In general, if rolling bearings are used correctly, they will survive to their predicted fatigue life. Bearings, however, often fail prematurely due to avoidable mistakes. The causes of this premature failure include improper mounting, mishandling, poor lubrication, entry of foreign particules or abnormal heat generation.
If all conditions are known both before and after the failure, including the application, the operating conditions, and environment, then a countermeasure can be determined by studying the nature of the failure and its probable causes.
Examples of bearing damage and countermeasures are presented in the following sections. Please consult these sections when trying to determine the cause of bearing damage.