How To Remove a Stuck Wheel On Your Car


Removing a wheel shouldn’t be such a complicated procedure. However, it is not always possible to remove the wheel without any hassle, there are cases when the wheel just does not come off the hub because it is stuck to it. So how do I remove my stuck wheel?

Before you start trying to remove a stuck wheel, check if you have unscrewed all the bolts. There have been cases when distracted drivers forget to unscrew one of the nuts and start complaining that the wheel doesn’t get out.

Why do wheels get stuck?

The smaller the gaps between the parts, the more likely it is that rust forms in them, firmly connecting the parts to each other.

To ensure that there is no sticking, and the wheel is easy to remove, keep an eye on the condition of the bolts and the ease with which the wheel can be inserted into the hub. Rusty parts should be replaced, and bolts should be regularly lubricated with grease or special antirust compounds to prevent sticking.

How To Remove A Stuck Wheel

What to do with a stuck wheel depends on what you know and what tools and materials are at hand. We’ve put together two basic options to help you remove the wheel.

NOTE: The car must stand firmly and securely on the tire jack. The car should be on the handbrake and at first speed (or parking in case of automatic transmission), it is also better to put a spare under the threshold for insurance so that in case of a fall it will not damage the brake disc petals. Your safety is a top priority!

1. Standard Method +WD-40

The trunk of your car should always contain a WD-40 aerosol can. It can help in a variety of situations.

WD-40 contains mineral spirit, which is the base of the product, it penetrates into the layer of rust and corrodes it. And Mineral oil, which is also part of the product, acts as a lubricant for rubbing parts.

WD-40 also helps protect the metal surface from water. Use it in all places where parts should move relative to each other or separate, such as bolted joints.

  1. The car should be in parking mode (or on a handbrake in first speed if you have a manual transmission). It is highly recommended to use a tire jack, without it you risk “dropping” your car and damaging the disc on the wheel
  2. Apply WD-40 inside the wheel nuts and in the gap between the hub and disc on the inside. 
  3. Wait some time
  4. First, try to stand behind the wheel and beat it with your heel in turns on both sides of the wheel (either first on the left side, and then on the right side, or first on top of the wheel, then on the bottom).
  5. If the wheel doesn’t get out, try to shake the wheel with your hands and try to get a gap between the disk and the hub, if there is a gap then continue to kick the wheel, but with a weaker force
  6. You can take something heavy and knock on the wheel on its inner side, if the wheel is inflated, then knock on the rubber, if deflated it is better to do it through a piece of wood on the disk. Be extremely careful about the possible fall of the car, in no case should your head be under the car.
  7. If this fails, spray WD-40 again and repeat, if it fails again, try another method

2. Differential Method

If the method above didn’t work then removing your wheel will be pretty problematic. If you’re trying to remove the front wheel and you have a differential then “driving around” can help, ideally, you would need a second person to help you. 

  1. Gently enter the car
  2. Put the gearshift on neutral gear for both manual and automatic transmissions, and put on the handbrake
  3. Start the car and put it in first gear.
  4. Your car will not move because the differential will lock the wheel that stands on the ground, and will spin only what is on weight. Your assistant should stand in front of this wheel (i.e., a little to the front) and put his hands out in anticipation of catching the wheel. it is better to tighten the wheel bolts or nuts so that the wheel only slightly hangs on the hub. Make sure that there are no objects behind it that could be hurt if your assistant misses the out wheel.
  5. After the wheel starts spinning, don’t touch the accelerator pedal (gas), but instead sharply press the brake pedal, that’s when the wheel will fly out. 
  6. If the wheel has become so stuck that it is impossible to remove it without pressing the accelerator pedal and braking, you can give it a little gas or put on the second gear and then press the brake sharply again. Making the wheel go even faster is not recommended, because your assistant simply does not have the strength to catch the wheel that flew out so quickly so there is a risk of injury.

After you remove the wheel, wipe off the remnants of WD-40 from it, as well as from the hub, and also clean the adjoining surfaces of the disc and hub from plaque.

How to prevent your wheel from getting stuck

It is better to prevent your wheel from getting stuck in advance. There are various options that can help prevent your wheel from getting stuck:

1. Cleaning from rust

Clean the contact surfaces of the disc and hub from rust. Even subtle rust dramatically accelerates the corrosion of the surfaces. Therefore, it is recommended to clean the hub and disk every time they appear plaque. You can do this with an iron brush. If you perform this procedure regularly, the probability of the wheel getting stuck is reduced.

2. Graphite Grease

Apply it on the touching surfaces of the hub and disk, and you will not have to worry about the inability to remove the wheel. Graphite grease should be applied to wheel nuts and all threaded connections and rubbing parts.

3. Copper grease

The composition mentioned above works well at low temperatures and light loads. But for more severe conditions, it is safer to use copper grease. For example, it helps to avoid sticking spark plugs in the engine. If you have forged or light-alloy wheels that you really dont feel like hammering, use copper grease. It is sufficient to coat the discs and hubs with copper grease twice a year for seasonal tire changes.

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