VW Golf MK5 replacing the rear wheel bearings due to noise

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Article Date: 25/05/18

Tools Required

In order to replace the wheel bearing on your Golf MK5 (140HP Diesel), you will need the following tools.
This job will take approximately 1.5 hours to do for the average home user without access to ramps / vehicle lifts and constantly jacking the vehicle up and down (possibly less but I was taking photos)

  • Car Jack + Axle Stands (Not pictured)
  • Breaker Bar (18 or 24" long would be a good size) - (You might also want to consinder a "cheater bar" (i.e scaffold pipe) if it's really tight, they most likely are)
  • M18 Spline Socket
  • Steel ruler or Vernier Calipers (to measure wheel bearing)
  • 13mm / 15mm spanners
  • 1/2" Ratchet (Don't bother with 3/8", get a beefy 1/2" for this job)
  • 1/2" Torque Wrench
  • Flat blade screwdriver
  • Hammer

Parts Required

After you have identified what size wheel bearings you require (see notes below), you will need to purchase a good quality set of wheel bearings. When I originally went to do this job I went for the best parts you can buy (generally SKF are regarded as the best) and normally what OEM parts are, although any of the below choices are suitable alternatives so feel free to use them. Wheel bearings are universal fitting (there is no "left" or "right" side)

30MM Wheel Bearing Kits 32MM Wheel Bearing Kits
SKF (UK Seller) SKF (German Seller)
SNR (UK Seller) SNR


Important notes prior to fitting

Make sure you know the CORRECT size of hub required for your car, there are TWO sizes (30mm and 32mm). DO NOT use suggestions on the internet about checking the rear face of the wheel bearing for raised bits to determine if it's 30mm or 32mm as this is wrong (as a note the comments on the internet suggest the 32mm has a flat face and 30mm has raised bits). My car had a flat face but was a 30mm disc. There's a possibility that this order was reversed (30mm flat face and 32mm raised but I've yet to confirm this, I will update the article should I get notes with correct information)

    From various posts, it seems that 30mm is the common fitment size, so if you can only afford one for your car, either remove your existing one (and measure it) or order a 30mm one. Although you run the risk of this being incorrect. The only correct way to make sure is to buy both sizes. I personally think the 32mm is reserved for the 4-motion models, but haven't confirmed this yet. I think there is one method to confirm the size which involves measuring the distance from the front face > rear magnetic sensor but I need a 32mm to compare this measurement against. You could try ringing VW, but unless their information is updated. Their system normally says use Hub A, or Hub B. They normally have both in stock so don't have to worry about which one is the correct size (don't think about buying from VW - their wheel bearings are £160 each!)


Procedure to replace wheel bearing on a VW Golf MK5

Please note concerning the steps below, I didn't have access to an impact gun (just a breaker bar / cheater bar). I found that in the second step in this procedure, the wheels where really tightly held on and kept turning even with the handbrake + brake caliper applied. I actually put the wheels back on and lowered the car, then loosened the nut whilst it was on the floor (something to consider) if you get problems. Otherwise it should remove with a bit of persuasion when it's jacked up.


  • Jack up the car, and place it on axle stands.
  • Using a 13mm + 15mm spanner remove the caliper retaining bolts (As long as your car has 255mm discs, this is all that's needed). If you have a break disc larger than 255mm, you will need to remove the caliper carrier aswell. This is an M14 spline if I remember correctly . Using a T-30 torx bit remove the brake disc securing screw
  • Remove the brake disc


  • Using a screwdriver pry the covering cap off the hub (use a hammer if needed to knock it off).
  • Chock the wheels and with the handbrake applied, using an M18 spline loosen the wheel bearing nut (this WILL be tight) - you will hear some horrible noises whilst its breaking the threadlock


  • The old bolt fitted to the wheel bearing (Strength Class 10.9) - these are 1 time only stretch bolts, DO NOT re use them (at a push you can, but only as a temporary measure).
  • You will get new bolts with the wheel bearing kits along with grease and a wheel bearing cap
  • You can see in the above picture the side by side comparison of my old vs new wheel bearings


Note the "Flat" face of the bearing, online posts suggest it should be a 32mm bearing (which is why I originally purchased 32mm SKF bearings. Guess what, they weren't. They were 30mm!! If you have previously removed your caliper you can use some verniers to double check the size of your wheel bearing hub. It will be either 30 or 32mm. Make sure you buy the right ones.


  • Surprisingly, Volkswagen actually did something right here (and then they messed it up again by having two size bearings with no easy way to identify).
  • Installation of the new caliper is a doddle. Simply slide it over the mounting point then pack it with grease if available and install the new bolt


When installing the new bolt it's a two phase process.

  • First tighten the bolt up to 180NM of torque with the car jacked up in the air
  • Then put the wheels back on (leave the cap cover off) and lower the car
  • You then need to angle tighten the bolt by 180 degrees. If you don't have an angle gauge ratchet, the easiest way is to scratch a mark into the bolt as an alignment mark
  • Using the breaker bar (you will need one - don't use the torque wrench) angle tighten the bolt by 180 degrees. Periodically check the alignment mark to see where it is in the hub. Continue turning the new stretch bolt until the alignment pin is 180 degrees from it's starting position. This bolt will be very hard to turn so will need some force applied to turn it. Once it reaches the 180 degress point stop turning. Jack the car up and put the cap back on.

You have now successfully replaced the wheel bearing on your car. A good wheel bearing lasts around 100k miles or more so once done it should last the life of your car.

Once the new wheel bearing is fitted, your car is then driveable again. All Axle parts should be replaced in pairs (don't bother buying 1, the other will go roughly around the same time)