He has a flat tire and lifts the wheel, but it refuses to come out. What might have happened?
Changing a wheel shouldn’t be that difficult, but a wheel can get stuck due to rust buildup. This corrosion appears in the area between the wheel and the hub.
This makes it difficult to remove the wheel as it appears to be permanently welded to the hub.
If you are changing the tire alone and there is no one around to give you the necessary leverage, consider some of the following tire removal tips:
Why do the wheels get stuck?
If you leave your car in an area exposed to snow and road salt, these elements can enter your aluminum alloy wheels and hub, where they cause corrosion. These corrosive elements glue the wheel tightly to the hub, making it nearly impossible to replace a worn tire.
Not only aluminum wheels have this problem, but also steel wheels, which can occur in all weather conditions after a while.
We recommend purchasing synthetic grease to apply to the wheel hub and rim to prevent this problem from occurring. Do this when you buy a new car or at your first tire change.
So, let’s find out the best methods to remove a stuck wheel.
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How to remove a stuck wheel or tire
Here are some tips I often use to remove stuck wheels. Remember to always use safety equipment and get help from a professional mechanic if you are not sure how to do it. Follow these steps to remove a stuck wheel:
Total Time: 10 minutes
Loosen the lug nuts and drive slowly.
If you are near a gas station or garage, you can use this simple trick to remove a stuck wheel from your car. Loosen the nuts but do not remove them completely. Lower the car and drive a few feet back and forth. Repeat this process on flat ground. Raise the carriage and remove the nuts.
The wheel should have come loose and you should now be able to remove it. Make sure that when driving the car, the nuts are not so loose that they fall off, and drive very slowly, so as not to risk an accident.
Spray rust penetrant on hub and bolts
If you have aluminum alloys or steel wheels, the probability of rust/corrosion developing on the hub is high. You can use an anti-rust lubricant to loosen the wheel. In the procedure, first remove the wheel cover and spray the wheel bolts. You can use lubricants such as PB Blazer or liquid key.
After spraying the bolts, do the same to the area where the wheel intersects the center hub. Apply the spray for about 15 minutes, then try to loosen the wheel by punching or kicking it.
After jacking up the car, remove all but one bolt or nut. Use your foot to kick the tire while it is not touching the ground. Check that your car is standing securely on jack stands. Spin the wheel and kick it again. With continued effort, the wheel should separate from the hub and then you can comfortably remove it after unscrewing the last bolt.
This method of removing a stuck car wheel is preferable to using a hammer to hit the stuck wheel. The force of a hammer will destroy the tire and bolts. Once you’ve removed the rim, use sandpaper to remove the rust from the hub. The next time you reinstall the wheel, apply some anti-seize.
Wood and heavy hammer
Although this technique is not safe, you can try it when you are out of options with a wheel stuck in the car. The first step is to lift the car. Before proceeding, make sure the car is properly secured on jack stands. Find some wood that measures 2 X 4 inches and place it in the space between the wheel and tire.
Identify a sturdy hammer and then get under the car. Place the wood on the wheel and tire and use your hammer to hit the wood. This will free the wheel and allow you to carefully remove it from the hub. You should be aware that this method can be dangerous because you are under the car. If the jack stands fail, the car will collapse on top of you, causing instant death. You also need to be strong to operate the hammer.
Lever between hub and rim
This is the method I use myself and it has solved this problem thousands of times. Spray some lubricant around the wheel hub and bolts if possible. Next, place a pad on the edge where you place the presser foot.
Get a long lever and place it between the tire and the wheel axle or control arm, depending on where you can find a good location. Check the image above.
You have to be a little careful with this technique, although it can damage the rim. However, it is a super effective method that works every time.
Take your car to a gas station
If you’ve tried all of the above techniques and your wheel is still locked, you may need to take it to a tire service station. It’s better than hitting the wheel with a hammer and destroying the bolts, hub, and rims. Just be honest and tell them the wheel is stuck before they give you a price for the job.
Having a wheel stuck to the tire is not a pleasant thing, especially when you are in a hurry. The main cause of a wheel getting stuck in the tire is the formation of corrosion in the area between the rim and the hub. This corrosive element acts like a strong glue and can cause problems when removing the wheel from the hub.
Different solutions have been proposed to remove the tire, each with its advantages and disadvantages. The easiest technique is to find a lubricant and spray it into the wheel wells. This lubricant is effective in dissolving the rust. You can also jack up the car and leave a bolt still in the wheel.
Use your leg to kick the wheel until it comes loose. Some people use a heavy hammer or blowtorch to dislodge a stuck tire, but it can damage the tires. You also need some muscle.