Whether we’re talking about your engine, axles, transmission, or anywhere else they’re found, bearings have a very, very, very important job.
That job, for the purposes of this article, is to enable rotational movement. Or, in slightly less-fancy talk, a bearing reduces friction and makes it easier for a shaft or hub to spin freely. A bearing also adds an insulating barrier between the shaft and the surrounding material (like the iron in an engine block) to prevent wear.
But they don’t last forever and, more importantly, an improperly installed or poorly-lubricated bearing can fail quickly.
The engineers over at Mahle/Clevite made this video all about bearing failures, and it addresses the important distinction between bearing failure and bearing distress—yes, you should know the difference.
It’ll walk you through a basic bearing failure troubleshooting process, so you can better diagnose what caused the bearing issue. Spoiler alert: the two main causes for bearing failure are contamination and poor lubrication.
It delves quickly into the technical nitty-gritty too, so it’s a good watch even if you’re a seasoned mechanic.
The video references Mahle’s bearing failure guide. You can download it here. This video is part one of three, links to the other videos are at the bottom of this post.
Want to become a bearing brainiac? This video is a good place to start.
Dig the video? Check out the other two in Mahle’s bearing failure series.