The rear axle bearing, also called a wheel bearing, is a crucial part of the steering system. The wheel bearing allows the wheel to turn smoothly. The rear axle bearing may need replacing when you hear a low metal grinding sound while the vehicle is turning. Rear axle bearings can be removed using basic tools and grease.
1. Place wheel blocks in front of the two front wheels. Jack the rear of the vehicle off the ground. Use a lug nut wrench to remove the rear wheel and tire to access the rear axle.
2. Use an Allen wrench to remove the two bolts that fasten the brake caliper to the brake rotor. Pull the caliper off of the rotor.
3. Remove the wheel-bearing cap inside the middle of the brake rotor using a screwdriver. Once the wheel-bearing cap is removed, you will see a large nut with a cotter pin. Use a pair of pliers to remove the cotter pin.
4. Use a wrench to turn the inside nut of the wheel’s bearing until it is off of the post around which the bearing spins. Use a screwdriver to work the wheel axle bearing from inside the rear axle.
5. Clear out any grease in the wheel-bearing opening. Fill the opening with new axle bearing grease. Be sure to use enough grease so that when the new wheel bearing is installed, it will be seated in a mold of grease.
6. Grease the new wheel axle bearing with grease before installation. Coat every part of the bearings inside and outside before installing to avoid friction. Push the bearing unit evening into the opening. Tap the wheel axle bearing, using a hammer, into position
7. Tighten the bearing nut until it is secure. Insert the cotter pin through the wheel bearing center post. Replace the wheel bearing cover and tap with a hammer until it’s securely in place. Replace the brake caliper over the rotor and tighten. Replace and tighten the wheels and tires.