Collapsing front wheel bearing
We often see dramatic failures of components, even though owners are only slightly aware of the problem. The driver of this 2004 Vauxhall Combo van was only concerned by a slight squeal from the front of the vehicle. Our first reaction on seeing the wear on the front tyre was that something – most likely a front wheel bearing – had failed. Jacking up the vehicle revealed that the wheel was flopping about and the hub bearing had indeed collapsed.
There was little doubt that the damage done was going to extend to the hub and that it was highly likely that the bearing had worn so badly that it had collapsed and spun on the hub. This was the case and, due to the age of the van, the owner opted to pick up a replacement unit from a breakers.
The replacement was quite easily fitted, after which a new tyre was also needed. Back on the road, the owner remarked that the steering now felt more positive.
As well as the worn tyre, collapsed bearing and ruined hub, damage had also occurred to the brake disc.