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Easiest way to replace a wheel bearing/hub?

I am about to attempt replacing a front wheel bearing but Before I order parts I’d like to know which of these two methods would be easiest; option one is to replace just the small, 4 bolt hub assembly only, option two would be to replace the hub and steering knuckle together in one piece to avoid trying to remove a seized hub. If anyone who’s done a bearing replacement could chime in it would be extremely helpful. Also would I need any special tools other than a breaker bar and sockets?

"…option two would be to replace the hub and steering knuckle together in one piece to avoid trying to remove a seized hub."

I’ve replaced quite a few wheel bearings (not on Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution) and never had a problem with a seized hub. I would never think to order extra parts I don’t need.

What information do you have that makes you think the hub could be seized?

If you are ordering/buying from a national chain of parts stores, most parts are returnable/refundable. Order both to have on hand if you’d like. Then return the one not needed.

You will need a press to push out the hub and the bearing. Take option #2.

No you replace the whole hub on these cars. I’ve just heard horror stories of people really struggling to get the hub off. One guy actually split the hub in two when trying to pull it off leaving the back half of the housing and bearing attached to the knuckle when the front half of the hub with the wheel studs came off.

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution



I’m guessing the people that had “horror stories” were diy guys, without access to the proper tools and equipment

Because replacing bearings on a fwd/awd car is a routine job for many mechanics

I guess if you need a press and do not have access to one, then you have to weigh the cost of buying extra parts vs having someone else do it. I will also look and see if Autozone has a loaner tool you can use. I have used their loaner tools before and been happy with the experience.

I’ve Never Heard Of One Of These Vehicles… Oh Man! I Got Scared Just Looking At The Procedures & Special Hub Pulling Tools (MB990244, MB991354, MB990211) For Doing A (Usually Simple Wheel Bearing Replacement) On One Of These…
… buy the assembly if that is an option.
Economy car?

The hub bearing is just nuts and bolts. If it’s froze up in the knuckle after removing bolts get some extra bolts. Loosely install extra bolts and hammer on them to remove bearing assembly. That way you don’t damage original bolts driving out bearing. Don’t forget to properly torque axle nut and wheel nuts.


I agree it is normally a straightforward job but there are always exceptions. I felt sorry for the poor buggers that did the wheel bearing on my '03 Camry last year. I wrote about it here because they did a great job and didn’t charge me anything extra for the extra time they spent on it. Professional shop, do this kind of work everyday. Took them a few days to do the work with the assembly basking in a bath of penetrating oil overnight over the course of three days (weekend involved). It finally came out but not without a serious struggle. They managed to save the ABS sensor and actually returned the new one they had delivered and ready to install in case it broke. This car has been trouble on a number of fronts due to the lack of use and significant rust as a result…Thankfully, I did not tackle this one myself. I have enough swear words in my vocabulary already :wink: