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Avoid This Common Car Repair Scam with a Simple Touch Test

Believe it or not spinning the wheels and listening for a tell-tale noise on a jacked-up vehicle is not the best way to determine if your wheel noise is due to a bad wheel bearing. Here’s a recent bit of advice from a Toyota mechanic on how to diagnose a bad wheel bearing like a pro on your Toyota or Lexus. Plus, a demo on how to DIY on your car’s wheel bearings to save money.

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A Common Scam

So, you go into a service center to have new wheels put on or perhaps a free wheel rotation service to help extend the life of your tires. All is well and good until the tech comes to you with his clipboard in hand and says that your wheel bearings have gone bad (or are going bad) and need replacing.

He might even demonstrate the said problem by spinning a wheel in front of you during which you may hear some unusual noise or unhealthy sounds coming from the wheel area. Does this mean you have a bad wheel bearing? Maybe not, but it is an easy way to scam an unwitting car owner.

The most common sign of a bad wheel bearing is a growing roar-like sound that increases as your vehicle speeds up. This is the result of some serious friction going on in a bearing responsible for connecting the wheel to its axle indicating wear that is getting near the point of self-destructing and possibly losing a wheel while driving down the road.

The problem with a tech spinning a wheel for you with your vehicle on the lift is that it is not always easy to discern noise coming from the wheel area when you have other sounds involved such as the differential spinning (which could be worn as well) and possibly even dirty or worn brake pads rubbing against their disc.

A Solution to the Question of a Bad Wheel Bearing

To help car owners learn now to diagnose their car repairs like a pro, the Car Care Nut YouTube channel host helps car owners with proper diagnosing of a potential bad wheel bearing by showing a better way to detect a bad bearing by feeling for it rather than listening for it.

In the video he will show you not just how to confirm for yourself that a wheel bearing is going bad (and which one it is) but will also show that changing your wheel bearings are well within the skill level of many DIY mechanics.

That said, here is the video that is well worth the time to watch all the way through if not to learn how to replace your own wheel bearings, it will at least make you a little more knowledgeable about wheel bearing replacement and how you will know if you are being scammed or not.

The added value of this video is that you can add this to your skill set when inspecting a used car for potential problems before buying it or for doing repairs afterward.

Related article: Toyota Maintenance Non-OEM Parts Warning

How to Diagnose a Wheel Bearing Noise on Toyota and Lexus | DIY Repair your car like a Pro!

And finally…

For additional articles about car repairs you can do yourself, here are some selected articles to help you avoid being scammed while learning something more about your vehicle:

Scare Tactic Scam from Lube Center Caught with Second Opinion

Toyota Maintenance Mechanic Shows How to Cut Brake Repair Job Costs in Half

Everything You Need to Know About Saving Money Buying Toyota and Lexus Parts

Common Brake Repair Scam in Major Name Tire Centers

COMING UP NEXT: Wheel Bearing Maintenance and Repair to Last the Lifetime of Your Car

Timothy Boyer is a Torque News automotive reporter based in Cincinnati. Experienced with early car restorations, he regularly restores older vehicles with engine modifications for improved performance. Follow Tim on Twitter at @TimBoyerWrites for daily new and used vehicle news.

Image Source: Unsplash

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