Do I need a new wheel bearing? If yes... which one is the best for my car?

Hi. I have a Hyundai Elantra 2009. Recently my mechanic installed the front shocks and aligned my car. Then I noticed the car was going to the right on its own. If I pressed the brake, it also goes to the right roughly.

He checked the brake pads and rotors which have like 2 months of use and they were fine. He rotated the tires and all 4 tires have 32 PSI too. Then he bleed the brake line. but the problem wasn’t solved. So he told me to replace both brake hoses and calipers and I did, but still the problem persists.

I noticed that the steering wheel is a bit wobbly and when I go over 25 mph the car starts to shake a bit. Sometimes, when the I start my car cold and make the first turn, it will have like a “hum” sound from the right side and then its gone. I read online that maybe the problem is the wheel bearing. So I jack up the car, moved the tire vertically and horizontally and has no play… its solid. So I don’t know if its the bearing or not.

I have never changed a wheel bearing, but I will do it myself since I am on a limited budget, but if so, which wheel bearing do you recommend? I want a good quality one that won’t break in a year or two.

Thanks in advance.

If it’s a front wheel bearing, the bearing that is bad should get noisier when you turn in the opposite direction. If you take a left at speed and the hum increases, the right wheel bearing is the one that needs replacing, for example. Really makes no difference if the vehicle is cold or up to temp

I’d jack the front of the car up and make sure the brakes aren’t dragging on one side. Make sure the tires are in decent shape, are worn evenly and that they’re not causing your issues too. Hopefully the shop that did the alignment checked the suspension components already.


I think for the future you should find a different mechanic. this one is just throwing parts at the car to see if it works.


Top wheel bearing manufacturers.







1 Like

Sounds like a bad alignment. I’d find another shop.


I’m a fan of Timken but I’m not convinced that you have a wheel bearing problem.
Are your wheels aligned? Are the tires balanced? Do you have any “clunks” when starting? What happens if you jack up the car and spin the wheel by hand?

The car’s at an age where wear is expected but you don’t want to start throwing money at the problem so spend the time or find a mechanic who will spend the time to locate the actual problem.
And BTW maybe your calipers actually did need to be relaced but the symptoms of a dragging or frozen caliper are easy to diagnose with a thermometer or by touch so I’d start looking for someone who’s more interested in your repair than your wallet.


Had a few wheel bearings go out, mine never affected the steering.

So have I and aside from slight “grinding” on turns never any steering affect.

1 Like

Agree, I think they got the alignment wrong when replacing the strut. The shimmy is a little troublesome though so it needs to be looked at for worn parts. Only bad bearings I had made a growling noise.

Hi guys, thanks for replying on my problem :slight_smile:

@Scrapyard-John The car doesn’t make any sound when turning at speed.

@weekend-warrior He said that if its not the bearing… it should be something wrong with the brake system which I doubt cause pads, hoses, calipers and rotors are brand new.

@Tester Thanks. If I need the bearing, Im gonna check those brands online.

@texases He told me to go back tomorrow to re-check the alignment. If the problem persists, then I should go to Pep Boys. IDK where is best.

@Beancounter IDK if the wheels are balanced cause is a used car I bought on January, maybe I should check that out. But he did rotate the tires and still pulling to the right. I don’t know if that has to do something diagnosing the problem. No clunks… I installed new sway bars and ball joint on both side like 2 months ago. I did jack up the car before replacing the calipers and spin the wheels by hand. Both spin fine without problem.

if this is something, but they first replaced the struts and then they did the alightment. I noticed that the left strut has some noises when moving the wheel, also when its parked. I sprayed some WD4 but it didn’t help. Maybe I should upload a video on YouTube and show you guys, cause the strut, links and ball joint are brand new and I applied fresh grease to them too.

If he thinks Pep Boys is a step up, then I know you need a new shop. Look on Yelp and Google for ‘auto repair’ and ‘alignment’, look through the reviews. Or ask friends, neighbors, coworkers. Avoid chains unless they come HIGHLY recommended.



If you didn’t figure out previously that your mechanic is… let’s just say… not the best, his “Pep Boys” recommendation should confirm for you that he is an amateur, at best. If you want to get alignment done properly, you should take the car to an independent alignment/front end shop that has been in business for many years.

1 Like

Yep don’t go to Peb Boys for an alignment. A good tire shop with alignment equipment. Where did you get the tires from? Maybe there. If he replaced the strut and ball joints, etc., the alignment is screwed up.


Timken is the brand I’d choose for a replacement wheel bearing. But I’m doubtful the pulling and vibration you are noticing is a wheel bearing problem. You could have a wheel bearing problem, but the symptom for that is usually a growling noise that gets louder the faster you go. A vibration or pulling to happen, it would have to be really bad, and would most likely be noticeably just by jacking up the wheel and hand rotating it, you’d hear weird noises, twisting/pulling on the wheel you’d notice some play, etc. I don’t see you saying that’s the case.

From what I see you car uses struts in the front, and the shock absorbers are confined to the rear. My guess, the problem has something to do with the strut work. The strut bottom bolts to the part the wheel bolts to, and the strut top bolts to a bearing assembly at the top, which allows the wheels to turn as you turn the steering wheel. Suggest you ask your shop to double check the strut work has been done correctly, both top and bottom, using the correct parts.

If one of the brakes are dragging, you should be able to determine that by feeling if one of the wheels is much warmer than the others after a short drive. If one of the wheels issn’t braking at all, you should be able to determine that by stopping quickly in a gravel area, and inspecting the skid marks.

is the humm sound more of a creaking sound almost like a old door opening but a deeper sound? if so its probably coming from the strut. I had put in quick struts ( one piece unit) one time, and it made that sound in the cold when I first turned and then went away shortly after. this started when you had the struts put in so its likely part of the problem.

1 Like

A humming noise during turning when everything is still cold could be the PS pump too.

Rule 32, if a new problem appears right after a maintenance action, the maintenance action is the cause. Either there is something wrong with one of the struts, the strut was not installed properly or the alignment was not done correctly.

1 Like

Here’s a video from a noise coming from the front left side / driver side. IDK if it has something to do… but before the new installation, it didn’t squeak like that.

Is this a control arm bushing noise or is it the struts? (You can see some liquid marks in the video, it’s WD40)

If any WD 40 gets on the CV boot, clean it off w/soap and water immediately. Otherwise it may weaken the boot material and cause it to eventually split.

I’ll let one of the mechanics comment but that is not a normal noise and very unnerving. Something is very wrong. Maybe nothing was greased but I can’t imagine a guy letting it out of the shop like that.