When you use your car trailer a lot, the bearings inside the wheels may start to break down. When this happens, you may be putting your cargo and life in jeopardy each time you tow something. To avoid the dangers of towing a trailer with bad bearings, check periodically for the following three signs that your trailer's wheel bearings are damaged.
Wheels Make Noises While Rotating
The first sign you will likely notice when your trailer's wheel bearings become damaged are strange noises coming from them. Normally, bearings are packed tightly inside the canister.
However, if they become loose, the bearings start to strike each other. When this happens, you may hear a noise that sounds like a chirping bird. At first, the sound may be faint. But, as they become looser or fall out of the canister, the chirping noise will become louder because they have more room to move.
Another noise you may hear is a squealing or screeching sound that becomes louder the faster you drive. This is a sign that the bearings are no longer properly lubricated, causing the metal to rub together.
Eventually, the friction between the bearings will make the metal wear out, and the wheel bearings will no longer be able to keep your tires rotating smoothly.
Tires Shake Even on Flat, Smooth Surfaces
When the bearings become loose or worn, the tires will no longer be able to provide a smooth ride for your cargo. The entire trailer will start to shake while you are going down the road, even when the pavement is flat and smooth.
If you feel vibrations while driving, double-check to see if your truck or the trailer is causing the issue. Disconnect the trailer and ride around without it. If you do not feel the truck shake like it does with the trailer attached, the trailer is likely causing the issue.
Trailer Sways While You Are Driving
Shakiness is not the only behavior you may see from your trailer when the wheel bearings are bad. When the bearings are damaged or some are missing, the weight inside the wheels becomes uneven.
As the weight shifts inside the wheels, your trailer's balance becomes uneven. You will start to see the trailer sway while you are driving. When this happens, you are in danger of hurting yourself or others if the trailer were to flip over. You should have someone look at it before taking it on the road.
If you notice any or all of the above warning signs, the wheel bearings on your trailer may be damaged and unsafe to tow. If you suspect this is the case, take your trailer to an automotive shop that specializes in trailer repair, like Major Tire & Hitch Inc, so they can check the bearings and repair or replace them.