SLK wheel bearing concern - appreciate advice

Jul 31, 2005
Hi everybody,

Just returned to the UK from a holiday in Belgium with the 2001 SLK.
Whilst there, broke down on the E40 motorway.
Car was taken to a MB dealership in Brugge who identified the problem as being due to the passenger's front wheel bearing assembly having broke. This in turn damaged the brake disk. Ended up having to change the assembly and both front disks and pads (they only change them in pairs). Ended up with a tasty bill for this work.

Having started a recent job in Cambridge and travelling there from St. Albans each day. I'm racking up the miles at the moment (500 per week). I'm concerned about the other front wheel bearing going the same way and resulting in a similar large bill, not to mention the safety aspect. Do these bearing assemblies also exist in the rear of the car?

Should I adopt a preventative approach and get the other front bearing assembly changed or wait until the problem occurs?

Appreciate your thoughts!

Thanks in advance.



MB Enthusiast
Mar 9, 2011
Swansea, Dubai, Riyadh
1997 W140 S600L/2003 S211 320cdi
Do you know caused the failure of the bearing that was replaced?

If it was caused by a specific issue, hitting a rock in the road etc, then there is no need to replace the other side. If if failed from normal wear and tear, then I would consider changing the other one, as I would imagine if one had failed, the other can't be far behind.

Did you get any notice the bearing was going bad? they normally get pretty noisy when they are on the way out which would give you time to get them replaced before they weld themselves to the stub axle and leave you stranded.
Jul 31, 2005
The car was making a slight whistling sound for a few days leading up to the problem.

The guy who services it said he will check the other side for me when I get the car MOT'd in a few weeks time.

Apparently, it's lack of grease in the fronts which can cause them to go.
The rears apparently are sealed units and do not leak.

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