If you have a Ford Explorer, odds are you’ll experience issues with wheel hubs at some point. Here’s a list of symptoms related to wheel bearing failure on Ford Explorers, as well as some diagnostic tips, repair info, recommended parts, and background information.

Ford Explorer Wheel Hub Failure Symptoms

Ford Explorer hub issues
  • A grinding or humming noise when the vehicle is in motion
  • Other sounds like clicking, popping, or clunking noises when the vehicle is moving 
  • Vibrations coming from the seat or steering wheel
  • A wheel feels wobbly or the vehicle pulls to one side while driving 
  • Uneven brake or tire wear 

Wheel Hub Diagnosis And Repair Tips

If your Ford Explorer experiences one or more of the above symptoms it’s a sign you may have a bad wheel hub. The next step is to try and narrow down which wheel has the issue. To narrow it down you can check the following:

  • If the noise or vibration is in your seat or coming from the rear of the car, the wheel hub issue is with one of the back wheels. If the noise is coming from the front of the car or your steering wheel vibrates, the issue is with one of the front wheels. 
  • Next, check the wheel you suspect has the issue. Park your vehicle on a level surface and safely raise it until the wheel is off the ground. Rotate the wheel and try to shake it from side to side. If the wheel has play in it or feels loose, or makes the same noise you hear while driving, it’s a good indication something is wrong with the wheel hub.  

Once you’ve identified the wheel with the issues, you’ll want to confirm it’s a wheel hub problem and not something else. Check the tire for uneven wear as well as wheel damage or balance issues. Inspect the brakes for worn brake pads, a bad brake disc, or a stuck caliper. These issues can also cause the same symptoms as a bad wheel hub.  

Regardless of the issue, don’t wait to fix it or get it repaired. Bad brakes or a bad wheel can cause problems steering or stopping. But a bad hub can come apart causing your vehicle to lose a wheel resulting in a loss of control. 

Recommended Replacement Wheel Bearings

GMB offers high-quality replacement wheel hubs for Ford Explorers: 

  • Fourth Generation (2006-2010)  Part Number 725-0177
  • Fifth Generation (2011-2019) Part Number 725-3160

Looking for other Ford Explorer parts? Find the high-quality GMB parts you need here.

Why Do Ford Explorers Have Wheel Hub Problems?

Wheel hubs are extremely durable and made to last a long time but occasionally wear out due to age, mileage, or one of these other causes:

  • Hard impacts from curbs, potholes, or other road hazards
  • Exposure to water, dirt, rust, and other contaminants 
  • Bad or improper alignment
  • Wear caused by excessive heat or weight

For more information on wheel hubs, check out this blog post to learn more.   


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