A method for detection of wear in thrust ball bearings coated with molybdenum disulphide is presented. It employs an energy feature obtained from time-frequency representation of the vibration signal. Extensive experimental studies are conducted to verify the efficacy of the proposed method for fault diagnosis of coating. These experiments are conducted under both oscillatory and unidirectional motions. The results of vibrations are corroborated with the friction coefficient from the onset of the motion until failure develops. Through monitoring of the energy in time-frequency domain as well as the coefficient of friction, three stages of coating life are identified. They are healthy period, developing damage, and failure. It is shown that the energy feature can detect whenever wear and damage appear and solid lubricant loses its lubrication capabilities.