Common causes of premature bearing failure

By Marnix Veraart - In Products - 31 May 2022

Common causes of premature bearing failure

Not every bearing will live up to its expected life span. In this blog (reading time: 3 minutes) we will have a look at some common causes of premature bearing failure. All bearings must be replaced at some point, but by considering the following points you will get the most out of them.


1. Poor lubrication

A common cause of premature failure is incorrect lubrication. Proper lubrication will reduce friction between parts. This reduces energy consumption, heat generation, wear and tear and noise levels. In addition, the lubricant provides protection against corrosion and dirt. Proper lubrication is therefore of utmost importance. Things to look out for are:

When changing lubricants, always remember to remove the old, contaminated grease first.

Tip: Use the handy Schaeffler Grease App for customized lubrication advice.


2. Incorrect (dis-)assembly method

Bearings that are not installed correctly, may be damaged in the process. Do not force a bearing into place with a hammer. Always use the proper method, whether it be mechanical, hydraulic, or even using heat to install a bearing, and always use the appropriate tools. Removing a worn bearing should be done with care so that the replacement bearing can be installed without any problems. We offer tools for safe installation and removal such as bearing pullers, hook wrench sets and transport kits.

The alignment of the shafts on which the bearings are mounted is also important. In fact, misalignment may accelerate bearing failure.


3. Wrong choice of bearing

No matter how skilfully a bearing is installed, there will be premature failure if the bearing type is not suitable for the application. The type of load plays an important role (radial, axial, or combined) and capacity and dimensions must also be correct.

In addition, there may be specific or extreme operating conditions. A bearing may be exposed to severe shocks and vibrations or even electrical charges. In these cases, you should always choose bearings that are designed for these purposes (often recognisable by a specific suffix). You can find an example in our blog about the FAG QP51 bearings.


4. Dirt

Small dirt particles such as grit and dust that get into the bearing or lubricant will cause excessive wear. Causes that may introduce dirt can be:


5. Overloading and underloading

By keeping these tips in mind, your bearings will last longer. And when they finally do need replacing, we are here to support you!


Having trouble choosing the right bearing? Any questions about maintenance? Contact our Account Managers. They will be happy to assist you.

Marnix Veraart Product Content Specialist +31 (0)165 788 208

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