Bearings in trailer wheels usually last a long time if nothing happens to shorten their life. However, it may not always be easy to identify that your trailer's bearings are failing. This can expose you to serious risks when those bearings suddenly fail when you are towing your trailer on a busy highway. This article discusses some of the signs that can warn you about the possibility that the bearings on your trailer are damaged.

Leaking Lubricants

Seals usually keep bearing lubricants within the raceway. However, some seals weaken and cannot withstand the force of the vacuum created when heated bearings start cooling down when you stop towing. Consequently, gaps develop and allow air and moisture to seep into the bearing raceway in order to fill the vacuum. Before long, you will begin to notice lubricant leaks on the exterior surface of the wheels.

Those leaks may point to the possibility that the bearings are being damaged by the contaminants, such as dust and moisture, that entered the raceway through the gaps that allowed the lubricant to leak. It is important to have your bearings inspected as soon as you notice lubricant leaks.

Grinding Sounds

Bearing raceways can be damaged when the bearings were installed incorrectly after repacking them. The damage can cause a grinding sound each time the bearings reach that section with a depression or pit. Roller damage can also cause a grinding sound in the bearing assembly. Such noise usually signifies that the bearings are about to fail.

Wobbling Wheel

A trailer wheel can start wobbling if a bearing is severely damaged. Such damage can be caused by metal fatigue when lubricants leak out and the overheated bearings start spalling due to excessive friction. Contaminants within the lubricant can also gradually cause the bearings to spall.

Side Pulling

Loose bearings can cause the trailer to pull to one side each time you apply the brakes. The loose bearings prevent the affected wheel from slowing down when brakes are applied. This can cause the trailer to pull towards the side where no loose bearings exist.

Take your trailer to a repair professional as soon as you notice any of the signs above. That expert will be able to rule out other causes that can lead to the manifestation of the symptoms that you noticed. He or she will then be able to repair or replace the defective component before it can affect other components of your trailer, such as the tyres.