How Bad Wheel Bearings Affect Acceleration

Bad Wheel Bearing Acceleration

The wheel bearing is a fundamental part of your vehicle that maintains stability in your wheel and tires. Any slight impact on the wheel bearing will affect the performance of your tires and wheels. But can a bad wheel bearing affect acceleration?

Yes, bad wheel bearing causes your wheels and tires to wobble, which can greatly impact your acceleration. Our car experts did the research to help you learn how.

Impact of a Bad Wheeling Bearing on Car Acceleration Video

Can a Bad Wheel Bearing Affect Acceleration?

Bad wheel bearings affect speed/acceleration more than you can imagine. Bad wheel bearings cause steering wheel vibration, wobbling tires, and damage to your axle. This limits your speed and jeopardizes your vehicle's handling, grip, and overall performance.

Steady movement is not sustained when the wheels wobble and frequently move back and forth. The primary role of a wheel bearing is to reduce friction between your wheels.

When they are bad, friction increases, which results in harsh rides, poor mileage, bad handling, and poor acceleration, you will find it difficult to move the wheels with a bad wheel bearing.

Wheel bearings are integral to your vehicle’s drive axle assembly. A bad wheel bearing damages your axle and can cause acceleration problems. The influence on the bad axle will cause unresponsive acceleration or vibrations during acceleration.

Sometimes, the impact of Bad wheel bearings extensively can be seen in the lack of grease in your wheel hub assembly. This will not only affect your acceleration but can cause your wheels to fall off.

Can Bad Wheel Bearing Affect Transmission?

Yes. It is entirely unsafe to drive with a faulty wheel bearing. It puts a lot of stress on your transmission, CV joint, and even the wheel hub assembly.

However, the level of impact that a bad wheel bearing has on your transmission depends on the drive system of your car.

There are greater chances that a bad wheel bearing will affect a front-wheel drive more than it will affect a rear-wheel drive.

This is because the drive shaft is directly aligned to the wheel bearing. Any slight vibration from the bad wheel bearing will immediately resonate from the CV axle to the transmission.

What Does It Feel Like Driving With a Bad Wheel Bearing?

Driving with a bad wheel bearing feels like driving a vibrating vehicle. You will feel vibrations when you are driving with a bad wheel bearing. The vibrations will increase as you hit higher speeds, which can extend to strange sounds from your car.

A bad wheel bearing can result in faulty brakes. This is because the brake rotor is wobbling. When this happens, the caliper piston is pushed back to the bore, causing an unresponsive feeling in your brakes when you apply them.

You will notice that your car will find it hard to stop when you use the brakes, or it will unnecessarily pull to one side.

What Are the Symptoms of a Bad Wheel Bearing?

While we believe that you’ve understood how a bad wheel bearing will affect your acceleration and safety, we consider it necessary to know the symptoms of a defective wheel bearing to help you know when to change them.

1. Noise and unusual sounds

A defective wheel bearing can cause misalignment in your car’s parts, lack of lubrication, and increased friction.

This will cause grinding and clicking sounds, howling, and growling noises. These sounds usually come from your wheel and will increase as acceleration increases.

2. Vibrations

Defective wheel bearings cause noticeable vibrations in your tire wheels and steering wheels. In extreme cases, your entire car will start shaking. Sometimes, a bad wheel bearing will not cause immediate vibrations in your vehicle until you hit a big bump.

This is because the shocks will handle the minimal impacts. The vibrations will increase as the defect complicates.

3. Uneven tire wear

Defective wheel bearings will result in loose and shaky wheels. This will cause uneven tire movement, resulting in uneven tire wear. As the vehicle pulls towards one side, the tire wears unevenly towards the area that the vehicle pulls to.

4. Reduced acceleration

Reduced acceleration is one of the major symptoms of a defective wheel bearing, from lack of lubrication, wobbling tires, damaged axle, and transmission. In most cases, the frictional effect on the wheels increases, leading to the vibration that causes instability in movement.

What Else Causes Poor Acceleration?

If not caused by a bad wheel bearing, your acceleration issues could be caused by a number of other factors including:


We understand your concerns about the relationship between a bad wheel bearing and your acceleration. However, we will love you to know that the dangers of a bad wheel bearing go beyond your speed, but the entire grip, handling, and control of your car.

Change your wheel bearing the moment you notice that they are going bad. This will save a lot of lives and properties and prevent complicated damages.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a wheel bearing make your car shake?

Yes. A wheel bearing can make your car shake if they are faulty or not fitted correctly. Bad wheel bearings will shake your car, causing annoying vibrations during use.

Is it ok to drive with a bad wheel bearing?

No. It is dangerous and entirely unsafe to drive with a bad wheel bearing. You are putting yourself in harm’s way and the life of other road users. A bad wheel bearing will affect your vehicle movement, cause improve brake function, and cause your wheel to fall off.

Can bad wheel bearing affect gas mileage?

Yes, bad wheel bearing can affect gas mileage because it will decide the movement of your tires and your car’s overall performance. A bad wheel bearing causes an increase in friction, adds extra load on your engine, and the need to deliver additional power to move the car. This results in excess fuel consumption.