How to install a wheel center cap

Written by richard ristow
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How to install a wheel center cap
Center caps play a role in aftermarket wheel customisation. (wheel image by sasha from

Center caps fit into the centre of a car or light truck's wheel. If the caps are manufacturer-specific parts, they bear the manufacturer's logo. You can often remove these caps and replace them with customised aftermarket options. This may be necessary if you are also customising the appearance of the rim itself. Once you have removed the centre caps, installing new ones takes only a minute or two.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Needle nose pliers
  • Car jack
  • Tire iron

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  1. 1

    Loosen the lug nuts on the wheel with a tire iron, and then jack the wheel off of the ground. Your vehicle's owner manual should give you the location of safe and suitable jacking points.

  2. 2

    Remove the loosened lug nuts with your tire iron, and then pull the wheel off of the vehicle.

  3. 3

    Spin the wheel around and look at its back side.

  4. 4

    Tap the old centre cap out of the centre hole with your tire iron.

  5. 5

    Turn the wheel around so the front is facing you. Push the new centre cap into the centre hole.

  6. 6

    Spin the wheel to its back side again. Fit the centre cap's retention ring into place with needle nose pliers. How you do this depends on the type of centre cap you are installing. You may need to either fit the ring to the interior of the cap, or you may need to fit the ring to retaining clips.

  7. 7

    Place the wheel back onto the vehicle and screw the lug nuts back into place.

  8. 8

    Lower the vehicle and remove the car jack.

  9. 9

    Tighten the lug nuts to ensure the wheel is securely back onto the vehicle.

Tips and warnings

  • If your centre cap has fallen out while driving, you may not need to remove the wheel for reinstallation purposes. You can easily push some centre caps into place.
  • While there are centre cap removal tools, not all centre caps are manufactured the same way. The universal way requires removing the wheel and tapping out the old cap.

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