amount is too much or even too little, which can lead to the damage of other parts. This will ultimately cause a check engine light to come on also.

* Spark plugs. In cases where you have worn out spark plugs or wires, it can equally result in the check engine light coming on.

How can you tell if a wheel bearing is bad?

There are signs or symptoms that will tell you as anything else can, whether your wheel bearing is bad. Firstly, you are likely going to hear a sort of humming or rubbing noise, which increases in volume as the vehicle accelerates or negotiates a corner.

Secondly, looseness of the steering. In this case, there will be excessive play in the steering wheel, known commonly as vague steering. Thirdly, there may be vibrations in the steering wheel too.

These vibrations in the steering wheel will also change alongside any changes in speed or as the vehicle takes a  turn.

Finally, we have a bad ABS, which fails to give any reading of tire pressure values when it should, or gives one when it shouldn’t. This can also make your check engine light come on too.

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Will the ABS light come on if the wheel bearing is bad?

Of course, a bad wheel bearing will obviously trigger a warning light in most modern cars. The ABS or otherwise known as the traction control warning will often illuminate since a bad wheel bearing will most likely cause the system to trip and eventually get deactivated.

Furthermore, simply replacing one hub bearing will cause the driver to feel ABS false activation when coming to a slow stop, particularly on dry pavements.

The new bearing may not really have any play, but the remaining hub may have an acceptable play,  though it can still affect the strength of the signal.

How do you remove a wheel bearing without a pillar?

The tools needed are nuts, threaded rods and bits of the plate, washers and sockets, a hammer, punch, gloves, safety glasses, a torch and a piece of scrap wood to be placed between the car and the surface you are hammering the hub on.

In the wheel bearing removal, first, remove the wheel of the vehicle from the hub and get the seals and bearing out using basic tools. Afterward, get the inner bearing races off, which could really be tricky too.

To do so, you should heat the hub until the bearing grease starts to drip out. Then, hammer the races out with the use of a punch. There are some grooves machined out of the hub for this purpose, just hammer one side, so that the other side will drop.

Flip and repeat the same process for the other side too, but be sure to keep the old races. Next, clean the hub, though it is still hot. Thereafter, remove all grease and grime off or if not, it can get into the new bearings. Finally, inspect it for cracks while it is still clean.

Can low tire pressure cause the check engine light to come on?

Low tire pressure can cause a check engine light to come on. There are other causes for the check engine light coming on, such as a malfunctioning sensor, low transmission fluid in the engine, and lots more engine maladies or issues.

Under normal circumstances, the check engine light will stay off as long as your tire pressure is within normal range. However, the moment the tire air pressure exceeds this normal value or falls less than it, the ABS will notify you of either the overinflation or depreciation of tire air.

This is what will cause the check engine light to come on. In a nutshell, expect your check engine light alert if your tire has less than normal PSI ( pounds per square inch) in it.

Can you drive a  car with bad wheel bearing?

It is not advisable to drive a car with a faulty wheel bearing for fear of avoidable accidents. However, if you must, it is recommended you drive it to isolated places where there are fewer pedestrians.

In addition, you must not drive at excessive speeds as well as take corners slowly.

Brakes must also be applied carefully. Finally, if you must drive a car with a bad wheel bearing, drive it to only where you will get it fixed, and with strict adherence to the conditions outlined earlier in this article.

So, yes, you can drive with a bad wheel bearing, but avoid doing it as much as possible, except maybe to get out of harm’s way or to the nearest auto shop for its repairs.

Is it safe to drive without a wheel bearing?

It is just not safe to drive without a wheel bearing for multiple reasons. First, if you drive without a wheel bearing, you will definitely not have absolute control of the vehicle as you should. Secondly, the vehicle will most likely be unstable on the road, as it will wobble fearfully.

Fourthly, the vehicle will also transmit excessive vibrations to the steering wheel. Finally, if you drive without a wheel bearing, you are putting your tires at the risk of wearing out prematurely.

There are many other reasons why you shouldn’t drive a car without a wheel bearing, but these are some of the commonest ones you are most likely going to encounter frequently.

How long can you drive on a bad wheel bearing?

Generally speaking, you must not drive any car with a faulty wheel bearing as much as possible. Despite this warning, however, sometimes it may become unavoidable to drive away from possible danger or to any auto shop nearby for prompt repairs.

Under these circumstances, you can drive on a faulty wheel bearing very slowly and in less crowded places. Also,   while cornering and applying the brakes, do it slowly and for no longer than 1600 kilometers.

If you should adhere to these instructions, which are recommended by the manufacturers, it is not likely that any more damage will be caused to other components of the vehicle. Essentially, you must not drive beyond an average of between 1000 to 1500 kilometers but do be warned that it is still a dangerous effort.

Frequently asked questions( FAQ)

How long will a noisy wheel bearing last?

A noisy wheel bearing is a piece of equipment on its way to extinction or one that needs prompt attention if it is required to be of any use.

Therefore, it is one gadget that must not be expected to last for any reasonable length of time. As a result, any noisy wheel bearing usually lasts between 136 000 and 160 000 kilometers or about 100 000 miles.

Notably, however, is the fact that how long it lasts depends on the quality of the wheel bearing itself and the operation of the vehicle too.

Priming the wheel bearing for longer periods will only cause more damage to other related components of the vehicle, and for that reason, you are not advised to press it for more,  under any circumstances.

How do you know when to replace your wheel bearing?

There are many tell-tale signs which will give you enough hint that your wheel bearing is actually going out of use. If the wheel bearing begins to give you these symptoms, you should start thinking of how to replace it and nothing else. Some of these signs that  will necessitate replacing the wheel bearing are:

(1). Giving very audible humming noises and squeaking or growling sounds.

(2). Your wheels may begin to wobble from side to side, which you can clearly feel while driving.

(3). The ABS( automatic brake system) may also fail. When this happens, it will reduce your braking effectiveness and increase your braking distance too.

(4). There is also the possibility of your vehicle tires beginning to wear unevenly and prematurely in certain places. Whenever you notice this, your wheel bearing is calling for a replacement.

(5). As you drive the vehicle along the road, whether at high speeds or not, you are likely to notice that the vehicle is tending towards one side of the road than the other, of its own accord. This is another sign calling for a wheel bearing replacement as soon as possible too.

(6). The vehicle is at certain times going to give out rigorous vibrations which is transmitted to the steering wheel via its steering column. Much as you may try to control these vibrations, they will refuse to abate. It is a pointer to the need for a new wheel bearing.

(7). Finally, there is also the tendency for the vehicle to refuse to go at any appreciable speeds, which was previously easy to do. In other words, a bad wheel bearing that needs replacement can manifest as a slower moving vehicle, regardless of how hard or how far down you press the gas pedal.

Do wheel bearings affect alignment?

Yes, bad wheel bearings affect alignment tremendously. As you drive the car on a bad wheel bearing, the wheels wobble uncontrollably, thereby putting more stress on them.

The transmission system is also overworked and affected too. In addition, there will be the tendency of the vehicle to pull autonomously to one side of the road, which is either to the left or the right.

All these haphazard and random movements will ultimately cause the wheels to go out of alignment. So, yes, a bad wheel bearing actually throws off alignment.

Can Wheel Bearing Cause Check Engine Light – Conclusion

The check engine light is a piece of lighting on your vehicle’s dashboard which alerts you whenever there is an issue in its engine that requires your attention.

Most notable among the factors that activate this light to come on is low or over-inflated tire pressures, problems with the vehicle’s transmission system, depleted availability of lubricants in the engine compartment, worn out or malfunctioning wheel bearing, and so on.

The moment this light comes on, it is surely for a reason. Therefore, do not ignore it, but rather park the vehicle at a safe place, out of the way of other road users and check carefully to find out why the light came on in the first place. 

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