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Can I trust a friend to change my front wheel bearings?

How difficult is it to change the wheel bearings on a 2001 Hyundai Accent? A friend, that works on cars as a hobby, says that he can complete the job and save me money over going to a garage/mechanic. But I don’t want to save money at the cost of my safety. Advise please :confused:

How can we possibly know your friend’s skills/abilities?

Indeed. For someone who knows what they’re doing and who has the right tools, it’s very easy. For a novice, it’s very hard. You know your friend. You tell us.

If you are asking if it is a job typically considered to be one that a “do-it-yourselfer” (we say DIYer)should try at home, I will say “Yes” with a qualification,or a qualification and some warnings. The qualification is that he has done the job before and rather than me list what special tools I would want on-hand perhaps he tells you what special tools he brings.

There is nothing about this job that is abnormal for a front wheel drive bearing replacement job, but a fwd bearing replacement job is by nature more complex than a front wheel bearing job on a rear wheel drive car. I do see on the “exploded view” of the assembly that the bearing is held in with a snap ring, I hope this means that the bearing is easy to get out of the hub.

For an experienced man in the shop this job is childs play. For an experienced man at home it is a bit tougher. For the beginner at home it could lead to disaster, we just don’t know what you know about your friends ability and experience.

There’s no way of any of us knowing what your friend’s capabilities are.
Normally, these bearings are a tight fit in the hub. This does not mean that the tool of choice when removing and installing them is a big hammer.

You might pose this question to your friend. Given the 2 options of removing and installing the bearing with a hammer or using a press (either his own or having it done at an auto machine shop) then you should find someone else if he says the former is fine.

If he can pre-tell you exacly what he’s going to do during the job…

WITHOUT using any of these words ; “maybe”, “probably”, “I think I’ll try”, “as far as I know”, “well, let’s see”…

Then perhaps he should.

It requires a special puller/installer to replace the bearings. If your friend doesn’t have access to this special puller/installer it’s impossible to install the new bearing without doing damage to the bearing.


Good point. My wife’s PT Cruiser required a hydraulic press to change the wheel bearings. Therefore I paid a shop to do it and I had been an aircraft mechanic for over 20 years plus a good DIY car mechanic.

Thank you all for your you words of wisdom and guidance.

One more? He could be the best bearing-changer in the world, but if you have to ask strangers on the internet…

How much money will this save you? Would you rather sue your garage or your friend if something goes wrong?

If you were asking about doing it yourself, I would say, yeah, you could probably learn it. <----- but it’s starting to sound like that is wrong, so don’t listen to me.

You can always remove the hub and bearing assembly from the car, take it to a local garage for them to press out the old bearing and press in the new bearing you hand them. Many will do it for a reasonable price.