How long should replacement wheel bearings last?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by priusrecon, Jul 28, 2020.

  1. priusrecon

    priusrecon Junior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2015
    75
    24
    0
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Ok, so out of an abundance of laziness last year, I took my 2006 Prius with 160,000 miles on it to a professional mechanic to get the failing front wheel bearings replaced. I figure as I get older and my back is bad, I'll just pay and let a professional worry about it and then be done with it for many, many years, or the remaining life of the car. And he is a Professional, so he'll do it right, Right?
    That was last summer.
    Around April/May of this year, I start getting new rumbling noises out the front end. It started while only turning in the one direction, but then it quickly developed into occuring turning in either direction, and also while driving straight ahead anymore....And as of today (July), it sounds like I'm always driving over rumple strips, I cannot even hear my radio if I turn it on, and my front tires have worn down to the cords on the outsides.
    Can the bearings have failed already, or is there another issue I need be looking into? The car sailed thru inspection in March of this year.
     
  2. Rmay635703

    Rmay635703 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2016
    1,570
    1,019
    0
    Location:
    Somewhere in Wisconsin
    Vehicle:
    2013 Chevy Volt
    Model:
    N/A
    Aftermarket Bearings are quite difficult to source these days.

    if anything other than Timkin or National was used you can experience failure out of the box.

    if you plan on keeping the car a long time
    And can locate a Toyota dealer with a lifetime warranty on repairs
    bearings are one of the few things worth a slight overpayment as most are total garbage
     
    mjoo likes this.
  3. jessiejosco

    jessiejosco Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    55
    38
    0
    Location:
    Canada
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Not even sure about Timken or SKF anymore. Both used to supply the actual OEM "Koyo" wheel bearing, but now both supply bearings made in China that don't have their name stamped into the race. I just replaced one a shop replaced a year ago. I don't know what brand they used, but I used one of these Timkens, so we will see how long it will last. The Koyo bearings have pretty much averaged about 70000 miles for me. That's not great considering what a pain they are to replace.

    I think the lifespan depends on where you live as well. I live where there is snow and salt on the roads and this is hard on wheel bearings. I suspect they last longer where there is not snow. Then again we don't seem to have as many battery failures up North.
     
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    89,469
    40,037
    0
    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    an oem bearing should last a minimum of 60-80k
     
  5. Kenny94945

    Kenny94945 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2016
    590
    299
    0
    Location:
    Sausalito
    Vehicle:
    2016 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Four
    I agree with Bisco's "life" estimate.
    Sure the bearings could have failed, especially if the bearing brand was inexpensive aftermarket.
    Plus, as mention snow zones, salted roads, water, corrosive wheel cleaners, power washing do not add to a bearing's life.

    Could be something else.
    Can you lift the car and begin inspecting yourself?
    Look for a loose under fairing, broken plastic wheel liner, loose sway bar, loose shocks, bent rotor shield etc.
    No joke, a hammer can be your friend in looking for loose parts.

    Good luck.
     
  6. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2018
    3,722
    3,653
    1
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Vehicle:
    2018 Prius c
    Model:
    Two
    In the early 2000s I started seeing a lot of the big-name bearings failing much closer to their existing warranty limits. I don't know what changed, but I no longer expect more than 75k out of the best of them and often see the cheap ones fail before half that.

    The noise they produce gains so gradually that most drivers don't even notice it until they're somehow given a chance to compare to new.
     
  7. priusrecon

    priusrecon Junior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2015
    75
    24
    0
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    I'm going to replace the bearings again, this time myself, to save the $700 labor cost per wheel.

    There is no lifetime warranty that I can find from the Toyota dealer here, in spite of their premium costs, they only offer 12 months on the original Toyota manufactured part and their installment. They wouldn't even guarantee that their diagnostic detected the correct wheel to replace, so I'm a bit leary of mechanics right now.

    I don't know the brand used on the 1st replacement attempt on the left side last year, but the 2nd time was a Moog, and the 3rd a Beck Arnley, and the right side was also a Beck Arnley. All of them failed since last year.

    Any recommendations of the best brand to use this time?
    I usually go for the best brand for longevity, but now I'm wondering if I might be better off just buying the cheaper ones if I'm only going to get a year out of them and have to keep replacing them every year anyway....

    What do you think....?
     
    bisco likes this.
  8. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    89,469
    40,037
    0
    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    did you ever go back and talk to the mech?

    i suppose if i were going to do my bearings, i would buy them from a dealer. maybe an online toyota parts site, if i trusted them.
     
  9. priusrecon

    priusrecon Junior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2015
    75
    24
    0
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    The mech closed due to COVID, and can't be found anymore. Before that, he was a fixture around here for more than 30 years. I knew him for a long time. Unfortunately, that doesn't always insulate you from taking it up the arse sometimes.
     
  10. AndyFromWI

    AndyFromWI Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2018
    16
    8
    0
    Location:
    Cumberland, WI
    Vehicle:
    2009 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    I have replaced 7 bearings, a combination of front and rear, The first one was a Timken, the rest I have been Toyota OEM, from around $150 each. The job is not too bad. If you do the rear, you can use four bolts to force the hub off the axle. For the front, take the control arm off, then you can use 4 bolts to push the hub off the control arm.

    My Timken front has 52K and still going strong.
    On all of the different gen 2 prius, the bearing had between 180-230k miles before I replaced them. Some of the bearings have over 250K and still going strong.

    Video tips for using 4 bolts to replace the rear bearing:


    -andy
     
  11. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2018
    3,722
    3,653
    1
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Vehicle:
    2018 Prius c
    Model:
    Two
    Bet it rides nice and quiet now! (y)

    People are often surprised by how much difference it makes.
     
  12. AndyFromWI

    AndyFromWI Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2018
    16
    8
    0
    Location:
    Cumberland, WI
    Vehicle:
    2009 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Here was the worst wheel bearing. My friend had just driven it 300 miles. I did not want to take the car about 45mph until I replaced the bearing.



    -andy
     
Loading...