Bearing Race

what would make wheel bearings wear out within a month after being installed?

I recently asked what would cause wheel bearings to to wear out within a month after being installed, but would that cause the wheel to almost fall off also. If I had a longer way to drive my wheel would of fallen off luckly we were just driving in our driveway when we were told.

Wheel bearings can be pre-loaded with grease at the factory, but this does not alway apply. Bearings often require grease before installation, and a tool that looks like two plates with a grease nipple on them is used to force grease into and through the bearing.

You may have had a dry set and the mechanic who did the installation made the assumption that they were pre-loaded and simply installed the dry bearings as-is..

Bearings that are properly installed and have adequate lubrication should last for thousands of miles, but dry bearings will literally overheat in minutes and be destroyed, often scoring the axle which can make a replacement of both parts necessary.

Sometimes the axle can be badly damaged.

You asked about the wheel falling off, and even though it is unlikely, it can give the appearance of happening.

The bearings will maintain their shape and their position inside the races (the inner/outer parts that the bearings press against) for many miles, but, once they begin to overheat they expand and if running dry then they begin to abrade, which leads to more heat. Eventually they can get red-hot and deform in shape.

From that moment they can break down more, perhaps into pieces, and then you will have space enough for the entire wheel to begin wobbling.

If you ignored it long enough, and kept driving, the bad bearing would either seize / lock-up on the axle, which is most common, or it could become very severe and the wobble might get bad enough for the tire/wheel to grab on the body of the vehicle and perhaps even come off.

The most likely other cause is over-tightening.

Bearings need to have sufficient space to allow them to rotate and to allow the grease to get and stay between the bearings and contact surfaces on the bearing race..

Bearings that are over-tightened have no space between the bearings and the race, as the pressure squeezes the grease away from contact points. This causes constant, heavy, friction.

The friction in turn causes heat to build pretty rapidly, and it soon reaches the point where the nominal amount of grease that exists as a very thin layer, and lubricates the movement, melts and leaves only a very thin film. This makes the heat build faster, so the film also overheats and soon burns and turns to ash, leaving dry surfaces grinding against each other. The dry surfaces then get hotter and hotter, and, as mentioned above, they eventually self-destruct.

Even if you drive only short distances each time, once the damage has begun, it will only, and always, get worse each time you drive. and the damage increases substantially.

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Delta Unisaw arbor bearings without extended races
Delta Unisaw arbor bearings without extended races
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12mm QMax Q Max Q Max QMax Thrust Race Bearing Hole Punch
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DRAKE HEALD 4 AXIS CNC INTERNAL GRINDER w FANUC CONTROLS BEARING RACE GRINDER
DRAKE HEALD 4 AXIS CNC INTERNAL GRINDER w FANUC CONTROLS BEARING RACE GRINDER
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87026 Bearing 26mm bore 52mm OD 15mm outer race wide 152mm innerr race wide
87026 Bearing 26mm bore 52mm OD 15mm outer race wide 152mm innerr race wide
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Early Atlas Craftsman 9 lathe countershaft bearing Race 9 108B Qty 2
Early Atlas Craftsman 9 lathe countershaft bearing Race 9 108B Qty 2
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NTN 4T 30307D TAPER ROLLER BEARING AND CUP RACE NOS
NTN 4T 30307D TAPER ROLLER BEARING AND CUP RACE NOS
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Westward Bearing Race Seal Driver Kit 8 Pieces 32J061
Westward Bearing Race Seal Driver Kit 8 Pieces 32J061
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Craftsman 10 Metal Lathe Countershaft Bearings and Races 9 108 9 109 2 Each
Craftsman 10 Metal Lathe Countershaft Bearings and Races 9 108 9 109 2 Each
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16mm QMax Q Max Q Max QMax Thrust Race Bearing Hole Punch
16mm QMax Q Max Q Max QMax Thrust Race Bearing Hole Punch
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10mm QMax Q Max Q Max QMax Thrust Race Bearing Hole Punch
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CINCINNATI Bearing Race Micro Centric Microcentric Cylindrical Ext OD Grinder
CINCINNATI Bearing Race Micro Centric Microcentric Cylindrical Ext OD Grinder
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FAG 5 1 2 DIAMETER GROOVED RACE THRUST BALL BEARING 51128 P5
FAG 5 1 2 DIAMETER GROOVED RACE THRUST BALL BEARING 51128 P5
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Mayhew Pro 62015 Bearing Race Punch Set 4 Piece
Mayhew Pro 62015 Bearing Race Punch Set 4 Piece
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NEW ROLLWAY INNER RACE BEARING E 1211 106 E1211106
NEW ROLLWAY INNER RACE BEARING E 1211 106 E1211106
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CINCINNATI Bearing Race Micro Centric Microcentric Cylindrical OD Grinder
CINCINNATI Bearing Race Micro Centric Microcentric Cylindrical OD Grinder
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Mattison Turret MAT B30 461B Bearing Race 114 ID 13375 OD 5875 deep
Mattison Turret MAT B30 461B Bearing Race 114 ID 13375 OD 5875 deep
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NEW INA BEARING WITH INNER RACE NA22 82RS NA22 82RS
NEW INA BEARING WITH INNER RACE NA22 82RS NA22 82RS
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Applied Materials AMAT EPI 0020 14060 Bearing Rotation Inner Race Offset Pin
Applied Materials AMAT EPI 0020 14060 Bearing Rotation Inner Race Offset Pin
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Applied Materials AMAT 0020 17041 Race Inner Bearing Rotation Drive
Applied Materials AMAT 0020 17041 Race Inner Bearing Rotation Drive
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AMAT 670413 LOWER BEARING RACE
AMAT 670413 LOWER BEARING RACE
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AMAT 670415 MAGNET BEARING RACE
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GEARWRENCH Alloy Steel Bearing Race and Seal Kit 41630D
GEARWRENCH Alloy Steel Bearing Race and Seal Kit 41630D
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Cincinnati Milacron 36 OD Bearing Race Grinder
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0020 39360 RACE UPPERBEARING UPPER ROTATION RTP APPLIED MATERIALS
0020 39360 RACE UPPERBEARING UPPER ROTATION RTP APPLIED MATERIALS
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NSK 32206J TAPERED ROLLER BEARING AND CUP RACE HR32206J NOS
NSK 32206J TAPERED ROLLER BEARING AND CUP RACE HR32206J NOS
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KOYO 320 22JR HI CAP TAPERED ROLLER BEARING AND RACE CUP NOS
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AMAT 0020 39361 RACE LOWERBEARING UPPER ROTATION RTP NEW
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Atlas Craftsman Lathe 10 12 Countershaft Bearings And Race 2 Pcs
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Race go kart vintage chainsaw McCulloch MC92 93 bearing seal kit fits Mc 92 ETC
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