How to Check Trailer Wheel Bearings

by Bob White ; Updated April 12, 2017

Maintaining your trailer's wheel bearings will assure a safe trip.

Trailer on Grass image by Towards Ithaca from

Driving with a trailer increases your risk factors, due in part to the reduced braking and cornering of your vehicle. One way to mitigate this risk is to always ensure your trailer is operating in proper mechanical order. The trailer's wheel bearings are often neglected because they are out of sight. It is not until they begin to squeak or there is dangerous wheel shutter that owners tend to take notice. Unfortunately, this can sometimes be too late because a wheel bearing can fail quickly, leaving you stranded on the side of the road.

Chock the opposite side wheel and jack the trailer's axle up with the car jack. Place the jack stand under the axle and lock it into a position which will support the tire in a raised position. Lower and remove the car jack.

Remove the bolts which secure the rim to the axle with the socket set and remove the wheel. Pry the protective cap off the end of the axle with a slotted screw driver.

Remove the cotter pin which locks the end bolt in place. Loosen the nut which secures hub to the axle and then slide the hub off.

Remove the two bearings from each end of the hub. Inspect the bearings for abnormal wear. If the individual bearings are loose in their sockets or there is obvious damage replace with new bearings. Also inspect the hub for any grooving or damage and replace as necessary.

Apply new grease to the hub assembly and push grease into the bearing. Reassemble the bearing and hub assembly. Grease hub with grease gun using the nipple on the end of the hub.

Photo Credits

  • Trailer on Grass image by Towards Ithaca from

About the Author

Bob White began his writing career in 2006. Working in sales, he was a technical writer tasked with responding to requests for proposal. White has a Bachelor of Arts in computer science and a diploma in home inspection. He has also worked in construction, landscaping and the pool industry for more than 15 years.