What is a wheel hub assembly replacement?

A wheel hub assembly replacement is when a mechanic swaps out an old wheel hub assembly for a new one. Wheel hub assemblies are intricate mechanical pieces that attach each wheel to the vehicle and lock them in place. They can be worn or loosened over time and are usually replaced in pairs. 
When replacing a wheel hub assembly, a mechanic will look for signs that suggest a safety hazard. Some common ways this can manifest are as follows:
  • Missing bolts
  • Rusted bearings
  • Irregular fuel efficiency
  • Inability for wheels to turn freely
A wheel assembly isn't just what mounts your wheel in place—it also ensures that the wheel rotates smoothly. Problems in this area will cause your vehicle to consume more energy while spinning the tires.

How to replace a wheel hub assembly 

To replace a wheel hub assembly, your mechanic will use a jack to better look at your wheel well. From there, the steps are as follows.
  • Remove the wheel from the wheel hub assembly
  • Investigate the wheel hub assembly for signs of wear or damage
  • Remove the wheel hub assembly
  • Install a new wheel hub assembly and reattach the wheel
  • Road test the car for freely turning tires and proper braking (ABS) and front hub operation  
In the case of multiple faulty wheel hub assemblies, the mechanic will repeat this process for each vehicle’s wheel hub.
Depending on your vehicle, the price of a wheel hub assembly will range from $60 to $300. Labor costs can go from $100 to $150 depending on the shop.

When do I need to replace my wheel hub assembly? 

Signs that you're due for a wheel hub assembly replacement could be lower fuel efficiency or difficulty getting your car rolling from a stop. Here are some other common symptoms of a wheel hub assembly needing replacement:
  • A hissing or grinding noise coming from the center of your vehicle's wheels, underneath the hubcap
  • Loose or unresponsive steering
  • Uneven braking application or needing to push harder before brakes to apply

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