Volkswagen Golf/Jetta/Cabriole 1990-1999

Wheel Bearings



On all vehicles covered by this guide, the front wheel bearings are sealed units, and lubrication is not required, or necessary.


On all vehicles covered by this guide, the rear wheel bearings are of the standard tapered-roller design. Periodic lubrication and adjustment is necessary to prevent premature bearing failure.

Removal, Packing, & Installation
  1. Raise and safely support the vehicle, and remove the rear wheels.
  3. On vehicles with rear drum brakes, insert a small pry tool through a wheel bolt hole and push up on the spring tensioned adjusting wedge to slacken the rear brake adjustment.
  5. On vehicles with rear disc brakes, remove the two 8mm Allen® bolts that secure the caliper to the axle. Hang the caliper from the spring with wire, do not let it hang by the hydraulic hose.
  7. Pry off the grease cap, remove cotter pin, locking ring, axle nut and thrust washer. Carefully remove the bearing without dropping it.
  9. Remove the brake drum or rotor and pry the bearing seal out of the hub. The seal will be destroyed, but be careful not to pry on the bearing.
  11. Clean the bearings in solvent, and wipe the inside of the drum/rotor. Examine the bearings and inner races for discoloration, wear or damage.
  13. Pack the bearings with new wheel bearing grease. Fill the inside of the drum/rotor with bearing grease also. Keep in mind that the grease not only lubricates the bearings, but also provides a means of cooling.
  15. Place the freshly packed inside wheel bearing in the drum/rotor. Using a flat block of wood or other suitable tool, install the new axle seal onto the drum/rotor.

Do NOT attempt to drive the seal in place with a hammer, it will be damaged.

  1. Pack about 1 oz. of grease into the hub and fit the drum or disc onto the axle.
  3. Pack the outer bearing with grease and fit the bearing, thrust washer and nut onto the axle. Adjust bearing pre-load and install the locking ring, cotter pin and grease cap.
  5. Install the brake caliper, if removed.

  1. Tighten the bearing nut while turning the drum or disc. Torque the nut to 87 inch lbs. (10 Nm) to seat the bearing, then loosen it again.
  3. When tightening adjusting the nut again, move the thrust washer side to side with a screwdriver. The thrust washer must still be movable with light effort when adjustment is complete.
  5. When installing the locking ring, keep trying different positions of the ring on the nut until the cotter pin goes into the hole. Don't turn the nut to align the locking ring with the hole in the axle. Use a new cotter pin.