First Line Ltd. Car Wheel Bearings Reviewed

Who are First Line Ltd.?

  • First Line Ltd. was established in 1987 and are now a world-wide vehicle parts supplier.
  • They have over 35 years’ experience supplying premium quality automotive components to the vehicle aftermarket.
  • Offering an extensive range of over 40,000 references of Chassis, Engine and Braking components for all makes of vehicle, across 60+ product lines.
  • Headquarters located in Oxfordshire, England, and products being supplied to more than 70 different countries
  • Purchased 100 year-old parts company Borg & Beck in 2006
  • Also own Key Parts brand, introduced to caters for only the high-volume references for selected ranges, aimed at meeting the price-conscious side of the aftermarket.

Watch my video review of First Line wheel bearings below!

First Line wheel bearings review

That deep, metallic whirring/grumbling sound resonating through the car from the general direction of the wheels while you’re driving usually equates to the wheel bearings being worn. It’s perfectly normal on older or high-mileage cars, as it’s just part of the wear and tear on a vehicle, but the good news is that generally only one or two bearings will be worn, and not all four.

If you’re not sure which side the noise is coming from, or aren’t fully convinced that it is actually a worn-out wheel bearing, a garage can test this for you, or if you’re okay with basic mechanics you can follow the instructions from this excellent Chris Fix YouTube video on how to determine it for sure:

In my car’s case, surprisingly it sounded like all four bearings were ready for replacing! As I’ve worked with the excellent First Line Ltd. (also; Borg and Beck, Key Parts) parts company before, I approached them and they were happy to send both the front and rear sets. Thanks guys!

I’ve worked with Borg and Beck / First Line Ltd. previously, where I’d replaced all the brake discs and pads on my Lexus LS 430, and I was hugely impressed with both the quality of the parts, and the highly competitive pricing of them too.

You can easily find parts for your car or light truck by visiting the First Line Ltd parts finder, which is, frankly, quite amazing as all you need can be found using the various search tools including part/cross reference, engine code, and then make, model, body style, year etc.

This made finding the wheel bearings incredibly easy, which were for my 2006 Lexus RX 400h and – if you happen to have the same car – part numbers FBK1236 for the front bearing kit, and FBK1215 for the rear bearing kit. Interestingly, the rear bearing assemblies were actually marked with the Borg & Beck logo, and this is because First Line will infill with Borg & Beck parts to make sure to keep availability high.

It’s the same high-quality product, just branded differently. The front bearings were marked with the Koyo brand, and First Line assumed me that it’s a premium product that would have been fitted by Lexus originally anyway, so I was more than happy with that.

Both sets of bearings look and feel high quality, and checking average prices of them online shows they cost much less than many competitors, and especially the manufacturer-branded parts. That ticks the two main boxes I want when buying my car parts.

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The rear wheel bearing assembly is an all-in-one unit, and they are fairly straightforward to remove, so the job was done on my driveway. Once off, it was immediately clear that the rears were very much worn and there was no question they needed to be replaced, so it was on with the shiny, brand-new First Line versions.

Front wheel bearings are much more of a pain to do because the old ones are so difficult to remove, so it was off to the garage for the Lexus for those. The original bearings were given back to me afterwards, and it was absolutely clear that they were well-worn too, so in the end it was absolutely worth replacing all of them. First Line give a 2-year/24,000 mile warranty with their car parts.

So, if you’re looking to replace the wheel bearings on your car or commercial vehicle, I can thoroughly recommend both First Line Ltd. and Borg & Beck, should you need great quality parts at surprisingly great prices.


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Words: Chris Davies | Film/Photography: Chris Davies

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