Wheel Bearing Failure.

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My Name: bill sutton

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Heres a tale of woe for you.

Whilst changing the front strut bearing I caught the ABS sensor ring on the bearing, so the ABS light came on. Bearing one

No problem, I'll buy a new bearing and, with the help of a twenty ton press at the local Steam railway shed, fit it myself. Got the old one out, got the bearing in the hub carrier, but pressing the hub back in, forgot to support the inner race not the outer and buggered the ABS sensor ring. Bearing two.

Bought a complete hub with bearing from ebay, can't go wrong there! passed MOT, six months later, bearing collapsed. Bearing three

Bought another new bearing but having learnt from experience, took it to local garage to fit into hub which I had removed to save money.
800 later, bearing failed. Bearing four

No problem, 12 months warranty on bearing, was sent a replacement which I took with the hub again to the same garage to fit for another tenner. Now, one week, and about 500 miles later, I hear the faint train like rumblings of a failing wheel bearing again.

Question, what can cause repeated bearing failure? I have not crashed into anything, the hub nut was fitted according to torque settings given, so not overtight, the wheel doesn't vibrate due to inbalance or wobble sideways due to distortion of the rim, the CV joints and intermediate bearing are in good order.
I feel embarrassed to ask for another replacement bearing after less than fortnight since the last replacement!!! They will probably assume I am a total w****r who doesn't know what he's doing, but I can't see how or where I have gone wrong or what is causing so much stress to the bearing that it fails at less than 1,200 miles rather than 12,000 stated on the warranty, (which wouldn't come as any great surprise)

Any thoughts?
My Name: Missing Lincs

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Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2004 (04)
Engine Size: 1.1
Fuel Type: Petrol
Trim Level: Desire
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)
Engine name: TU3 (75 PS)
Location: United Kingdom
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Have you looked at the failed bearing for clues? I'm not up on the type of bearings fitted to these motors, what type are they? I'm just wondering if they are tapered and somehow you've managed to get them the wrong way round?

I can't see it being bad luck with so many failures.
If at first you don't succeed, destroy all the evidence and pretend you never tried :lol:
My Name: Missing Lincs

Moderator
Posts: 844
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:29 pm
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2004 (04)
Engine Size: 1.1
Fuel Type: Petrol
Trim Level: Desire
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)
Engine name: TU3 (75 PS)
Location: United Kingdom
Has thanked: 46 times
Been thanked: 35 times

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Forgot to ask, any unusual tyre wear on any wheel that might suggest alignment?
If at first you don't succeed, destroy all the evidence and pretend you never tried :lol:
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My Name: C3CAR

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Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2002 (02)
Engine Size: 1.4 (16v)
Fuel Type: Diesel
Mileage: 140000
Trim Level: Exclusive
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)
Engine name: DV4 16-valve diesel (90 PS)
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Hi bill sutton and Missing Lincs,


I did a bit of research and came up with a list of possible causes for wheel bearing failure. Although some are already covered or not relevant to bills car I think this list my become useful in the future (with additions from others over time). Adding to Missing Lincs suggestion of improperly fitted bearings, that is fitted the wrong way round, I can add,

Bearing damaged while fitting - whacking a bearing with a hammer to get them in can damage them before you have even driven the car.

Contaminated bearing grease - not a problem with sealed bearings, but repacked with the wrong grease or some foreign liquid getting to the bearing can cause problems.

A poor quality bearing - just cheap rubbish not up to the job (a copy made from inferior materials - just because the packaging looks good, it may be junk inside the box)

Incorrectly mounted assembly - Wrong torque (faulty torque wrench / incorrect conversion of ft·lb to Nm), missing thrust washer or some other parts not fitted correctly - there isn't a thrust washer on the C3 front wheel bearings.

Misaligned shafts - not so much wheel bearings, but a bent drive shaft or (as missing lincs suggests, suspension alignment)

Earth Currents - I have not seen this on a car, but bearing can be damaged by earth leakage currents through the bearing. A form of 'Electro-erosion'. Check the earth straps are all fitted and have a nice low resistance path.

Kerbing - if the wheel hits the kerb at speed then the resulting forces can be transferred to the wheel bearing causing damage which will accelerate bearing wear.

(the is room for more here!)


You can get a good quality Wheel Bearing Kit by SNR from Euro Car Parts
My Name: bill sutton

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Thanks guys, plenty to think about there

1. no uneven tyre wear on that side, but some on the other?

2. bearings cannot be fitted the wrong way, as sensor ring one sided.

3. not a lot remains of the bearing after removal, its a one way process and you have to destroy them when removed, they are balls not rollers though.

4 Yes, they were cheap, maybe I should spend more!!! :lol:
My Name: bill sutton

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Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:42 am
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The bearing is now in state of imminent collapse (again) so, assuming the the hub carrier may be distorted and misaligned, I have purchased another complete hub and bearing from ebay, and also a replacement strut for the other side, as the top bearing is seized, but then it always has since purchase, it didn't fail the MOT because they only look for play, and as its rigid, there is none!
I can't see why the opposite bearing would fail though, any thoughts? the tyre on the side with the seized strut bearing is showing excessive wear on BOTH sides, but not in the middle, which I always assumed to be under-inflation of the tyre, but that is not the cause. tracking would only wear one side out, so I am replacing the strut as a precautionary measure, and anyway the annoying clang as the spring jumps round won't be missed and it could be the cause of the wheel bearing failure on the other side, so it's worth a punt.
My Name: bill sutton

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Posts: 89
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:42 am
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Jobs done, with one slight hiccup, re the replacement strut (see other post, front strut replacement) did find the track rod end ball was insecure on the n/s which had caused both outside edges to wear off that tyre, and possibly caused the bearing to fail on the opposite side? Lets hope so, cos then I've fixed it, if this one fails I'll be driving to Citroen HQ and torching the f****r on their forecourt!!!!
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