How to Change a Wheel Bearing on a Saturn Vueby Jody L. CampbellUpdated November 07, 2017
Items you will need
Metric socket set
30-mm spindle nut socket
30-mm replacement locking spindle nut
34-mm spindle nut socket
34-mm replacement locking spindle nut
Mechanic's wire or length of rope
Light- to medium-grade sandpaper or emery cloth
Small pry bar
Replacement hub bearing assembly
The Saturn Vue employs both front and rear wheel hub bearing assemblies. These assemblies come from the factory complete with unserviceable bearings already pressed into the hub. They require no lubrication since they are sealed units. Inside the assembly is enough lubricant to provide service to the bearing for a certain amount of time. Some bearings can reach 100,000 miles or more. Changing the front or rear hub bearing assembly in the Saturn Vue requires the same procedure with a couple of subtle differences.
Engage the parking brake after placing the Vue on a flat, paved surface.
Remove the hub cap or center cap from the tire in question if applicable.
Break the lug nuts loose 1/8 of a turn counterclockwise with the lug wrench. Break the spindle nut loose one full turn with the breaker bar and a 34-mm spindle nut socket for a front bearing or a 30-mm spindle nut socket for a rear bearing.
Lift the Vue with a car jack and place a jack stand beneath the SUV to support it. Finish removing the lug nuts and then remove the wheel.
Locate the caliper bracket mounting bolts on the back side of the backing plate. Use the breaker bar and appropriate size socket to break them free and then switch to a ratchet to speed up the process.
Gently pry the caliper assembly off of the rotor using a small pry bar. Use a length of mechanic's wire or rope to bind it to the coil spring of the suspension to avoid it from dangling from the rubber brake hose.
Remove the rotor from the hub flange. Finish removing the spindle nut from the spindle with a ratchet and the appropriate socket.
Spray the front and rear hub flanges with lubricating spray on the front and rear where the bearing retaining bolts are located. The front Vue bearings employ three retaining bolts and the rear bearings use four. Allow the penetrating lubricant time to soak in.
Disconnect any ABS sensor wires connected to the hub bearing assembly. If you follow the wire (if applicable), you will find where it is plugged into the harness. Be sure to disconnect it from every retaining device along its length to the plug. A new wire and plug will come with the replacement bearing assembly.
Remove the hub bearing retaining bolts, breaking them free with the breaker bar first and then switching to the ratchet.
Use the hub puller (if necessary) to pry the hub bearing assembly from the hub.
Clean the mating surfaces of the hub and bearing assembly with emery cloth or sandpaper. You will need to manipulate the spindle of the drive shaft to clean the top of the hub surface.
Install the new bearing by reversing the steps. Use the torque wrench to tighten all bolts to the recommended torque specifications. You can find these in the owners manual or in a repair manual specified for the Saturn Vue. The parts store that sold you the wheel bearing assembly can look up these specs for you at no charge.
Telltale evidence that the wheel hub bearing assembly has been compromised is a prominent growling sound that intensifies with the revolutions of the tire.
Jody L. Campbell spent over 15 years as both a manager and an under-car specialist in the automotive repair industry. Prior to that, he managed two different restaurants for over 15 years. Campbell began his professional writing career in 2004 with the publication of his first book.