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DIY: Fixing That Squeaky Luggage Wheel



As a frequent business traveler, I am pretty rough on my luggage. My main travel companion is a 22” rolling carry-on. Its soft sided, zippered pockets and its sturdy two-wheel design lets me cross rough terrain with ease. After about 4 years, I noticed that the factory plastic wheels were getting worn down and the bearing quite squeaky.

Squeaky Luggage Wheel

I contacted my manufacturer for some replacement wheels since it looked like an easy DIY job. The manufacturer had stopped selling replacement wheels for my model though. I turned to the internet and discovered an airline store that carried my size. I opted for the top-of-the-line “rollerblade style” wheels with polyurethane for low rolling resistance and quiet operation.

Disassembling the suitcase took more time than re-building it, but overall it’s an easy process.

First, remove the interior liner and any straps/Velcro/snaps.

Interior Liner

Next, unbolt the wheel carrier or unscrew the wheel axle.

Removing Wheel Carrier
Wheel Gone

Prepare the new wheels by putting any spacers on the bearings and check the bearings for smooth play.

New Wheel

Bolt the wheel back into the carrier and installation is reverse of removal.


Final product! The wheels glide effortlessly and silently.

Good As New

Total cost was about $22 and an hour of my time.

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