Hub oil

Discussion in 'Trucks [ Eighteen Wheelers ]' started by Dumbitfown4me, Aug 20, 2019.

  1. x1Heavy

    x1Heavy Road Train Member

    Mar 5, 2016
    White County, Arkansas
    You should see my Tahoe going through steering box oil. I carry a few bottles and that's all gone in maybe 40 miles. I will either have to replace the box or the entire system of lines to and from that box or all of them. But for now i can kick that can down the road with a few pints of steering oil among others in the tool box. It's a older vehicle and the biggest risk of losing fluid is that the exhaust manifold is there so if I come apart near that it's going to be a pretty good engine fire. Which wont be the first...
    Cattleman84 Thanks this.
  2. Dumbitfown4me

    Dumbitfown4me Bobtail Member

    Aug 20, 2019
    This is great info. I remember about t looking for oil on brake components but was not taught about the rest of this stuff. Feel a whole lot better, keep it coming pls
    x1Heavy Thanks this.
  3. okiedokie

    okiedokie Road Train Member

    Jun 13, 2011
    Seals can start leaking while a truck is parked overnight. A good pre-trip never hurts.
  4. Cattleman84

    Cattleman84 Road Train Member

    Nov 1, 2017
    The Sticks, Idaho
    Here is a good pic... Of a REALLY badly leaking hub, on a truck steer axle. This truck was put OOS by DOT for this leak. If you see even a little oil streaking a rim or tire in this fashion you NEED to get to a mechanic shop... Like I said when they go they go fast!

    jamespmack and x1Heavy Thank this.
  5. xsetra

    xsetra Road Train Member

    Aug 21, 2011
    Just like cattleman 84 said.
    The oil when it starts to leak your lower brake shoe will look damp.then wet.

    As it gets worse you will see the fluid streak like picture in last post.
    When the hub gets low on oil the bearings heat up and start to burn the oil.

    Another suttle clue is when you park for a few hours you might see oil stream down the tire sidewall.
    Cattleman84 Thanks this.
  6. Cattleman84

    Cattleman84 Road Train Member

    Nov 1, 2017
    The Sticks, Idaho
    Indeed... And once bearings burn off the oil really bad #### happens...

    @Dumbitfown4me have you seen the news stories about sets of duals coming off trucks and trailers and causing accidents??? That is the ultimate worst case scenario for a leaking hub that is not taken care of promptly. If a steer axle hub assembly comes off like that at highway speeds there is a high likelihood of it causing the truck to jackknife, or even rollover.
    x1Heavy and Dumbitfown4me Thank this.
  7. truckdriver31

    truckdriver31 Road Train Member

    Sep 18, 2013
    go find you a very dry dirt lot. spin up the dust heavily. the dust will stick to any leaking fluid.
    x1Heavy and Dumbitfown4me Thank this.
  8. starmac

    starmac Road Train Member

    Apr 11, 2019
    Fairbanks Ak
    I can generally smell gear oil if one is starting to leak.
    The picture of the outside of the wheel covered looks like a hub cap leak instead of a seal leak, simple easy fix.
    Dot can and will shut you down if the brakes are wet or it leaks bad enough to drip,
    I have not seen it mentioned, but one of the main reasons the steer axle seal starts leaking is not cleaning the vent out on the rubber stopper on the hubcap, lets it build up pressure. The same with seals on the rear, except for a different type of vent.
    x1Heavy and Dino soar Thank this.
  9. skellr

    skellr Road Train Member

    Jul 17, 2011
    The Village, Portmeirion
    Here is a decent image. It's probably from a front wheel drive car, but the concept is the same. You have a pair of seals that keeps the hub oil in. but the seals need to be right against a piece of spinning metal, or being spun against a piece of metal as the wheel turns.
    It doesn't take too much for them to start leaking. a bad alignment or out of balance tire isn't going to help. Maybe they weren't put on or replaced just right and they start to leak.

    I've never smelled one that was leaking, but I'm a smoker. ;) I don't smell or taste much...
    You really need to get under and check the inside of the rim/wheel to check for leaks.
    x1Heavy Thanks this.
  10. Dino soar

    Dino soar Road Train Member

    Dec 8, 2017
    And to go a little farther Beyond The Hub oil itself, make sure every day you check your oil and your water. Look at the belts and hoses make sure nothing is ready to come apart or break. If you find that you have to add, keep an extra close eye on it because it may be a leak that's going to get worse.

    You should also get into the habit of looking under the truck to see if you see any oil or antifreeze on the ground when you park it to go in and get a coffee or whatever else.

    It's a good idea to get into the habit of looking onto the back side of your wheels to see if you see any oil there.

    And as far as pre trips go, it's a good idea to really look closely at your lug nuts that everything looks secure and straight and that the rim is not cracked or having any other problems.
    x1Heavy Thanks this.
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