How to Prevent Ball Bearing Failure

Ball bearings are used in most machines that we know of today—cars, washing machines, factory equipment, hard drives, etc. No other invention performs as well as bearings while also preventing friction, which is the number one enemy of any machine. Yes, they’re really reliable. But even with regular care and maintenance, there may ball bearings will fail at one point in its life cycle.

Though only one percent of ball bearings fail under their expected service life, knowing how to prolong your bearing’s life is important. With proper care, you can definitely avoid bearings failing too early.


Below are some tips to help you prevent ball bearing failure:

1. Lubricate Ball Bearings As Needed

Lubrication helps reduce friction when ball bearings are in use. This allows the rolling parts to effortlessly glide—improving performance as well—because direct metal-to-metal contact can easily destroy a bearing.

Ball bearings commonly use grease as a lubricant due to its easy use and compatibility. But for high-speed or high-temperature demands, oil is a better lubricant. Without proper lubrication, ball bearings will easily malfunction way below its service life.

2. Properly Install Ball Bearings

Ball bearings need to be mounted and installed properly as well. Wrong mounting or installation can lead to bearing failures at the early stages of its service life. It’s also wise to minimize misalignment and shaft deflections to prolong a ball bearing’s service life.

A properly installed ball bearing will be able to handle operational stress up to its known limit. But, as with any machine, overloading can still cause bearing failures.

3. Only Use the Right Ball Bearing for Your Machine, Vehicle, or Device

There are dozens of ball bearing models, each with different specifications. Without knowing which one you need, incompatibility or even early ball bearing failure may be an issue. That’s why it’s best to know which ball bearing model is ideal for your machine, vehicle, or device.

Keep in mind that ball bearings with smaller rolling elements and cross-sections will help decrease the mass of rotating bodies—making them perfect for rapid acceleration. But speed changes can also bring fatigue to your ball bearings, so make sure that your bearings are able to withstand the speed and rapid changes of where you’ll use it for.

The following are some effects rapid speed changes can cause:


  • Broken retainers
  • Cage damage

Find the Right Ball Bearings That You Need

Bearings Direct has been providing high-quality bearings to individuals and companies for years. Our bearings are guaranteed to last long under proper care and maintenance. We also have a wide range of models that you can choose from.

You’ll definitely find what you’re looking for in our store!

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