Installing Chevrolet hubcaps, the right way

By: Kurt Reis

Today's Chevy wheel covers (like all other makes) are now all constructed from plastic and have employed a variety of retention systems. Some of these systems are good, some are bad, but each requires specific installation techniques and special care while installing to ensure long term retention. For late model Chevrolet, there are three different attachment systems.

Basic Snap on wire retention system

Mostly this system was used on early to mid 90's and back Chevy's, however the Chevy Prizm, Aveo and the Chevy Metro still use this snap on clip system. On this type there are a series of plastic clips and a wire that runs between the clip around the back diameter of the hubcap. 

These wheel covers are easy to snap on. Once the wheel covers is correctly aligned with the valve stem opening, one just simple taps the hubcap into place. There is a groove in the wheel rim in which the plastic clips seat,  the wire keeps a constant pressure on the clips holding the wheel cover in place. 

Loss of these wheel covers occurs when the plastic tabs are broken causing the wheel cover to become loose,  so care must be taken when installing. Once these tabs are broken, the hubcap will no longer remain secure and will need replacement.

90-94 Lumina hubcaps were notorious for this problem. 

We recommend using a rubber mallet or the back of a fist to "tap" them into place when installing. Do not use excessive force, the hubcaps should snap into place with moderate pressure.

Hubcaps held on behind the lug nuts

Some of the mid 90's Chevrolets such as the Beretta, Corsica and the Cavalier used this type of hubcap attachment system. In my opinion, this was the best system ever and unless the installation was completely hosed, it was virtually impossible to loses these wheel covers. Simply put, the wheel covers were held on by the lug nuts. Installation takes a bit more work, but the extra effort is worth the knowledge that you should never under normal circumstances loose them. 

Most believe that you have to jack up the car and remove all of the lugs nuts in order to install this type of hubcap, but that is simply not true. Two of the holes on these hubcap are large than the others. One only need to remove the lugs from the three smaller holes. The lugs in the two larger holes can remain on the car, as the holes are large enough that the hubcap will slide over them. 

Once the hubcap is in place and the lugs are reinstalled, the decorative little plastic caps will them thread down onto the lug nut, as these lug nuts have outside threads. The installation is now complete.

Hubcaps that screw on to the lug nuts

The third and most common hubcap retention system uses plastic caps that attach to the hubcap and thread on to the lug nuts. The lug nuts on these vehicles have outside threads that accommodate the plastic caps. Most every late model GM passenger car and mini van currently uses this system.

Installation of these wheel covers is easy. Line up the wheel cover to the lug nuts being careful to ensure the valve stem is lined up with the slot that has been precut into the wheel covers. If you turn the hubcap over, there is usually a icon indicating where the valve stem should go.

Using a 3/4" socket or lugs wrench,  thread the caps onto the lugs. Do not over tighten them or use any kind of air tool as this will strip out the threadsFree Articles, possibly causing a future loss. These lug caps only need to be snug tight.

For more information please visit Hubcap Heaven and Wheels.

http://www.hubcaps-wheelcovers.com

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