Have you ever passed a car missing a hubcap and wondered not only how it happened but also if the wheel cover is actually necessary? Hubcaps protect your wheels from rocks and other road debris, and can also help keep the wheel bolts and nuts from rusting.
Since hubcaps are attached to the wheel with either plastic or steel clips, plastic screws, or the same lug nuts that hold the wheel into place, they tend not to fall off on their own. Here are three common reasons hubcaps fall off:
· You hit a pothole or curb – longer and deeper potholes do the most damage, particularly if you are driving fast when you hit and exit them. Hubcaps that are held in place by a clip or plastic screw are particularly vulnerable to coming off when you hit a pothole. Likewise, hitting or scraping a curb can also cause the hubcap to come off.
· Your hubcap was already loose – if you recently had your tires rotated or replaced one, the hubcap would have been removed in the process. While mechanics and roadside repair folks are trained and have the right tools to ensure the clips, screws, or bolts are properly tightened, mistakes can happen. Hitting a pothole or bump in the road can provide the momentum to totally loosen the cap and send it rolling away. If you have a concern, check your hubcaps after your service or ask your technician to go over them with you.
· The hub cap is poorly designed – some hubcaps have design flaws, either to the cap itself or the clips that hold the hubcap onto the wheel and can come off more easily. A poorly fit hubcap, such as an inexpensive one that was not designed for your car, can also loosen and fall off.
How to Keep Hubcaps on Your Wheel
If you lose a hubcap, you may not be able to find an exact match, depending on the age of your car. You might also have to purchase an entire new set, which can be pricey. To avoid these hassles, try these ways — in addition to avoiding potholes and steering clear of curbs — to help ensure your hubcaps stay on the wheel:
· Make sure the retention device is correctly positioned and fitted – if it’s a clip, make sure it’s positioned correctly and fully clipped into place. If it’s a bolt or screw, check to make sure it’s not loose.
· Clean any excess lubricant off the wheel – check for this after having your tires serviced.
· Purchase hubcaps that are the correct size for your car – if you have to replace your hubcaps, make sure they are approved for your make and model. A poorly fitting hubcap can come loose and fall off.
Should you lose a hubcap, you should replace it as soon as possible. Not only will a replacement protect your wheels, but it will also make your car look better.
If you’ve lost a hubcap, contact Bavarian Body Works for the best replacement.
At Bavarian Body Works, we service many types of cars and carry a wide variety of parts. We can help you find a replacement hubcap or pick a new set that matches your budget as well as fits your make and model. Our first priority is always your safety, so we will ensure you pick properly fitting hubcaps and ensure they are correctly secured. Contact us today for more information.