Monday, March 10, 2014

When to Grease or Replace Your Trailer Bearings

The looming spring and summer are ideal seasons for out-of-town family vacations. Before packing up and traveling, make sure that you’ve thoroughly inspected your vehicle and trailer for mechanical issues that might affect your journey. You surely don’t want to ruin your vacation by a broken trailer wheel while on your way to the beach. Here’s how to know if your trailer wheel bearings need to be replaced.

A trailer wheel bearing is not visible as the majority of its components are concealed within the metal housing. Therefore, you won’t easily find damage that tells you it should be replaced right away. Instead, you can check what’s visible—the wheel itself. If you find that some tires have an uncommon wear, it probably means the bearings are broken or poorly installed.

Dust and debris may little by little enter the bearing and affect the rotation of the balls that keep the wheel’s turn smooth. Such a concern can spell disaster as it may increase the friction formed between the rotating wheels and the bearings. This is the most likely problem if you start hearing unusual noise in the wheel as the trailer starts moving.

Jack up the trailer and remove the wheels to access the trailer wheel hubs where the bearings are. Get rid of debris and make sure it’s well greased before you put it back. Try towing it and if the unusual noise disappears, it means the trailer is ready to take a long journey without breaking down on the road.

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