wheel bearings (hub style) ...how often ?

Hello all, 99 Camaro V6 owner here:
The car has 43K miles on it, and I'm told it needs both front wheel bearings ($100 each!) replaced.
Anyone else experience this ? I mean, if it were 100K miles, I wouldn't be
surprised...
:(
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can't say about a Camaro but with two GMC Jimmy's in my drive both had front wheel bearings replace around 80,000 miles. First one took me about 5 hours but after that learning experience and getting a hub puller I was down to about 2 1/2 hours for the last one. Not something I want to do again.

bearings
be
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My 89 Z- 24 made noise in 1996 at 32,000 miles. $279 for the hub assembly.
You never know when they'll start making noise. If your not the original owner maybe some curbs were hit by the previous owner which tends to speed up the wearing process.
I'd replace only one at a time.
========Harryface ======== 1991 Pontiac Bonneville LE 3800 V6 ( C ), Black/Slate Grey _~_~_~286,095 miles_~_~_
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Who told you that and why did you ask? If there is a low pitched growling noise coming from the front wheels while rolling, then "yes" that's a bearing noise. GW
Pouta wrote:

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Guys, just my 2 cents: I've had noise problem and was thinking - because of bearing(s). In fact the real root cause was due to unbalanced tires and as a result of it - improper wear (both rear tires were "wavy"). I've replaced both tires (they were old) and no problem. I have a question: What are the factors causing premature wear of bearings? As per Pouta's message, it happened at about 43K miles and it really shouldn't be... Thanks Igor

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of
a
bearings?
Here's a list, I'm sure others can add to it.
1) Too small a bearing used for the stresses involved. 2) Frequent immersion in water that washes out the libricant and replaces it with dirt 3) wrong kind of grease used in the bearing. 4) accident, pothole, or other stress on the axle. 5) bent wheel or other suspension part out of tolerance used for a long period. 6) defective from the factory bearing 7) Improper procedure used to install replacement bearing.
Ted
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First off, thanks to all who responded!
With a front-wheel-drive or 4WD/AWD vehicle, I could reconcile "early" failure. My vehicle is rear-wheel-drive...
Yes, the prior owner told me he hopped a curb once. The mechanic gave me what I thought was a silly analogy: when one sneaker wears out, you don't replace just the one, right ? You replace both." I too feel that only one needs changing.
And, is it a good rule of thumb that the faulty one always makes more noise when you make an opposite side turn ? i.e. if you hear noise when making a left, then it is the right-side that is bad (since that side is getting the load), and vice-versa.
Ted, great list! One comment:

But with these late-model cars that use bearings integrated into the hub assembly, I reckon there's no path into/out of the bearing housing...
To further confuse things, someone today told me it my be a pinion bearing in the rear axle making the hum :(
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noise
a
the
I don't think so, my experience with the few vehicles I've had that had failed axle bearings is that it sounded the same despite which way you turned.

replaces it

I think that the majority of axle bearings are manufactured and sold as "sealed" bearings, where there's a rubber seal that is supposed to keep water out. But this is a terrible environment, dirty, hot, gets wet a lot, you get some end play in there where the seals move back and forth on the shaft, add water and start slightly pitting and corroding the axle, the seal slides over this and it's like sandpaper.
I also forgot to add to the list - bent axle. Sometimes happens after a collision.
And of course, needless to say, once the bearing starts grinding, it will heat up really hot - nearly red hot - quite hot enough so that all the grease liquifies and runs out of the bearing and of course the disintegration then happens at lightning speed. One time I had a front axle bearing in my 68 Ford that I let go (starving student) and by the time I got at it, the bearing had heated up so hot that it had literally welded itself to the axle shaft. I was pounding on the front drum with an axle puller for an hour and I was afraid the suspension would give way, finally the bearing separated and the drum came off. I then had to take a bench grinder, remove all the safety shields, and hold it against the bearing to grind away enough of the bearing so I could hit it with a chisel and sledge and fracture it. Even then, only half the bearing came off, I had a half-moon left on the axle which required more pounding with the sledge and chisel. When I got that off there was a nice raised ridge of bearing metal welded all around the axle. I ground that down. Amazingly, the bearing half in the drum hadn't welded itself to the drum so I was able to remove that one and reuse the drum.
So, don't let this go too long!
Ted
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