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2.5i Wheel Bearing Replacement Guide

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Hello again folks, I'm here to start what will be a decent pictorial guide to swapping out your failed or failing wheel hub assembly aka wheel bearing.


How do I know if my wheel bearing is failing?

-Squealing after driving for a few miles

-Squealing when turning right or left

-Roaring noise while driving or aggressive humming

-While off the ground you can move your tire/wheel laterally (excessive play)

-While off the ground you hear roaring

-You get a C0101-4 code or ERR XX code


The common failure is the housing of the assembly fails and allows the roller bearing assembly to become contaminated or fall out of tolerance. If you have experience with wrenching on vehicles you can diagnose this issue faster/easier than others and this failure only gets worse to the point that the housing could separate completely (rare but possible is the roller bearings degrade causing an overheating condition). Or your ABS system cant sense if the wheel is moving or stopped, due to the sensor being out of range of the contact area.


This can be as easy or hard of a job as you make it. I read in some advice other threads about replacing the assembly and I found out during the job that you should assume your assemblies are seized in and not coming out with ease :) Why? Some folks mention of a slide-hammer puller or a screw type puller, my issue with the former is youll need to hose it down with PB blaster or similar first then hammer it which is a lot of impact on the suspension/steering bits. With the puller (which I tried) the screw pushed the axle back to the point there was no more play at which point it buckled as it should given that its a U-joint. The thread was fully extended and no force was applied to actually pull the assembly out.


I wasted about 3 hours (going to rent the puller, applying it, realizing its junk) before i simply took the entire knuckle off and used a 3lb hammer to knock the assembly out.


So for my method i will speak as if you know how to tear down your suspension and that you know how to use a BFH :lol:




-10mm, 12mm, 14mm, 17mm, 19mm, 32mm sockets (deep and regular if possible)

-1/2 and 3/8 drive ratchets

-Metric wrenches

-Extensions of varying lengths

-Heavy (2lb or more) hammer

-Flathead screwdriver, chisel

-Cheater pipe or long handle breaker bar

-Jack stands, lights (if needed)

-PB Blaster or other type of penetrating oil


-Wire brush

-Shop towel

-Safety glasses and gloves for the hammering portion :)




-Replacement hub assembly ( I used MOOG but Timken and SKF are great)

MOOG Front Hub assembly



-New rotor(s) and pads

-New Dust Shield

-New axle if leaking

-New suspension bits etc



1. Remove wheel, raise car and rest it on jack stands.



2. Remove the caliper (2 x 14mm bolts), rotor (may require 2 M8 x 1.25 bolts) and caliper bracket (2 x 17mm bolts)




3. Use a chisel or hefty flathead and hammer to unlock the axle on the end of the axle. **If you dont have an impact wrench put your tire back on lower the car slightly and then use your 32mm deep well socket and cheater pipe/breaker bar to loosen the nut. You will need to pop out the center cap.


4. Soak the bolts and inner knuckle to hub assembly area (rear of the knuckle) in your penetrating chemical of choice! Once off you need to now loosen the 4 x 14mm bolts holding the assembly in the knuckle. You may need to turn your wheel all the way to the right and left to get better access to these bolts, oh and use the cheater pipe :)




Here is where i realized that the advice in many of the threads stopped applying to my situation. In the above picture i have the puller installed and I as I tightened the screw it merely pushed the axle out of the knuckle to the point where it stop then put pressure on the axle at which point I stopped and took that puller back and got a 3 jaw puller, clamped it to the knuckle and tried to pull the hub that way. That did not work either as the grippers kept sliding off under pressure. This total has been about 3 hours, only took 35 mins to get the car up, and sequential parts off.


At this point I took a step back and thought about it and since the axle was pushed out I might as well take the whole knuckle off which is fairly easy at this. I rebuilt the suspension two years ago and set the alignment so I was familiar with the process. I took the knuckle off (unbolt: tie rod, lower ball joint, strut) then I propped the knuckle on a block and it took 4 hard licks to knock the assembly out. I then used my wire brush to clean the mating surfaces and applied a thin coat of anti-seize. I used the 32mm socket to tap the new assembly in then used the threads to pull the assembly fully into the knuckle.





I ordered a replacement for the drive side and once that comes in i will get those pictures added. Also i will time the job following this method from the jump. I am estimating 40 mins to disassemble, 15mins to knock out, prep and install new hub, 40 mins reassembly. We will see.


When i got my old assembly out i rotated it by hand and it sounded like a stone mill grinding grain. I replaced my drive side rotor and it too was very gritty in feel so there is no point in waiting for it to fail.







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I did a rear hub a few years back. I would say it took about 2 hours at a slower pace ( I had never done anything like this). I had success with the 3 jaw puller, no luck with the slide hammer.


IIRC, the axle nut is supposed to be one time use only... they're a couple bucks at the dealer and a little more expensive online.

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