The feel of your Toyota Corolla driving down the road is one of peace and tranquility. Whether cruising through the city at night or riding through the country at dawn, feeling the comforting movements your Toyota Corolla as it gracefully glides across the road can be quite relaxing. Unfortunately, although the Toyota Corolla itself might be in great shape, tiny moving parts inside can wear out, causing the once calm ride to effectively become chaos. The front wheel bearing on either side of your Corolla can be shaken loose by one reason or another, or can wear and break, making your dream ride a nightmare. If your front wheel bearing fails, can you do something about it yourself? Take a look at our simple step-by-step guide to replacing your Toyota front wheel bearing, after the break:
- Once you have made sure it is the wheel bearing in your car, maybe by troubleshooting or learning about the symptoms of a noisy wheel bearing, it’s time to get your wheel off the ground. When lifting remember to use all the safety techniques for lifting your vehicle and properly support it as well.
- When the wheel is off the ground, you should be able to shake the wheel and move it, implicating the front wheel bearing is broken. After doing this, go ahead and take the wheel off. The replacement steps are as follows:
- Take off the brake caliper, which involves taking out the caliper screws and hanging the caliper out of the way. (Never let the caliper hang by the brake hose. Use a rope or a bent wire coat-hanger to support the caliper from something solid.)
- You will then take off the brake rotor by using a hammer to break it loose.
- You will need a 30mm 12-point socket for the next step, so be sure to have that ready. That socket will be used on the axel nut, so have an impact gun or muscle ready to take that off. You may need a breaker bar to loosen it, if you’re not using an impact gun.
- The next step involves taking off the spindle. You may want to pull off the hub assembly before pressing the wheel bearing in, as it will be out of your way for the next steps. The hub assembly can be difficult to pull off, but if you use a hub adapter on a slide hammer, pulling the wheel assembly off is just a tug away. Be aware that the outer bearing may come off with it and you will need to remove it before reinstallation.
- You will then need to loosen the lower ball joint in order to get the spindle loose and out from the axel. You will simply need to take the three nuts and bolt off of the joint, ignoring the castle nut and boot, to pull the spindle free. Make sure the spindle is out of the way for the next step.
- The next step can be very difficult, as you need to get the snap rings off. Be careful not to snap the rings in further but rather, try either gripping or vibrating the rings free. If they are rusted or crusty they can be a handful so be prepared for resistance.
- Once the snap rings are off, you are nearing the home stretch. You will need to make or get a forcing screw to press the Toyota front wheel bearing free. Using a thrust bearing with a hub tamer kit (you may be able to rent one from your local auto parts store), you can stick through the bearing, and attach a flat plate to the other side of the bearing, forcing it to break free. You will need to put a socket on the other end as well. Hold that socket with a wrench then, use a long-handle ratchet or breaker bar on the forcing screw to force the bearing out. (Use of an impact gun on the forcing screw is not recommended, as it can damage the tool beyond repair.)
- Now clean out the bearing socket and spray some lubricant in it.
- The removal process is complete and it is now time to install the new Toyota front wheel bearing. Simply reverse the process of removal using your forcing screw to install the bearing. Reattach your wheel assembly, ball joint, the spindle, the brake rotor, the brake caliper, and then finally your wheel.
These steps will bring you back to the serenity you once had in your Toyota Corolla.