View Full Version : Front wheel bearing replaced - what have they got wrong?

15-03-2008, 06:45 PM
1996 Passat saloon, 158,000 miles.

I had a front wheel bearing replaced four weeks ago. I noticed today that both front tyres were extremely worn on the inner edge, and suspected the tracking was out.

After I had the bearing done the handling felt a bit twitchy, and also the steering wheel was crooked. I was worried about the handling yesterday, as it was getting worse, which is why I checked the tyres today.

The tyres were fairly old, and would have needed changing within a few months anyway, so it was not a disaster.

I phoned up the place where I had the wheel bearing done, and they said that replacing a bearing does not affect the tracking.

I went to a local tyre place today bought two new tyres and had the tracking checked. The toe-in should have been 0 degrees, and in fact was -14 degrees. The chap said he had never known it that far out. After he pointed it out I could see it with the naked eye. He had a lot of trouble getting it back to zero, including using a blowtorch to free both sides up.

I intend to go back to the place that did the wheel bearing, and claim the full cost of the tracking, part cost for the new tyres, and some compensation, but I am worried there is something seriously wrong with the car. Did they put the suspension back together wrongly? Is it likely to fail in a big way? I can't believe they could adjust something so badly, and they deny they adjusted it anyway.

15-03-2008, 07:41 PM
Hi When replacing a wheel bearing, if the swivel joint is dismanteled by loosening the 3 bolts which the swivel joint is screwed to the suspension link,this is not the right procedure however if done that way the following must be done. Mark installation position; set to centre of elongated hole and check toe setting.
Elongated holes are not used to set camber! Non-observance may damage drive shafts.

lpg boy
16-03-2008, 10:28 PM
The Haynes manual gives unbolting the suspension strut , lower swivel and track rod end as the method for replacing the wheel bearing. I have done mine this way , marking / scribing the component positions as described in the book.
Once they are taken apart the hole tolerances have to be seen to be believed.
Cocking up the re-assembly positions can alter both the tracking and camber-so
it is worthwhile checking both as whoever did the bearings must have been oblivious to the adjustments that could result from changing the hub relationship to the suspension strut

17-03-2008, 01:11 AM
Thanks for the replies. It sounds like they made a complete balls-up of the job.

One more question - if they have altered the camber is this dangerous or is it safe to drive the car for a few days until I can get it sorted out? I presume specialist tools are needed to check the camber.