How safe is replacing 4 wheel bearings DIY?


Old 06-16-15, 07:27 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 62
How safe is replacing 4 wheel bearings DIY?

Two independent places have told me my 2008 Chrysler Town & Country needs all 4 wheel bearings replaced. Brought it in for service because the brakes just didn't feel right, and on the trip to the first place, the ABS, ESP/BAS, and traction lights came on. Driving on dry cement, it felt like the brakes weren't "gripping well" for a few seconds, stopping me slower than normal, then as I pressed harder, came on strong and luckily stopped me. Almost felt like the ABS was pulsing, but not exactly. (But, I'm not used to what ABS feels like without rain or ice...)

Best quote I have is $1300. I can certainly look around more.

I can't help but notice that I can get the parts for about $280.

I have never worked on a car - not even changed oil.

But, I am really good at following directions, and watching quite a few how-to videos online until I get something. (i.e. I successfully replaced half of my house's electrical, to the satisfaction of the inspector; I've built thousands of computers; I've built interior walls; etc.)

Does the idea of someone trying to DIY-replace the 4 wheel bearings based off youtube videos make you think I'm risking not getting it back together just right and causing an accident? (Realizing you have to take the rotors, brake pads, calipers, etc off.) Or is it more along the lines of if I get it back together, think it's right, and don't have pieces left over, that it's done right?
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Old 06-16-15, 08:59 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: North Central Indiana
Posts: 905
If you don't work on cars I doubt you will have the tools needed. I just replaced a ft bearing on mine and didn't have a socket I needed,and I have a 60 year collection.
Old 06-16-15, 09:16 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 62
I should have mentioned, between my father's very extensive toolset, my air compressor, and a local shop that rents the few tools, I can get the tools together. (Granted, I have to add the rental cost to the parts cost.)
Old 06-16-15, 09:18 PM
iceman681's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: usa
Posts: 434
i will tell you like i tell every one that tells me they can do it cheaper themselves. "if you mess up, the only one you can get mad at is yourself" "and if others are with you the same applies". i do this for a living and i see some very shady stuff. I also do some of my own home repairs that would be considered shady to a professional. but i also know when its way over my head and would rather pay the money than the price of failure. No one can tell you what you are capable of.
Old 06-17-15, 05:57 AM
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: united state
Posts: 1
I would suggest take help from expert. Even if you want to do it , have all the required tools with you before you start replacing.
Old 06-17-15, 07:00 AM
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: MI
Posts: 2,446
Get a 2nd opinion. Brake performance has nothing to do with wheel bearings--but the warning lights MIGHT be because of a bad wheel speed sensor which IS in the bearing assembly. It'd be a shame to spend $1300 to correct a fault due to a dirty connector.

It's possible your shop scanned the computer fault code and it blamed a bad sensor--replacing all 4 is quick and profitable for him.

IF the wheel bearings do need replacement (lots of miles, rumbling noise heard during turns), the brakes should be done at the same time since the pads, calipers and rotors all need to come off to replace a bearing ass'y. $1300 might be fair for new bearings & brakes on all 4 corners.
Old 06-17-15, 07:18 AM
ukrbyk's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA/ Pacific NW
Posts: 3,191
Hire a mobil tech. They are very reasonably priced. Make sure guy is ASE certified and write down his DL data.
Craigslist is your source, just place ad "gig offered".
Btw, I bet your control arm bushings are shot too. That will give you "back-for" jerk in wheels while braking.
Old 06-17-15, 08:00 AM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: North East Kingdom of Vermont
Posts: 2,229
Why 4 wheel bearings all at once ?

I go through a lot of wheel bearings . . . . but one at a time.

My current vehicle, a 2002 Volvo S60 has one front bearing that has been on the vehicle for all 258,000 miles of use, while the other front bearing has been replaced twice. I'm in Real Estate and we have a lot of rough (gravel) roads up here in Vermont.

Rear wheel bearings (on a front wheel drive car) don't fail as often; but I did have one replaced when a mechanic thought it was making noise while attending to the rear brakes . . . . but I never heard it.

And my experience with 4 or 5 other vehicles that I've driven to 300,000 +/- miles has been similar . . . . so I can't imagine doing all 4 bearings at the same time as if it's for balance or aesthetics or something else, just principle ?
Old 06-23-15, 09:55 AM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 109
Strange that all 4 at the same time would be bad.
it's good that you are eager and interested to do it yourself, but I would also ask a friend or someone else to be around or available to lend a hand when you need.

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