Wheel Hub Replacement: A Step-by-Step Guide for DIYers

Wheel Hub Replacement A Step By Step Guide

Replacing a wheel hub is a crucial task in maintaining your vehicle’s safety and performance.

A wheel hub is the central part of a vehicle’s wheel assembly, and it connects the wheel to the axle.

It is responsible for supporting the weight of the vehicle and keeping the wheel in place.

Over time, wheel hubs can wear out and require replacement.

A car on a jack with a removed wheel, a mechanic holding a new hub, tools scattered nearby

If you notice any unusual noises or vibrations coming from your wheels, it may be a sign that your wheel hub needs to be replaced.

Ignoring these warning signs can lead to serious safety issues, such as loss of control while driving.

In this article, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to replace a wheel hub, so you can ensure your vehicle is safe and performing at its best.

Understanding Wheel Hub Functionality

When you drive your vehicle, the wheel hub plays a crucial role in ensuring that your wheels spin smoothly and safely.

The wheel hub is a part of the wheel assembly that attaches the wheel to the vehicle’s axle and provides a mounting point for the wheel bearings.

The wheel hub is responsible for transferring the rotational force from the axle to the wheel and allows the wheel to rotate smoothly while supporting the weight of the vehicle.

It is also designed to withstand the high forces generated by the brakes and suspension system.

The wheel hub assembly consists of several components, including the hub bearing, hub flange, and wheel studs.

The hub bearing is the most critical component of the assembly as it supports the weight of the vehicle and allows the wheel to rotate smoothly.

The hub flange is the part of the hub that the brake rotor mounts to, and the wheel studs are used to secure the wheel to the hub.

If you notice any signs of wear or damage to your wheel hub assembly, it is essential to replace it as soon as possible.

Failure to do so can result in poor handling, increased stopping distances, and even a complete failure of the wheel assembly while driving.

In summary, understanding the functionality of the wheel hub is crucial in maintaining the safety and performance of your vehicle.

If you suspect any issues with your wheel hub, it is best to have it inspected by a professional mechanic and replaced if necessary.

Tools and Materials Required

A car lifted on a jack with a removed wheel, a new wheel hub, lug nuts, a torque wrench, and a socket set laid out on the ground

Necessary Tools

Before you start replacing the wheel hub, make sure you have the following tools:

  • Jack stands
  • Lug wrench
  • Socket set
  • Breaker bar
  • Torque wrench
  • Rubber mallet
  • Pry bar
  • Hammer
  • Wire brush
  • Brake cleaner
  • Safety glasses
  • Gloves

Required Materials

Apart from the tools, you will also need the following materials:

  • New wheel hub assembly
  • Bearing grease
  • Anti-seize lubricant
  • Brake cleaner
  • Rags or towels

It’s important to have all the necessary tools and materials before starting the replacement process.

This will ensure that you can complete the job without any interruptions and in a timely manner.

Make sure to wear safety glasses and gloves to protect yourself from any injuries.

Preparation and Safety

A mechanic's hand holds a lug wrench, removing the wheel.

A jack lifts the car. Safety goggles and gloves are nearby

Before beginning the wheel hub replacement process, it is important to take the necessary precautions to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you.

This section will cover the vehicle preparations and safety measures you should take before starting the replacement process.

Vehicle Preparations

  1. Park the vehicle on a level surface and engage the parking brake.

    This will prevent the vehicle from rolling or moving during the replacement process.

  2. Use a tire iron or lug wrench to loosen the lug nuts on the wheel you will be replacing.

    Do not remove the lug nuts completely at this time.

  3. Use a jack to raise the vehicle off the ground.

    Place the jack under the designated jacking point of the vehicle and follow the instructions provided in the vehicle owner’s manual to safely raise the vehicle.

  4. Once the vehicle is raised, use jack stands to support the weight of the vehicle.

    Place the jack stands under the designated jack stand points and lower the vehicle onto the stands.

  5. Finally, remove the lug nuts and the wheel from the vehicle.

Safety Measures

  1. Always wear protective gear such as gloves and safety glasses when working on your vehicle.

    This will protect you from potential injury and keep your hands clean.

  2. Do not work under a vehicle that is only supported by a jack. Always use jack stands to support the weight of the vehicle.

  3. Keep the work area clean and organized.

    This will prevent trip hazards and ensure that you have easy access to the tools and parts you need.

  4. Follow the instructions provided in the vehicle owner’s manual and any other instructions provided by the manufacturer of the replacement parts.

By taking the necessary vehicle preparations and safety measures, you can ensure a safe and successful wheel hub replacement process.

Wheel Hub Removal

A hand tool grips a wheel hub.

Bolts loosen and hub is removed from the vehicle's axle

Removing the wheel hub from your vehicle is a necessary task when replacing a damaged or worn-out wheel hub.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to remove the wheel hub from your vehicle.

Loosening Lug Nuts

Before you begin, make sure your vehicle is parked on a level surface and the emergency brake is engaged.

Use a lug wrench to loosen the lug nuts on the wheel hub you want to remove. Do not remove the lug nuts entirely at this stage.

Wheel and Brake Component Removal

Next, jack up the vehicle and remove the wheel. If your vehicle has a drum brake, remove the brake drum.

If your vehicle has a disc brake, remove the brake caliper and rotor.

Be sure to support the brake caliper so it does not hang from the brake line.

Hub Disassembly

Now that the brake components are removed, you can begin disassembling the wheel hub.

Remove the retaining nut or bolts that hold the wheel hub in place. If the wheel hub is stuck, use a rubber mallet to tap it loose.

Once the wheel hub is free, remove it from the vehicle.

It’s important to note that some vehicles may have additional components that need to be removed before the wheel hub can be taken off.

Refer to your vehicle’s service manual for specific instructions.

By following these steps, you can safely and efficiently remove the wheel hub from your vehicle.

Installing the New Wheel Hub

A mechanic is using a wrench to tighten the bolts on a new wheel hub, with a step-by-step guide open on the workbench

Once the old wheel hub is removed, it’s time to install the new one. Follow these steps to ensure a successful installation:

Hub Assembly

First, assemble the new wheel hub according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Make sure all components are securely fastened and in the correct position.

This may involve attaching the bearings, races, and seals to the hub.

Reattaching Brake Components

Next, reattach the brake components that were removed during the disassembly process.

This may include the brake caliper, rotor, and brake pads.

Make sure these components are properly aligned and tightened to the manufacturer’s specifications.

Securing the Wheel

Finally, secure the wheel to the new hub using the lug nuts.

Tighten the lug nuts in a star pattern to ensure even pressure on the wheel.

Use a torque wrench to tighten the lug nuts to the manufacturer’s recommended torque specification.

Overall, installing a new wheel hub can be a straightforward process if you follow the manufacturer’s instructions and take your time.

Remember to double-check all components and tighten everything to the correct specifications to ensure a safe and reliable repair.

Post-Installation Checks

After replacing the wheel hub, it is important to perform some post-installation checks to ensure the safety and proper functioning of your vehicle.

This section will guide you through the two main checks you should perform after replacing the wheel hub: Torque Specifications and Test Drive and Inspection.

Torque Specifications

The first check you should perform is to verify that the wheel hub bolts are tightened to the manufacturer’s recommended torque specifications.

This information can usually be found in your vehicle’s owner’s manual or from the manufacturer’s website.

It is important to use a torque wrench to ensure the bolts are tightened to the correct torque specification.

Over-tightening or under-tightening the bolts can cause damage to the wheel hub or wheel assembly, which can lead to unsafe driving conditions.

Test Drive and Inspection

After verifying the torque specifications, take your vehicle for a test drive to ensure that everything is functioning properly.

Pay attention to any unusual noises or vibrations, as these can be signs of a problem with the wheel hub or other parts of the vehicle.

Once you have completed the test drive, inspect the wheel hub and surrounding area for any signs of leaks, damage, or wear.

Check the lug nuts to ensure they are tight and the wheel is properly seated on the hub.

In addition, check the brake system to ensure that it is functioning properly.

If you notice any issues during the test drive or inspection, it is important to address them promptly to ensure the safety of yourself and others on the road.

Performing these post-installation checks can give you peace of mind knowing that your vehicle is safe and functioning properly after replacing the wheel hub.

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About the author


As a fervent motorcycle enthusiast, Tim brings a rich tapestry of experience and passion to With a heart that beats in sync with the roar of bike engines, he has spent years exploring the intricacies of motorcycles, from the adrenaline rush of modifications to the meticulous details of repair. Tim's writing is not just informed by a deep technical understanding, but also by an unwavering love for the freedom and adventure that motorcycles embody. Whether it's sharing tips on enhancing bike performance or guiding readers through complex repairs, Tim is dedicated to empowering fellow motorcycle aficionados with knowledge and inspiring them to turn their two-wheeled dreams into reality.