How Long Can I Drive with Pinion Bearing Noise

How Long Can I Drive with Pinion Bearing Noise?

Hearing a noise coming from the bearing? Want to know if you need to get it fixed or if it is okay or not? Well, these are the questions that most people ask when they have some problem with the bearing. And while most change the bearing as soon as possible, some drive with the noisy pinion bearing.

That is why how long can I drive with pinion bearing noise is a quite common question. Well, we will fill you in regarding all the things that you need to know about the topic.

What Will Happen If You Drive with a Bad Pinion Bearing?

If the bearing is making noise, there is a higher chance that it has gone bad and might require a replacement. And before we tell you how long you can drive with a bad bearing, let us first describe the things that you might face while driving a car that has a bad pinion.

As you know by now, the bad pinion is going to make an irritating noise. Sometimes it will be like a rattling, while sometimes, it will be like a whirring noise. And the noise will be mainly coming from the differential.

Other than the noise, there are other things that you will notice. There is going to be too much shaft flexibility. And while flexibility on the shaft is good, too much can damage some other components of the vehicle.

For that reason, if you ignore this problem for a long amount of time, you might end up with a damaged transmission, differential, and driveshaft. And replacing those will cost a lot, whereas if you opt for a bearing replacement, it will certainly not break your wallet.

What Does an Extremely Bad Differential Sound Like?

When the pinion bearing flexes too much, it will damage the differential to a good amount. And when that happens, the differential will make some loud noises. It can be loud rattling or loud whirring noise. Any time you hear those loud sounds, you should get the car checked by an expert.

On that note, only the differential will not make those loud noises if they get damaged. Some of the other parts will also make the same noise. And those problems need to be checked as soon as possible. If you ignore them for a good amount of time, the whole differential and other parts might require replacement.

How to Tell If the Pinion Bearing Has Gone Bad or Not?

Generally, the bearing is going to make some certain whirring noise at the beginning levels. You will hear these at different speeds and while making a turn. When the damage is at an adequate level, the noise will occur during each deceleration and acceleration.

When the damage is at an extreme level, it will make rumbling noises. And the carrier assembly is going to make some dangerous movements, which can lead to accidents on the road.

How Long Can You Drive a Car with a Bad Pinion Bearing?

It actually depends on how bad the bearing is. For a low level of damage, it will be 100 percent okay to drive the car, and you would be able to drive it in that condition for a long amount of time without worrying a bit. However, if the damage level is moderate, it will not be safe to drive the care for a long time.

Now, if you are looking for a time frame, it can be ten days or ten years. The bearings with a low level of damage can run for ten years, whereas if the bearing has an extreme level of damage, it will not last for ten days.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace the Pinion Bearing?

If the bearing has a higher level of damage, it will be wise to get it replaced. And many worries that the replacement is going to cost a lot. However, that is not the case at all. For the seal replacement, it will cost around $290. Some of them might even cost around $240. The parts are somewhere between $70.

Nevertheless, there is an added labor cost. Depending on the repair shop, you are looking to spend about $220 for the labor cost. Some might consider the cost and bring it down to $170. So, in total, you would have to spend at least $480. However, that is the minimum cost. It can go higher than $500.

Can I Change the Pinion Bearing By Myself?

That will depend on whether you have a good amount of experience in handling car parts or not. If you have a good amount of experience, you can save the whole labor cost and do the replacement by yourself. With the right amount of skills, you can replace the bearing within four to five hours.

However, without the required amount of experience and skills, you can risk damaging the parts. So, it would be better to hand over the vehicle to a car mechanic. They will what to do and how to do it. Also, they will be capable of noticing other problems with the car, if there are any.

How to Tell If the Ring and the Pinion Are Worn?

If both the ring and the pinion go bad, the sound will be pretty intense when the car accelerates. The sound is a loud howl or a whine. That sound is a clear indication that the ring and the pinion are both worn. In some cases, you can notice the sound only when the car is at a certain speed range.

Whrring and rumbling sounds at 20 Mph speed basically indicate that the bearings are worn a bit. And the noise might change when the vehicle turns.

Final Words

To reiterate, in terms of how long can I drive with pinion bearing noise — it can be ten days or ten years. This will highly depend on the condition of the bearing. If it is worse, get it replaced as soon as possible.

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