Wear is one of the most common failures of hydrodynamic bearings. The main purpose of the present work was to investigate the effects of wear on lubrication performance and acquire efficient vibration signatures for fault diagnosis. In this paper, a finite element model (FEM) for a two-disk rotor supported on worn hydrodynamic bearings is presented in which the oil film force is evaluated by linear and nonlinear models. Numerical and experimental results indicate that the static and dynamic characteristics of the bearing are significantly changed by wear, leading to a drop in system critical speeds due to the deterioration of the constraint status provided by the bearings to the rotor. As the wear depth increases, the onset speed of oil whirl increases, while that of oil whip becomes lower, and large amplitudes of resonance and oil whip are more likely to be excited. More notably, all of the above vibration signatures in the y-direction are more sensitive to wear compared to those in the x-direction, which means that wear faults can be diagnosed by differences in vibration characteristics between the x- and y-directions. This research can provide a theoretical foundation and engineering guidance for the hydrodynamic bearing wear fault diagnosis.