When your car tire is flat, do you find it frustrating to change the wheel because the tire won’t come off? You might be asking, How do you remove a tire that won’t come off without much stress?
You might be facing this problem, and it can be very unpleasant most times! However, you are not on your own.
It’s not a difficult task to change your wheel, but it could be when the tires won’t come off. Car wheels get stuck because of corrosion build-up between the wheel and the mounting surface of the hub. Removing the wheel is hard since it is held closely to the hub.
This article provides you with the necessary steps to take and things to do if your tires won’t come off. You will also learn how to prevent your car wheel from being stuck.
Let’s get started!
What Do You Do if Your Tire Won’t Come Off?
If you are having trouble getting your wheel off, you might want to try loosening it while your vehicle is raised on jack stands. Break out the rust by hitting the wheel off with a had tool, and then pull it off immediately. If you are not in a hurry, spraying the wheel with lubricant is another alternative though it is not as effective as the former.
What Causes a Wheel to Get Stuck?
Most times, your tire won’t come off as a result of accumulated rust from the wheel being in one position over time.
Over time, however, the corrosion build-up becomes rather sticky, much like a layer of adhesive holding the wheel firmly to the hub.
Driven on snowy or salty roads will make your aluminum alloy hub and rims covered with these particles, generating rust.
These particles fasten the wheel to the mounting surface of the hub, making removal difficult.
Also Read: How Long Can You Drive on a Spare Tire? (+ Safety Tips)
How Do You Remove a Tire That Won’t Come Off
Method 1: Knocking the Wheel Loose
If your tire won’t come off, the first method you can use to get it off is knocking it loose. Here are the steps:
Step 1: Place a Wooden Block, so the Tire and Rim Overlap.
Raise your vehicle and ensure it is supported on stands. Place a wood block ( should be four by 4 inches, 10cm x 10cm) flat in collision with the wheel.
Half of the block should remain at the rim while the other half, against the tire. Avoid using a small piece of wood if you do not want to damage your car wheel if your hammer slips by chance.
Step 2: Use a Hammer to Strike the Center of the Block, Covering the Tire.
Aim right at the center of the block, so it doesn’t slip away. Then, hit the block with a hammer to loosen the wheel from the joint.
If it’s available, you can use a mallet in place of a hammer since it will make the task easier. Break off the accumulated rust between the hub and wheel by pounding forcefully on the wheel parts.
Be careful not to come in contact with the metal part of your wheel while hitting with the hammer, so the wheel remains in the correct order.
Step 3: Use the Block and Hammer to Pound the Right Side of the Wheel.
Keep moving the woodblock horizontally until you have gotten to the rim. Then, hit the block right at the center with your mallet or hammer as the block is pressed against the tire and rim.
It is best to knock it 2-3 times to break off the rust quickly.
Step 4: Turn the Wheel by a Quarter Turn.
Rotate the wheel side by side. Don’t stop until you can see the smashed spots on the topside and bottom. Then, place the board horizontally as you did before, so you will be able to loosen the sides that are left. If you can’t easily rotate the wheel, try placing the board vertically across the wheel.
Step 5: Keep Hitting the Wheel Until It Comes Off.
Next, pound the woodblock very hard using your hammer, starting from the left side of the wheel to the right side. After which, you wiggle with your hand.
If it doesn’t work, turn the wheel and continue hitting it. You will begin to hear a cracking sound when your wheel is finally loose.
Method 2: Spraying Lubricant
Spraying lubricants is another good method to try If your tire won’t come off. Here are the steps:
Step 1: Spritz the Bolts and Hole Centers With Rust-Penetrating Spray.
Raise and support your car on jack stands. Position the nozzle of the spraying lubricant directly where the nuts lead to the wheel.
Then press gently and cover the entire area. All the bolt holes should be covered with the lubricant before you move to the opening of the middle hub.
Finally, spray the middle hub to get rid of the rust. A penetrating atomizer can be found in automotive or local hardware shops. The penetrating atomizer penetrates crevices or small holes and smoothens them, allowing easy wheel movement.
WD-40 lubricant can do the work of a penetrating atomizer. You can use either one available.
Step 2: Let the lubricant set for at least 5 minutes.
Do not work on the wheel when the spray has not set in. Instead, allow it to sit for about 5-15 minutes so it can soak thoroughly and break the rust apart; that way is easy.
Step 3: Rotate the Wheel a Half Turn and Re-Apply the Spray.
Rotate the wheel side by side. Then, halfway around it, pause and apply the spray to the hub and holes again. Let it stay for a few minutes so the spray can set in.
You don’t have to turn the wheel but doing so reduces the rust breakage.
Step 4: Rotate the Wheel or Rock It Till It Comes Off.
Support the wheels firmly by holding on to both sides of it. Start by pulling one side before the other. Rock the wheel again and again until it is loosened.
If the wheel doesn’t come out, try hitting it off.
Also Read: Walmart Tire Installation Cost (Everything To Know)
Method 3: Prying off the Wheel
If your tire won’t come off, prying off the wheel is another method to try. Here are the steps:
Step 1: Hand-tighten one lug nut halfway back onto the wheel.
Raise your vehicle and support on jack stands. Start with one of the nuts closest to the topside of the wheel. Screw the lug nut halfway onto the bolt with your hand.
Stay off the tire iron since you do not intend to overtighten the lug nut.
Overtightening can cause damage to the nut or bolt, especially when you are hitting your wheel.
Step 2: Place the Pry Bar’s End Against the Ball Joint Holding the Wheel.
Locate the metal arm under your car and the area it joins to the wheel. Position the flat side of the bar midway through the front of the ball and the back end of the tire.
Place the bar horizontally and detach any wire or hose between the bar and the tire to prevent damage. Shorter pry bars don’t provide much leverage as longer ones.
You can check your trunk; you will likely find a pry bar with your spare tires and jacks. You can as well get them from local hardware shops.
Warning: Do not hesitate to use your caution sign when working underneath your car. Support your car on jack stands to avoid slipping or causing injury.
Step 3: Continue Pulling the Pry Bar Toward the Wheel Until You Loosen It.
Try pressing the flat end of the bar firmly over the ball joint. Then take the other side very close to your wheel.
Continue pulling very tight until it becomes difficult to move the wheel. Immediately tug the bar a few times until the rust is broken off, and you can move the wheel. While working on it, the pry bar mustn’t slip off of the ball joint.
Ensure you don’t pull the pry bar with much pressure, so your vehicle doesn’t fall or slip off. Make sure your safety is your number one concern.
Step 4: Take off the Wheel and Lug Nut From the Vehicle.
Take off the lug nut, placing it with those you have removed before. Next, clasp the left side and right side of the car wheel, pulling it right out of the hub.
If you notice any symptoms of rust, shake the wheel in a back and forth movement until it is broken off.
Method 4: Drive Slowly and Dislodge the Nuts
Driving slowly to dislodge the nuts is another method to try if your tire won’t come off.
If you are not on a high road, you may be near a garage or gas station, and you have partly dislodged the nuts. Then, try lowering your car and make a back and forth movement just a few feet.
The wheel must have loosened by now, so you can easily take them off. However, be sure not to loosen the nuts entirely when driving to avoid falling off, and drive carefully.
Method 5: Use and Spray a Rust Sealant
Corrosion is very common with steel and aluminum wheels, and there’s a quick accumulation of rust in the hub. Loosen the wheel using a rust removal oil.
Pull off the cap, and spray the oil on the studs. Some of the lubricants you can use are the Liquid Wrench and PB Blazer.
Method 6: Kick With Your Foot
Kicking with your foot to remove the wheels is an easy method to try if your tire won’t come off. All-wheel nuts and bolts should be removed except one after you have supported your car on jack stands.
Then, kick properly using your foot while your car is off leveled ground. First, ensure your car is well supported. Then, turn the wheel in either direction and kick again.
As you continue doing this, your wheel separates from the hub; pulling it off now won’t be a problem after you have removed the remaining nut.
Check out this video for more tips on how to remove a tire that won’t come off
Tire Won’t Come Off After Lug Nuts Are Off: What to Do?
Remember, Lugnuts attract corrosive elements. So start by verifying your tools and safety apparatus like protective glasses and gloves, jack stands, and others that will prevent you from getting harmed when the wheel comes off.
Ensure the rust blaster is taken off and all the nuts and bolts soaked in it.
After some time, try taking off the nut. In case this doesn’t work, place a steel pipe (a very long piece) against the backside of the bar so that the lever’s arm is increased, then try the process again.
Also Read: Service Tire Monitor System (Meaning, Causes & Solutions)
How to Prevent a Tire From Getting Stuck?
To avoid stuck wheel problems, apply an anti-seize compound softly on your tire and gently coat the backside of the rim. Allow to spread, then take it off with a small towel.
You can still make use of motor oil in place of an anti-seize compound by applying just a little coat with the towel. Only a small quantity of the motor oil must be applied; too much of it might leak down to the brakes.
After coating the back of the rim, position the wheel properly.
If your tire won’t come off, it can be frustrating, especially in situations that require your time. Corrosion build-up between the wheel and the hub is the main reason your car tire won’t come off.
The corrosive particles become pretty sticky, just like a layer of adhesive, making it hard for your tire to come off. Some tips that can assist you in removing the tire with ease have been provided; some are favorable while others are not.