Question: I have a 2006 Tacoma V-6 4x4. I hear a growling noise and a vibration from the front. I brought it into the dealership who said it was the right front wheel bearing. The mechanic wants to replace the hub and the wheel bearing, but the truck is still under warranty and the techs couldn't get approval for the hub, just the bearing. The mechanic says he can do the job with just the bearing. But why don't the warranty people just approve what the mechanic said was needed?

Answer: That's kind of a gray area. The wheel bearing can be replaced by itself, without replacing the hub. The mechanic wants to replace both because it saves him time doing the job. Saving time means making money as a dealership technician. The wheel bearing must be pressed off of the original hub before the new wheel bearing can be pressed on.

If you have a new bearing and hub, you just press the new bearing onto the new hub. This eliminates the task of removing the old bearing in order to reuse the old hub. You'll be fine with replacement of the wheel bearing alone. If it were my truck, and the hub cost was minimal, I'd probably replace both. Not just because it's less labor, but there's also a remote chance the old hub is no longer 100 percent true due to a previous road impact.

How To Reach Alex
If you have a technical question regarding your pickup, SUV, or van, feel free to contact Alex, a master technician with the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. Send a letter to him in care of Truck Trend Garage, 831 S. Douglas Street, El Segundo, CA 90245, or e-mail us at Please include the VIN with your question. Due to the volume of questions received every month, we cannot guarantee that everyone's question will be personally answered or will appear in the magazine.

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