How to Make a Hubcap Fit

Written by c. taylor
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How to Make a Hubcap Fit
Hubcaps add aesthetic appeal to a cars wheels. (hubcaps image by Leticia Wilson from

Hubcaps are normally attached to the rim via metal clips, although some use screws and the rim's lug nuts. To remove a tire, the hubcaps have to be first removed, but putting them back on, or replacing them with new ones, is tricky, especially with the clipped-in hubcaps.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Verify the size is correct, if you have purchased replacement hubcaps. Look on the side of your tire for a number formatted like "P225/45/R17." The number you want is after the "R." In this example, the number tells you the size is "17." Don't measure it yourself, as the results are often misleading. If you do not have the correct size hubcap, it won't fit, and you should not try to make it fit.

  2. 2

    Center the hubcap on the rim, making sure the valve stem, protruding from the rim, is unobstructed. Most hubcaps will have a notch in them, so align the notch around the valve stem.

  3. 3

    Hammer in a circle around the rim with your fist or a rubber mallet. Use gentle force, evenly spread around the perimeter of the hubcap. If you hammer too forcefully, the side will push in too far too fast, resulting in the opposite side sticking out to much to allow alignment. Placing a hand on the starting point will help keep it in place while hammering the opposite side. Continue hammering until the hubcap is firmly secured to the rim. If your hubcap attaches with screws or lug nuts, align the holes and replace the screws or lug nuts. No force should be required.

Tips and warnings

  • Never use a traditional, steel-headed hammer to force the hubcaps on the rim. Doing so will dent or scratch the hubcaps.

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