Wheel bearings are a set of small steel balls or rollers that support the wheel and allow it to spin freely. Located at the center of the wheel inside the hub, they reduce friction by allowing the hub to roll around the axle instead of against it. Proper lubrication of the wheel bearings and regular check ups can help them run smooth. But, unusual noises, such as clicks, rumbles, and groans that change with the vehicles speed may mean that the bearings are worn and an inspection may be necessary. Ask your service advisor to have your wheel bearings checked when the brake pads take longer than normal to kick in or if there are grinding noises during driving. Damaged bearings generate large amounts of heat that can cause the wheel to lock up.If the wheel bearings get damaged, they are not able to help the wheel rotate smoothly and the wheel will get damaged. If the bad wheel bearings are not replaced in time, the locked wheel can come off and cause quite a bit of damage. From a safety standpoint, there is a large safety risk, since a wheel coming off can cause accidents.