What are Hubcaps?

Hubcaps are an accessory/decoration for your “Differences of Aluminum & Steel wheels” or "Types of Rims" As mentioned in the previous post, steel wheels are not the most attractive- hubcaps provide a clean face finish to your wheel. Hubcaps materials are plastic or metal and used merely for looks. The round, decorative pieces are bound to steel wheel through clips they provide grip and security on the groove of the wheel.

How Do I Install Hubcaps?

*Editor Note: Before you begin Hubcap replacement- be sure you are on the flat surface and activate your emergency brake- safety first!  Also, only take off HubCaps when necessary- the more you take off the hubcap, the more likely it is to pop-off in rough road conditions.

1.With No Screws or Lug Nuts:

Tools: Screwdriver, Rubber Hammer/Mallet

It is not that hard to install hubcaps on your steel wheels. First, you must examine the placement style of your current hubcap. Some are held on by clips, and others are bolted in with lug nuts. The clip on hubcaps makes it easy to pop-on and pop-off. I would recommend having a screwdriver for this process. With the screwdriver; examine your hubcap, feel around for a sweet spot- loose or wiggly. You should slowly start to rotate around the hubcap to loosen the hubcap to the point where it will not break or snap in half. The moment your old hubcap is entirely off, grab your new hubcap and align it directly over the location of the previous hubcap. You will need a rubber hammer of some sort to hit the new hubcap into place. Slowly start hitting the edges with a rubber hammer. You will begin to hear some clicking noise throughout the process. And viola

2. With Lug Nuts:

Tools: Lug Wrench

Start off by turning one lug nut counterclockwise with a lug wrench. If the lug nut is too tight, use your foot and stand on lug wrench to create pressure to push counterclockwise. Once they are loose, you can begin unscrewing the lug nut with your hand. Repeat this process and remove all but two lug nuts facing each other. This ensures that your old hubcap and wheel are held together securely. Be sure to keep the lug nuts in safe storage. Next, you must remove the plastic washers from lug nuts. Next, reattach the lug nuts lightly, just enough to hold the previous hubcap in place. Unscrew the TWO lug nuts that were not previously removed and still contain the plastic washers. The hubcap should be come off smoothly without the plastic washers. Place your new hubcap on the steel wheel, replace the two lug nuts with spacers back onto the wheel and lightly tighten them. Remove the lug nuts without the spacers, and place the washers back in place. Place lug nuts back on wheel and screw them on tightly with the lug wrench!     

3. With Screws

Tools: Screwdriver

Be sure to locate screw on the hubcap; it may not be visible right away; it may be hiding behind a plastic piece in the center of the hubcap. Once you locate, use the screwdriver to loosen the small cover. After you unscrew, place screw in a safe area (do not to lose!), remove the old cap, place the new hubcap over, place screw back on the hubcap and screw it back on with hand. Once cap is secure, use screwdriver to tighten enough so it does not move- do not over-tighten.

Hopefully this article helped out! If you would like full animation visit Change Hubcaps with Lug nuts for play-by-play animation!

Till’’ next week! -J