How many bearings are there in a car?

Posted by NTN-SNR on 29/12/2021

This obviously depends on the model! We’ve nevertheless undertaken to give a rough count of the minimum number of bearings in a car. We counted 36.

Here’s how we came up with that number:


This number increases rapidly with certain widespread technologies: 2 bearings are added for the air-conditioning compressor, for example. Regarding shafts, there are 6 units on an entire transmission system (2 main bearings on the longitudinal shaft, 4 bearing in the rear differential). For the engine, 2 bearings are regularly seen at the end of the cam shaft (distribution end).

The sophistication of certain functions tends to drive up the number of bearings. Recent automatic dual-clutch transmissions (DCT) require an additional 3 bearings: 2 on the gearbox’s second primary shaft, and 1 for the double clutch. Certain high-end engines feature one bearing per valve, i.e. 4 per cylinder and thus 48 on a 12-cylinder engine!

The list is not exhaustive: bearings are also sometimes found in surprising locations, such as in Citroën’s fixed-centre steering wheel.


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