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Complete Guide on How Bearings Are Used in Cars

Complete Guide on How Bearings Are Used in Cars

Can we imagine cars without bearings?

Bearings are crucial to all pieces of equipment with moving parts. Bearings help to deliver optimized performance, minimize friction and bear heavy loads.

Bearings are used everywhere in a car — from gearboxes and steering wheels to wiper blades and rear view mirrors. In the automotive industry, tapper head bearings and ball bearings are commonly used for most applications. Such mechanical bearings are majorly used to improve the overall performance of cars.

There are a lot of things to know about bearings used in cars. This guide will take you through the practical uses of bearings in cars and also the types of bearings commonly used.

Different Motions of Bearings in Cars


Most bearings we find in cars have rolling or sliding elements. In the automotive industry, both bearings are used for a smooth ride without friction with lubrication and other materials. We can use rolling bearings to convert rotational motion into linear action. Such rolling bearings are capable of managing heavy loads without friction. 

In cars, most of the bearings used are circular assembled in a shaft and placed inside a housing. But with bearings used for linear movements, the rollers are put together on rails, like the ones used for the seat track bearings.

There are several such bearings used for both circular and linear motions based on the applications. Here are some of the practical uses of bearings that we can find in every type of car.

How Are Bearings Used in Cars?

  • 1. In-Transmission

The transmission is one of the key parts in the car that converts the engine power and delivers the force to the wheels to move the car. It’s critical to maintain the bearings in the transmission in good condition to make sure that the vehicle has enough power and force to move on steep or rugged surfaces.

  • 2. In Gears

There are two types of gears that work with transmissions: manual and automatic. 

Manual gears have a lot more bearings to support radial and axial movements. As we move the manual gear to change the speed, the rotation of the shaft is controlled, which is then conveyed to the wheels. Here, a bearing with needle rollers and cages together plays a major role in changing the number of rotations of shafts and gears — which then ultimately controls the speed.

Bearings are also used in differential gears which control the cars turning left or right. This gear transmits the power from the gear to the wheel and manages the number of rotations. Here, bearings also support the force from the gears and the rotation of shafts. 

  • 3. For the Steering Mechanism

When we drive different cars, one of the first things we often notice is the ease of moving the steering. If the steering is easy to use, then it’s one of the signs of good car quality and maintenance.

The steering has a long column that starts from the steering control to the engine compartments. This column is fitted with bearings to facilitate the smooth and quiet moment of the steering and offer the best riding experience. The bearings support the columns and make sure that the steering is just right enough to drive.

  1. 4. For the Bonnet Release Mechanism

In cars, the bonnet of the car needs to slide open noiselessly and smoothly on its own with the press of a button. Bearings make it happen with its efficient smooth open and close that clicks in its place without banging hard on the car body. It’s also capable of managing heavy loads and counterbalancing the weight.

The Bearings in a Typical Car

In a normal car, the minimum number of bearings used comes around 36. With the new technologies, the number of bearings also increases. Here are some of the common bearings:

  • Gearbox bearings
  • Wheel bearings
  • Engine accessory bearings
  • Needle bearings
  • Transmission shaft bearing
  • Suspension bearings
  • Clutch bearing
  • Air-conditioner compressor bearings

The number of bearings on each of these moving parts may increase based on the model and the functionalities. And in cars with conventional engines, the number of bearings can go more than 100.

Wrapping Up

Bearings are indispensable in a manufacturing unit. Choosing the right bearing for the cars can change the ‘feel’ of them. Pick low-quality bearings and the entire driving experience can be bumpy and uncomfortable. When you pick good-quality bearings for the car, you can create a luxurious experience of cruising through the streets!

So it’s vital to choose a reliable bearing manufacturing company. Hi-Bond is one of the most experienced bearing manufacturers with over 30 years of experience. We’re best at doing what we do. Being the top quality bearings and brush suppliers, we’ve worked with several automobile companies and have supplied many top-tier car and truck manufacturers.

If you want to work with a bearing manufacturing company that can accommodate your high-quality requirements, then email us at sales@hibond.com or call us at +1(404) 310-6730.