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2003 Silverado wheel bearings

I’m new here but I’ve been a “car guy” most of my 59 years. I’ve worked on a variety of hobby cars, restorations, and done much of my own maintenance on my vehicles and boats. I bought this Silverado LS new in 2003, and have taken very good care of it. With just under 85K miles, it still has the factory brakes, hoses and belt, but I know it’s getting time for some replacements.

While having my tires rotated at the Goodyear store, I had them check my brakes. They said they will go a little longer, but the right front wheel bearing is showing wear and needs to be replaced. I’ve noticed no symptoms (noise, wobble, etc.) but I wasn’t allowed in the shop to look for myself (I understand the liability). I’ve done plenty of wheel bearing replacements over the years at my friend’s shop. Take off the hub, press out the old bearings, pack the new ones, and press them back in. $20 in parts, and about an hour of greasy labor. Well, these guys say that, on my truck you have to replace the entire hub/rotor assembly. The estimate was about $350 for that one wheel! Is this the truth?

Yes. The front bearing on your truck isn’t the old tapered roller bearing type. Instead it uses a hub/bearing assembly which is replaced as a unit.


Tester is correct, the entire hub assembly has to be replaced. Part of the high price is the ABS sensor built into the hub.

Both front wheel bearings on my 2000 Blazer (~56k miles) went bad after the tires were replaced. The cost was ~$350 each for reman hubs from my trusted mechanic. Labor was minimal, around $50 installed for both sides.

For a while I thought the noise from the front end was from the new tires. If the sound changes when the steering wheel is turned off center (i.e. changing lanes) it is an indication of bearings going bad.

I would prefer a trusted independent for this repair, not a chain store.

Ed B.

goodyear should have let you “shake out” front tire ITs bull that they said there is a liabality I ran shops from My own to firestone to Midas and I always showed customer a bad part,brake or berring or what ever was wrong! you can check it yourself very eay just like old berrings jack car sake wheel fron top to bottom if you have movement Change it But DONT let a shop put “THE CHEEP ONE” in they go in 6 months buy name brand or delco

Thanks for the feedback yall. I used to have jacks, stands, and tools to do these things myself, but live in an apt. complex now and nowhere to work on my truck. I trusted a franchise oil change place here that did some work for me, but they got blown away in the April 27th tornado. I’ll find some way to check this myself before I spend that kind of money.

Thanks again.

In my limited experience they usually make some noise long before they degrade to a point where it’s a safety issue. Although I am tuned in to any anomolous noises :wink:

My 2004 Trailblazer was making some noise on turns. No one else seemed to hear it but it was different to me. It gradually got worse over a few weeks until the wife could hear it too. Based on the direction of turn it barked on I knew it was driver’s side. Bearing hub assy w/ABS sensor was expensive but simple to change.

If you’re risk averse and can’t do the work yourself due to current situation, I’d definitely get a second opinion if it’s not making any noise yet.

Try and get the bearings from a place that sells them over the Internet, and you will not only save money, but can find Timken bearings that are made in the USA (in Kentucky, if I remember correctly). Check to see if the shop will put them on for you or if they will insist on selling them to you. With more and more stuff being made in China of questionable quality (I recently bought a 2" trailer part for my truck and it was made in China and the holes for the pin didn’t line up - I had to grind them to fit), I would insist on Timken bearings.

You will also save quite a bit of money on the part. My last bearing for my Silverado cost about $130 for the Timken (2 wheel drive). I would also replace both of them as the other side will be going out soon.