Repacking Wheel Bearings: Everything You Need To Know

Nov 10, 2022 | How To

The following guide answers the popular question – What do I need to know about repacking wheel bearings?

If you’re a trailer owner, you’ve probably heard the term “repack wheel bearings.” But, what exactly does repacking wheel bearings on a trailer mean?

Repacking wheel bearings means to clean, inspect and add new grease to the wheel bearings.

Although you can’t see the wheel bearings on your trailer, you won’t get far without these important components. Trailer wheel bearings are mounted on the inside of the wheel hub assembly to connect the wheel to the axle and allow the wheels to rotate properly without friction.

What does repacking wheel bearings mean?

The process of repacking a wheel bearing involves removing all the parts of the trailer wheel so the bearings can be cleaned. You start by removing the old grease, then inspect the bearings, then replace or ‘repack’ new grease into the bearing.

Why do trailer wheel bearings need repacked?

The entire weight of the trailer rides on the wheel bearings, which is why it is so important to keep them regularly maintained. Over time, the grease in the wheel bearings will break down and not properly lubricate the bearings. Also, water can enter the wheel hub from condensation or from being submerged in water on boat trailers, causing damage to the wheel bearings. If the trailer wheel bearings are not properly lubricated, the added friction can eventually cause your wheels to seize up. Once this happens, you have much more expensive repair bills, not to mention the increased risk of an accident.

How do you know if the wheel bearings on your trailer need repacked?

Wheel bearings will make unnatural sounds and the wheel and hub will get hot to the touch before they grind to a halt and seize up. If you hear a whine or grinding noise coming from the trailer tires while they are in motion, or if the hub is too hot to touch, it’s probably time for some wheel bearing maintenance or even replacement.

How often should you repack the wheel bearings on your trailer?

It is recommended that trailer wheel bearings should be repacked annually or at least every 12,000 miles. Even if your trailer is not in use, the grease breaks down from condensation in the bearings and causes corrosion to build up.

Have your wheel bearings inspected regularly.

Most wheel bearings you can grease on your own. However, it’s a good idea to have them inspected by an expert. Sometimes too much grease is applied to the bearing which can cause problems.

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When it comes to trailer maintenance in central Iowa, the pros at BlueSwift Axles got you covered! We are here to help you with all your trailer axle needs. We’ll get you back on the road quickly with minimal downtime.

Original article credit: Hilltop Tire Service