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I was recently unlucky enough to be in a crash. My car is modern (2016 registered). Driving on a highway at highway speeds, I heard a rumble noise. I knew the road I was on but thought i was going over rumble strips (which do not exist on this road). The car swerved violently to one side, and I countered (weather at the time did not help).

The car is now back on the road but looking at the repair report, one thing which was mentioned was noisy wheel bearings at the rear. Would this cause the behaviour described? The car is only 30k miles, so I am surprised.

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  • Please refer to the repair report and list for us exactly what parts or systems were repaired or replaced.
    – MTA
    Apr 15 at 22:27
  • Near side wheel bearing, but just wondering if this was a cause in the crash. Apr 15 at 22:41
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No one here can say for sure what caused your accident. We can only talk about possibilities.

If a wheel bearing seizes up and locks the wheel, that could cause the vehicle to swerve to one side and come to a sudden stop. But wheel bearings typically give warning signs -- noise, vibration, wandering in the lane, uneven tire wear -- for a long time before total failure.

Can a wheel bearing fail in 30,000 miles? Certainly. But they usually don't. Driving through deep water, especially salt water, encourages wheel bearing failure.

The mechanic says that you have more noisy bearings, but it sounds like you have not replaced them. The bearings should be checked by a mechanic you trust, and if any are bad they should be replaced. You've already seen what can happen. It shouldn't take more than 30 minutes to put the vehicle on a lift and check all four wheel bearings.

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  • One possibility is that the vehicle was in a flood. This brings water and dirt into the bearings (as well as a lot of other places) and can cause VERY premature failure of contaminated components.
    – jwh20
    Apr 16 at 11:14

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