So, you’ve discovered a bad wheel bearing on your vehicle.
By now, you have already figured out that this is a serious problem. A bad wheel bearing can cause your vehicle to swerve uncontrollably, creating a serious safety risk for yourself and anyone who happens to be nearby. It also puts extra stress on your axle and everything to which it is connected. Before long, these parts will break down as well.
In this article, we will look at seven different wheel bearing and hub assemblies. If you only need a wheel bearing, this article will not be helpful to you. Even if your hub is fine, you might want to switch it anyway. It never hurts to stay ahead of the game.
All of these products have a lot of good reviews under their belt. Thus, they have proven to be worthy of our list. We will examine each one and attempt to determine which wheel bearing/hub assembly is the best of the best.
Top 7 Wheel Bearing and Hub Assemblies
1. Timken SP500300
2. MOOG 515046
3. MOTORMAN 513121 Pair of 2
4. ACDelco FW121 GM
5. Timken SP500301
6. MOOG 515036
7. Timken 513188
- Top 7 Wheel Bearing and Hub Assemblies
- 1. Timken SP500300 – Our Wheel Bearing/Hub Assembly Best Choice
- 2. MOOG 515046 – Highest Rated Wheel Bearing and Hub Assembly
- 3. MOTORMAN 513121 Pair of 2 – Most Affordable Option
- 4. ACDelco FW121 GM – Extra-long Plug Cord
- 5. Timken SP500301 – Good Price-Performance Ratio Assembly
- 6. MOOG 515036 – Good Quality Wheel Bearing Hub Assembly
- 7. Timken 513188 – Made With Durability in Mind
- Best Wheel Bearing Hub Assembly – Buyer’s Guide
Below is a list of the best wheel bearing hub assemblies that will reduce the pressure of the axle system and make your rides safe.
1. Timken SP500300 – Our Wheel Bearing/Hub Assembly Best Choice
The only exception would be the studs, whose plating looks a little bit suspect. Still, those studs are exceptionally thick, so there is definitely some room for error.
This is one of the cheapest parts on our list, but its quality doesn’t seem to be in question since it has had relatively few complaints.
At the same time, we can’t help but notice that the warranty is a joke…and not the funny kind. It’s a 90-day “limited warranty,” which is never good.
2. MOOG 515046 – Highest Rated Wheel Bearing and Hub Assembly
We really like the way that they sealed off the wheel bearing with a plastic ring. This ensures that no metal shavings or other foreign matter are present, which is very reassuring.
The construction of this thing looks pretty innovative and very durable.
The 3-year warranty is also quite nice. Other than the high cost, the only problem here is the fact that this strange design may not work for all vehicles, particularly older ones.
3. MOTORMAN 513121 Pair of 2 – Most Affordable Option
However, this product deserves some credit for its placement of the wiring. Everything is bundled together neatly in a harness behind the main unit. This definitely makes installation a little bit easier. The high shine indicates a good thick coating as well.
4. ACDelco FW121 GM – Extra-long Plug Cord
What we have here is a simple and effective part that gets the job done without any tricks.
The only thing that stands out is the extra-long plug cord. Because a cord like this can easily be cut and spliced, this gives you a little more latitude in how you choose to install this cord.
The only problem we see here is the coating of the metal. It does not look shiny, thick, or strong. We believe that this product will not resist rust and corrosion as well as most others, and that is a significant problem.
5. Timken SP500301 – Good Price-Performance Ratio Assembly
Those thick, bulbous studs are also good to see, as they indicate a part that will last longer. However, when we turn the part over and look at the backside, we see that the coating is not so impressive.
We like the big and robust seal on the axle connection, as we have a little more confidence in its ability to take the abuse that it must. In most areas, this product does its job and does it well.
6. MOOG 515036 – Good Quality Wheel Bearing Hub Assembly
They seem to have gone to a lot of trouble to encase every surface thoroughly. You won’t find any bare steel on this thing. The studs are encased in a special material, the rest is thoroughly chromed, and the cord has the thickest insulation we’ve ever seen on a product of this type.
Other than the relatively high cost, we see only two small problems. First, this part has a somewhat more narrow range of vehicles for which it is available. Thus, it may not be an option for you. Also, some users have reported serious issues with the sensor.
7. Timken 513188 – Made With Durability in Mind
The studs are very well-coated and look like they will hold up for a long time. We especially like the thick and chunky way in which this part is constructed. It was obviously made with durability in mind, and durability is the most important thing.
The studs are very hard to remove because of the large backplate, but we have a bigger problem. There appears to be a strip of uncoated metal on the inner rim of the hub. We could be wrong, but that looks like bare steel. Because bare steel rusts so easily, this is a relatively big issue.
Best Wheel Bearing Hub Assembly – Buyer’s Guide
Now that you’ve seen some of what the market has to offer, let’s talk about the criteria by which you should evaluate a product of this type.
Durability Is Number One
The wheels of your vehicle are going to take more wear and tear than virtually any other part of your vehicle. This part is obvious because the wheels are the only parts of your car that directly contact the road. Although your wheel bearing/hub assembly won’t be touching the road, it still needs to be as tough as a box of nails.
Look for thick steel, and try to examine the surface of the steel very closely. Steel, like wood, has a certain grain. If you look very close, these patterns can give you clues about the quality of the steel. Small grains indicate that the metal has been cooled quickly, which tells us that it has been properly hardened. Large grains tell us that the metal has been cooled slowly, which will make it softer.
Never Go For The Cheapest
Although it might be tempting to buy the cheapest option, this is usually a bad idea. First of all, your chances of getting a defective product are much higher. Companies that make cheap products are usually not as forgiving with their return policies, either. On the other hand, companies that make high-end parts will often offer a generous warranty.
Steel is coated with various other substances in order to give it resistance against the weather. Obviously, weather resistance is particularly important for this piece of steel. Thus, you should ensure that the surfaces are well-coated. Most of the products we have seen today are coated in a non-corrosive metal like chrome. You should also look at the studs. If the studs are not well-coated, it indicates that the entire part may not have been coated properly.
Sometimes, these parts will come from the factory with tiny metal shavings lodged in the bearing. Obviously, this is not acceptable. Whenever possible, you should perform the “spin test” on any wheel bearing/hub assembly that you are thinking about buying. This test couldn’t be simpler: You just hold the part upside-down and spin the bearing with your finger. If there are metal shavings in the gap, they will probably fall out. However, you should not buy this product because those metal shavings indicate poor workmanship.
In conclusion, we have determined that we have a tie. Both of our Moog products offer a higher level of quality as compared to the rest. Although we are not partial to any particular company, the two Moog products impressed us with all the little things. These little things show attention to detail, which is only shown by diligent manufacturers. Your life literally depends on the quality of this part, so never underestimate that factor.