Catastrophic wheel bearing failure
Today while driving I heard a noise consistent with a pad squealer. When I pressed on the brakes it quit and then went away. It is a bit early for brakes but they were already bought and waiting at home. When this happened I was an hour ish from home. I had no other symptoms no vibration or other sign associated with wheel bearing issue. I stopped about 15 min down the road and noticed that side brake was hot, driver side. So I gave it time to cool off and it did. Back on the road everything seemed fine and I actually thought I may have passed a rock or something stuck in the pads. As I come into town The brakes got real funky and the peddle would pulsate. I parked my trailer in the lot and when I backed up everything got tight but continued to roll. I unhooked and pulled to the shop. This required a sharp turn and the driver side completely locked up.
I pulled the tire off and it was apparent the disk was leaning out digging into the brake bracketry. After pulling the caliper and the brake bracket the rotor and half of the bearing fell out on the ground leaving the backing plate and stub shaft on the truck.
Now my questions
I have had bearings go bad, usually vibration or something precedes them with a slow onset. But I hav never had one just come apart. What surprised me the most was the lack of grinding noise or vibration. Nothing until what I describe above.
Now as for cause, 5000 miles ago this truck was involved in a collision on that side hard enough to brake a ball joint and shift the entire front end. When I got it back they did not replace the bearing. When I questioned it they said there was nothing wrong with it and refused to replace it. I had it back once for a poping noise on that side when braking but they refused to fix it. I cleaned it up and never could find the source of the pop but it went a way in a short time.
Could that collision damaged the bearing and it waited until today to let go?