Bad Carrier Bearing Symptoms: Possible Causes & How to Fix

Bad carrier bearing symptoms are many, but they usually include weird noises from the back of the car and vibration when you accelerate. If your car is making any of these signs, this means that you need to replace the carrier bearing.

Bad Carrier Bearing Symptoms

 

A damaged bearing is usually because of wear and tear, so you might notice these symptoms after using your car for a while. In this guide, we will look at the symptoms of a faulty bearing, and regardless of the sign, it’s always best to replace it.

A List of 11 Symptoms of a Faulty Carrier Bearing

Below, we have compiled eleven symptoms of a bad bearing, so if you notice any of them, you should contact a mechanic. If you’re good with tools, you can also replace the bearing, although it is a lengthy process. Also, it’s not advisable to drive for a long time with a damaged carrier bearing.

There are different causes of a failed bearing. For one, it might simply be undergoing wear and tear. Also, if you just got a bearing installed and you already notice these symptoms, it will be because of improper installation. Another cause can be an accident that causes the carrier bearing to become dislodged.

With this in mind, here are the symptoms.

1. Vibration or Shuddering when Accelerating

Shuddering when Accelerating

Main Sign  Vibrations from the drivetrain, shuddering when accelerating
How to Check or Test  Look out for a shuddering car when accelerating.
Can You Still Drive?  It is not recommended to
What to Do Immediately After Park your car and contact a mechanic or tow truck.

 

One of the main symptoms of a faulty support bearing is vibrations and shuddering. You might feel this when driving your car, especially as you accelerate. This is the first sign that your bearing is failing, so you should not ignore it.

The vibration is due to the driveshaft becoming misaligned and binding up, causing the under of your car to shudder while you drive. The driveshaft will spin faster when you’re accelerating your car, causing your engine to work harder. If left on, it can cause a strain on the engine.

2. Reduced Fuel Efficiency

Reducing Fuel Efficiency

Main Sign  You use more fuel than usual
How to Check or Test  Check if you are filling up the tank more often than usual.
Can You Still Drive?  Yes, but it’s best to fix it as soon as possible.
What to Do Immediately After Inspect the carrier bearing to see if it is dislodged and then replace it.

 

Another symptom of a bad carrier bearing in your car is reduced fuel economy. If you see that you are using more fuel than usual or you are filling your tank too much, it might be because there is a problem with the bearing.

The failed bearings will increase the drag on the engine, causing you to use more fuel than usual. Keep in mind that there can be other causes of poor fuel efficiency, so you should check all the possible causes.

3. Engine Warning Light is On

Checking Engine Light

Main Sign  Warning light on the dashboard
How to Check or Test  Use an OBD scanner to check the cause of the light.
Can You Still Drive?  It depends on the cause.
What to Do Immediately After Check the meaning of the code and replace the barrier.

 

If you notice that your engine warning light is on, you need to find the root. One of the causes could be a bad bearing, which is why you need an OBD scanner.

The check engine light could be due to the sensor that monitors the carrier bearings. It’s best to inspect the bearings as soon as possible, and if this is not the cause, check other possible causes.

4. Grinding Sound from the Engine

Grinding Sound from the Engine

Main Sign  Whining noise, grinding sound while driving
How to Check or Test  Listen for the sound when driving and inspect the carrier bearing.
Can You Still Drive?  It’s not recommended to continue driving.
What to Do Immediately After Pull over and contact a tow truck or a mechanic.

 

You might also hear a whining or grinding noise coming from the engine when driving. This is a sure sign that the bearings are giving out and need to be replaced. The noises will become more pronounced when you accelerate.

A worn-out or damaged support bearing will also squeal or howl when you accelerate from a stop.

5. Difficult to Shift Gears

Shifting Gears in Car

Main Sign  The gear shift feels stiff when driving
How to Check or Test  Pay attention to how your gear feels and inspect the bearing.
Can You Still Drive?  It is not recommended as it can cause an accident.
What to Do Immediately After Stop driving and contact a mechanic.

 

If you’re having a problem with shifting the gears when driving, it could be because the bearings are misaligned along the driveshaft. In this case, it’s important to stop driving because a stiff gear shift can cause an accident.

Also, the faulty bearing can cause the transmission to bind up, and this stops it from shifting properly. You can inspect the bearing if you notice that there is something wrong with your gear and replace it.

6. Unequal Tire Wear

Unequal Tire Wear

Main Sign  Different levels of wear and tear on your tires
How to Check or Test  Inspect the tires or the bearings.
Can You Still Drive?  It’s important to replace it first.
What to Do Immediately After Contact a mechanic or replace the bearings.

 

If you notice that there is unequal wear and tear on your tires, maybe because you are replacing your tires more often than usual, or you see that your tire is getting damaged for no reason, it might be because of the carrier bearings.

The failed bearings can lead to a misaligned driveshaft, putting more pressure on one tire than the other. The best thing to do is contact a mechanic to replace the bearings.

7. Hard to Steer

Stiff Steering Wheel

Main Sign  Stiff steering wheel
How to Check or Test  Pay attention to your steering wheel while driving and inspect the car.
Can You Still Drive?  It is highly recommended not to do so
What to Do Immediately After Stop driving and contact a mechanic.

 

If you’re having trouble with steering your car while driving, this could be because of a faulty bearing. The steering wheel will be stiff when driving, and it can cause an accident if you are not careful. So, it is better to stop driving and contact a mechanic or a tow truck to get your car.

The faulty bearings might not be well aligned with the driveshaft. This would cause the steering wheel to get stiff and make it harder for you to turn the wheel.

8. Transmission Fluid Leak

Transmission Fluid Leak

Main Sign  Warning light, fluid leaks, burning smell, strange vibrations
How to Check or Test  Check the dipstick; if the fluid is brownish, it is leaking fluid.
Can You Still Drive?  It is not recommended to
What to Do Immediately After Contact a mechanic

 

Another symptom of a faulty bearing is fluid leaking from the transmission of your car. If you notice fluid leaking from your car while it is parked or while driving, it could be because of the bearings.

Specifically, the seals on the bearings might be damaged, causing the fluid to leak. You might not have to replace the entire bearing, only the seals, to stop the leaking.

9. Noisy when Shifting Gears

Shifting Gear Problems

Main Sign  Clunking noise when you shift the gears
How to Check or Test  Pay attention to the noise your car makes when shifting the gear.
Can You Still Drive?  It is not recommended to
What to Do Immediately After Stop driving and contact a mechanic or tow truck.

 

Aside from the noise coming from under the car and the engine, you might also hear a noise, specifically when you shift the gears of your car. If you are not playing loud music, you should be able to hear a ‘clunk’ sound when driving.

This could be because the driveshaft is misaligned due to the bearing. You could also notice that your gear is stiff when you shift it. The best thing to do is stop driving to avoid an accident and replace the bearing.

10. Burning Smell in the Car

Burning Smell in the Car

Main Sign  The smell of something burning in the car
How to Check or Test  Look out for an odd smell and inspect the carrier bearing.
Can You Still Drive?  It’s not recommended to do so
What to Do Immediately After Pull over and contact a mechanic or tow truck.

 

Another symptom that you might notice is the smell of something burning as you drive. The burning smell coming from your car could be because of the friction on the driveshaft due to the faulty bearings.

Also, the transmission fluid could be the cause of the burning smell. If you notice this, you should stop driving and contact a mechanic or a tow truck to move your car. You should replace the bearing as soon as possible.

11. Loose Feeling in the Vehicle’s Rear

Damaged Bearing in Car

Main Sign  The rear end moves too much, feels loose or sloppy
How to Check or Test  Inspect the carrier bearing.
Can You Still Drive?  It is not advisable to
What to Do Immediately After Stop driving and contact a mechanic or tow truck.

 

When your support bearing is damaged, it could lead to worn-out suspension components, which causes a sloppy or loose feeling at the back of your vehicle. The worn-out components will also cause the rear end to move too much.

When you’re driving, your car will feel unstable when braking or cornering. It can also cause the rear to skid on slippery surfaces. To fix this problem, you need to replace the bearing and any other worn-out components.

What Are the Possible Causes for Bad Carrier Bearing Symptoms and How Can They Be Fixed?

When it comes to bad carrier bearing symptoms, there are a few telltale signs to watch out for. Excessive noise, vibrations, and difficulty turning are some essential signs of bad timing belt. To fix this issue, it is crucial to replace the faulty carrier bearing and thoroughly inspect the timing belt system. Regular maintenance and preventive check-ups can help prevent such problems from occurring in the first place.

Conclusion

It’s important to be on the lookout for bad carrier bearing symptoms when driving your car, especially if you have owned it for a while.

Here’s a rundown of our car review:

  • If your car is vibrating or shuddering from underneath while driving, it could be because of the bearing, and it’s best to stop the car immediately.
  • A reduced fuel efficiency could be because the faulty bearing is placing a strain on the engine, so it should be checked quickly.
  • If the engine warning light is on, use an OBD2 scanner to check the cause, and if it is the sensor for the bearing, you have to replace it.

With this guide, you have eleven symptoms of a faulty bearing. If you notice any of these, it’s best to get a carrier bearing replacement as soon as possible to prevent damage or an accident.

References

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