How To Keep Hubcaps From Coming Off?

Have you ever arrived after a journey only to find out that your vehicle’s hubcap fell off while driving? It can be unpleasant because of how it would alter your car’s beauty. Irrespective of how the manufacturers designed them, keeping them from falling off remains a concern.

Knowing how to keep hubcaps from coming off is relatively easy. Since prevention is better than cure, it would be better to find the best possible way to prevent your car’s hubcaps from falling off, rather than consistently replacing your car’s missing hubcaps with a new set.

Please take a moment to understand all that you need to know about adequately fixing your car’s hubcaps in such a way that they cannot easily pop off, especially while you are driving at high speed.

How to Keep Hubcaps from Coming Off

The following steps would enable you to understand how to keep wheel skins from falling off.

hubcap retention ring

Step 1: Correctly position hubcaps clips

The hubcaps on your vehicle’s wheels are expected to be in place with the help of the clips; hence, you must ensure that the clips are appropriately fixed. Some recent hubcaps are fitted with retention devices such as steel or plastic clips that help to fasten them to the vehicle’s wheels.

The hubcaps may also be held in place with washers and lug nuts or bolt-on fasteners. 

Whatever are the devices or clips that help hold the hubcaps firmly to the wheels, ensure that they are correctly positioned or fixed to hold them onto the wheels firmly.

Tighten loose bolts, correctly engage the clips if they are clip-on types, etc. If you have a broken hubcap clip, you may have to find out how to fix broken hubcap clips.

Step 2: Properly wipe off lubrication

In a case where you have to perform a repair that required lubrication, leaving some lubrication on the tire around the hubcaps area may cause the hubcaps to fall off.

If you notice any lubrication around the wheel hubcaps area of your vehicle, ensure to clean them off thoroughly.

Step 3: Wrap clip-on retainers

Use plastic electrical tapes to wrap the clip-on retainers about three or four times. After wrapping the clip-on retainers, if the hubcaps don’t stay in place firmly, you can proceed to wrap the other clips. However, avoid wrapping the clips too much so that they are not difficult to fit in place.

Step 4: Sand back paint on wheels

After wrapping clip-on retainers, ensure to sand back the area of your car’s steel wheels where the clips are fixed. You can perform the operation with coarse 80-grit sandpaper to make the paint rough enough to allow the clips to fit in properly. Ensure not to sand the wheel back to bare metal because it may alter the clips from staying firmly.

Finally, if the guide provided above on how to keep ram center caps from falling off does not work for your car’s hubcaps, you may have to fix the hubcaps by tying them firmly with some cables. Some ties can blend with the silver color of your car’s hubcaps so that it is not obvious that you used cables in putting them in place and preventing them from coming off.

hubcap fell off


Q: Why do my hubcaps keep falling off?

If you are wondering, “Why do my wheel trims keep falling off?” One main reason your vehicle’s hubcaps keep falling off is because of the manufacturer’s design flaws. Some manufacturers do not carefully design suitable clips with proper support capable of holding the hubcaps firmly to the vehicle’s wheels.

Due to a flaw in the hubcaps’ clips, they will always fall off until you change your vehicle’s hubcaps to another style from a different manufacturer with better designs that keep them firm to the wheels.

A bent clip is yet another reason that causes your vehicle’s hubcaps to keep falling off. In this case, you will necessarily have to repair any bent clips on the hubcaps to prevent them from falling out; otherwise, you may have to replace your vehicle’s wheel covers continually.

Q: Do hubcaps have a purpose?

Apart from protecting your vehicle’s wheels from dirt and debris, there is nothing special about hubcaps as they do not serve any vital operational purpose. Most people think that when you drive a car with one of the hubcaps missing, it looks like a junky; hence, car owners try to ensure that they are all intact.

A hubcap is a decorative cover for your vehicle’s wheel hub. Besides covering for cosmetic purposes, your car can run smoothly without them. So, you don’t have anything to bother about when your vehicle’s hubcaps fall off apart from the cost of replacing them when you need to do so.

Q: How can I secure my hubcaps?

If you are wondering how to secure hubcaps, this piece of information will help. Whenever you remove and fix back the hubcaps on your vehicle’s wheels, it wears down the metal grooves on the hubcaps. You would need to bend the inner edges outward to enable it to grip the hubcaps firmly.

Therefore, whenever you remove the hubcaps from your vehicle’s wheels, endeavor to use pliers to bend the metal on the edge inside the hubcaps outward; thereafter, tap a rubber mallet on the hubcap’s edges to keep them firm and secure. Properly securing your vehicle’s hubcaps is the solution on how to keep hubcaps from being stolen.

Q: How do I make my wheel covers stay on?

Use hubcap retention ring. Nowadays, most hubcaps are manufactured with some devices to help keep them firm; some are steel or plastic clips that align with the materials with which the hubcaps are made.

The clips fasten onto the vehicle’s wheels and help to keep the hubcaps firmly in place. There are also plastic washers attached to a lug nut that helps hold the hubcaps firm.

If your vehicle does not have any of these devices, you may want to change the hubcaps to something recent to enable you to get the benefit of not having to worry about your hubcaps falling off anymore.

Q: Do hubcaps just pop off?

Hubcaps are designed to stay on a vehicle’s wheels without falling off; however, they can pop off if the metal grooves on the hubcaps wear out and the edges can no longer hold on tight.

A vehicle’s hubcaps may also pop off due to flaws in the manufacturing design.

Hubcaps manufactured before recent times had the challenge of not having suitable clips with the necessary support devices to hold them firmly to the wheels. Hence, they pop off.

If your vehicle’s hubcaps pop off unexpectedly, it would be best to change them to more recent ones with the necessary devices that help keep them in place without falling off, no matter the speed of your car.

Q: Is it OK to drive without hubcaps?

Yes, you can drive without the hubcaps on your vehicle’s wheel hub. They do not play any unique role in the smooth running of your car; they are only for the cosmetic purpose of beautifying the wheels.

If the hubcaps on your vehicle’s wheels keep falling off and you wish to remove all of them, you can go ahead as your car can do without them. However, your vehicle’s beauty will be altered a bit. Hence, you may have to find a way to prevent them from falling off.

Q: Are hubcaps safe?

Yes, hubcaps are safe. They do not affect any functionality in a vehicle; instead, besides covering for the beautification of a vehicle’s wheels, they also help protect your vehicle’s wheels from debris, dirt, or stones from entering into the wheel compartments.

Therefore, they help protect your vehicle’s wheel nuts and bolts from corrosion and rust that may lead to a more severe challenge if not rectified early enough.

Besides beautification and protection from debris and dirt, which further prevents corrosion and rust, hubcaps are safe to use on your vehicle’s wheels.

Q: How do you remove old hubcaps?

If you have some old hubcaps that you need to remove from your vehicle’s wheels, follow the steps below

Check for bolts or lugs.

Ascertain whether the hubcap is held on with a bolt or lug nuts around the center of the tires.

Loosen the lug nuts.

In most cases, you would find lug nuts. Get a lug nut wrench and loosen the lug nuts a little; then, loosen further with your hands to a point where they can stay on edge without falling off.

Pry around the hubcaps.

Use a screwdriver to pry around the old hubcaps’ rim to loosen it. Then, pull different spots of the hubcap lightly with a flat-head screwdriver until the cap wiggles lose to a point where you can remove them.

Final Words

If you don’t know how to keep hubcaps from coming off, you may have to regularly replace your vehicle’s missing hubcaps, and it will cost you a couple of dollars each time you need a replacement.

Instead of being worried about not losing any of your car’s hubcaps, why not take a moment to implement the solution provided in this article to keep them from falling off?

You will save yourself unnecessary headaches due to the unexpected removal of your car’s hubcaps and the cost of regular replacement. Take a moment and rectify the challenge once and for all; you will be glad you did.

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Osuagwu Solomon

Osuagwu Solomon is a certified mechanic with over a decade of experience in the mechanic garage, and he has over five years of experience in the writing industry. He started writing automotive articles to share his garage experience with car enthusiasts and armature mechanics. If he is not in the garage fixing challenging mechanical problems, he is writing automotive repair guides, buyer’s guides, and car and tools comparisons.

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