How long does it take a wheel bearing to warm up?

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I've had to replace 2 wheel bearings on my '05 civic. Car has been flawless other than that. (140K miles, 45+mpg) I'm wondering if it isn't because of the beginning of my commute. I basically pull out of the driveway and onto a 70mph (very)rural highway. Could bringing the car up to 70mph in the first 1/3 of a mile possibly be shortening the bearing life, because they don't have time to warm up?
 
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I doubt that's the issue. It's usually just a poorly spec'ed bearing or sometimes stray voltage that's using your wheel bearings for the equivalent of a boat zinc.
 
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I'm sure the wheel bearings would be fine with that. If the car is starting from a cold start then I am a firm believer in allowing it to warm up some while rolling before getting straight up into highway cruising speeds. My feeling is that it is just a little bit easier on everything... particularly during our very cold northern winters.
 

Kestas

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Warming up a bearing has little to do with its life. If anything, it thins out the grease. Did you look at the bearings? What was the failure mode? Otherwise, all we can do is speculate and cite all the possible bearing failure modes from the book. Is this something the mechanic diagnosed? It is rare that both bearings on an axle would go bad at the same time. When I hear that, it usually means the mechanic padded the work and replaced at least one bearing that was good. I've seen more failed wheel bearings than any mechanic around.
 

mitsuman47

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They were the front bearings. I didn't get to look at the bearings. Had to leave the car at the shop because of 60-70hr work weeks. Otherwise would have worked on it myself. They happened at different times (~30k miles apart). So, you guys think I'm ok just taking the car right up to speed? Or, should I do a mile at 50, then a mile a 60, then 70. Traffic won't be a problem, btw.
 

JHZR2

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Honda quality? Personally, I have found Honda rubber parts to be junk. Could seals have been compromised/decomposed in the east texas heat and driving conditions? Personally, I like to keep the car under as light a load (but definitely not zero load) until the water temp starts moving a fair amount. This means to me that there is nothing wrong with ultimately getting to 70, it is more in the loading, which relates to acceleration rate. I would try to accelerate as slowly and gently as possible, but from there, no worries about getting to 70. I see no reason why getting to speed early, unless lubrication was an issue (non-quality parts, undergreased parts which didnt fully spread lube until up to temperature, etc). 30k miles apart is far enough to me to say they wore out. What was the reason that you decided to change them? Excessive noise? I'd imagine that some poor driving habits could wear them faster, so depending upon how hard you drive/corner, you could have effected them somewhat.
 

mitsuman47

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 Originally Posted By: JHZR2
Honda quality? Personally, I have found Honda rubber parts to be junk. Could seals have been compromised/decomposed in the east texas heat and driving conditions? Personally, I like to keep the car under as light a load (but definitely not zero load) until the water temp starts moving a fair amount. This means to me that there is nothing wrong with ultimately getting to 70, it is more in the loading, which relates to acceleration rate. I would try to accelerate as slowly and gently as possible, but from there, no worries about getting to 70. I see no reason why getting to speed early, unless lubrication was an issue (non-quality parts, undergreased parts which didnt fully spread lube until up to temperature, etc). 30k miles apart is far enough to me to say they wore out. What was the reason that you decided to change them? Excessive noise? I'd imagine that some poor driving habits could wear them faster, so depending upon how hard you drive/corner, you could have effected them somewhat.
I'm pretty good about keeping the load light, and not pushing the car. A friend said I drive slower than his grandma's grandma, who didn't have a car...just a horse and an [censored]. Seriously though, I'm a mpg junkie. I've had tanks up to 53mpg in this car. Numerous above 50. And, it's not a hybrid. I guess the excessive heat here could have something to do with it, but I'm not sure.
 
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 Originally Posted By: tomcat27
The only two reasons for early bearing failure that I am aware of is: 1) high load 2) excessive speed
0r #3, poorly spec'ed bearing. I would say that road salt would also create problems, but you live in Texas!
 
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Maybe your Honda got some "suspect" bearings from the factory.... I was a Pipefitter at Chrysler Canada in the 60's and one of our jobs was to change out the empty 55 gal drums of grease on the machine that packed the tapered roller bearings in the front hubs. We had to bleed the air out of the system as best we could but I know a lot of bearings left the plant with more air in them than grease. Perhaps ball bearing manufacturers have a similar set-up and it's possible to get a bearing with a "burp" of air in it
 
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Do you have factory wheels? Aftermarket offsets can be harder on bearings. If so, you've probably just had some bad luck. Try a different brand if it happens again.
 

PT1

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 Originally Posted By: tomcat27
The only two reasons for early bearing failure that I am aware of is: 1) high load 2) excessive speed
You forgot: 3. too much or too little preload 4. contamination 5. wrong lubricant 6. wrong bearing 7. cheap aftermarket manufacturer. (china/india) Find out who speced the design in at the factory and replace with a bearing from a high quality major manufacturer. Ex. Timken, NSK, NTN, Koyo. Ideally use the same manufacturer the OE used. If you do not have sealed hub units then the seals should be replaced and the correct preload adjusted on installation. A top quality wheel bearing lubricant should be used and all parts on the wheel end should be cleaned thoroughly. The entire hub assembly should be free of corrosion or contanmination and assembled to OE torque specs to minimize any runout. My guess, you got cheap aftermarket bearings.
 
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If you got 140K miles out of the bearing then that's not bad. Not all bearings will last the life of the car. (Grand Am bearing may last only 20K) Many issues may have caused them to fail, but I would not warm them up before you go on the hiway..
 
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 Originally Posted By: tomcat27
The only two reasons for early bearing failure that I am aware of is: 1) high load 2) excessive speed
you forgot the followings: 3) inferior manufacturing/quality control 4) improper installation/preload during bearing installation 5) wrong/improper grease type for the application 6) moisture/condensation/corrosion that leads to pitting 7) contact-fatique failure of roller type bearings I've seen my fair share of frustration on bearing failures even on some of those so-called brand name ones (SKF, NTK, Timken, etc.) but mainly has to do with points 4/5/6, rarely on 1 and 2 (talking about wheel bearings, for your car will pretty much bottoms out/blow it's tires long before you are able to overload your bearings, and/or you long been ticketed/cops shoot out your tires long before you can over-speed your tires(bearings)). Lately, I have my fair share of frustrations with NA assembled Honda bearings going bad, and I suspect that either point 3 or 4 should be the main reason(s) for the failures. Q.
 
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mitsuman47

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 Originally Posted By: Quest
Lately, I have my fair share of frustrations with NA assembled Honda bearings going bad, and I suspect that either point 3 or 4 should be the main reason(s) for the failures.
Well, that doesn't make me feel too good. The shop told me they would use honda bearings (probably the quickest bearing for them to get their hands on). I guess there's only one way to see if I got some junkers... Keep putting 3k miles a month on the car and find out the hard way. Thanks for all the help guys. I'll report back if I have any issues.
 
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 Originally Posted By: mitsuman47
I've had to replace 2 wheel bearings on my '05 civic. Car has been flawless other than that. (140K miles, 45+mpg) I'm wondering if it isn't because of the beginning of my commute. I basically pull out of the driveway and onto a 70mph (very)rural highway. Could bringing the car up to 70mph in the first 1/3 of a mile possibly be shortening the bearing life, because they don't have time to warm up?
Did these bearings have 140,000 miles on them? If so that could be the answer. Parts do wear out.
 
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 Originally Posted By: mitsuman47
 Originally Posted By: Quest
Lately, I have my fair share of frustrations with NA assembled Honda bearings going bad, and I suspect that either point 3 or 4 should be the main reason(s) for the failures.
Well, that doesn't make me feel too good. The shop told me they would use honda bearings (probably the quickest bearing for them to get their hands on). I guess there's only one way to see if I got some junkers... Keep putting 3k miles a month on the car and find out the hard way. Thanks for all the help guys. I'll report back if I have any issues.
Now, before you all jump right into conclusions, I must add the following: Most Honda OEM bearings that I've come across up until this day (yes, still fixes Hondas for SCCA/track race for my friends here) are of respectable quality. Most of the troubles I've seen has to do with improper pre-loading during assembly in the car manufacturing process, which leads to early failures of these bearings (front/rear, all have their fair share in terms of probability). I've been handling all sorts of bearings long enough to realise that while Chinese bearings are inconsistent in terms of quality, still, 70% of the failures come from improper installation and preloading. OP- So long as your Honda service shop performs the bearing pre-loading properly for you during installation, your bearing should be good for another 140+k miles easily. Q. p.s. My family owns 2 Hondas and a Toy. My list of clientele totals approx. 15 Hondas and 28 Toys, all others are a mixture between Mazdas, Suzukis and Nissans..
 
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