Can I take the hubcaps off my 2008 Dodge Caliber?

Is it okay to take the hubcaps off? I was told the noise that I hear in my front end was because of my hubcaps.

Of course it is OK! Hubcaps are for decoration, there is no mechanical downside to removing them.

I am surprised that you have hubcaps instead of alloy wheels. Yes, you can take them off and if the noise stops then you have your answer. Just curious, who said that was your noise and what are their qualifications to make such diagnosis.

Do cars have just hubcaps as opposed to wheel covers now? Can you describe this sound more? It’s unlikely that the stock wheel covers would be making any sounds

Hubcaps and wheel covers are the same thing to some people . If this 10 year old vehicle had wheel covers it may have after market units on it now because the original were lost or stolen.

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My friend’s Dodge (2016 I think) uses a system that utilizes one of the wheel’s bolts (it uses bolts rather than studs & nuts) to hold the hubcap on. The hubcap can be removed, but it’s important to use the proper torque on the wheel bolt when it’s reinstalled. Check your owner’s manual for this.

Noisy hubcaps? The only noise I’ve ever heard in a hubcap was from a fallen-off lug nut clanging around.

I have had numerous noisy hubcaps, Pontiac had a PMD center piece that would rattle, had Oldsmobile ‘sport wheel’ that had stainless trim that would rattle.

our 12’ prius had alloy 5 spoke rims which were painted black and than had silver plastic covers that gave it a 2 tone sort of look. wife hit curb and lost the hubcap and we had to buy a replacement. yes the toyo cover was $50+ with a toyo logo while the aftermarket one was $20 or so. i did start to notice the other prius’s on the road more and did see quite a few without the silver covers.

My dad had a Studebaker Lark which had hub caps (not wheel covers). The hubcaps would “walk” as you went around a corner and make noise. The cure was to rub the edges of the hubcaps with a bar of soap where the hubcap made contact with the wheel.

Agreed. I’ve seen a few noisy hubcaps over the (long ago) years.

Many were quick to blame noises on hubcaps. Fortunately it was always easy to simply remove them and road test again.

Wheel cover or hub cap?


The only downside to me was the lugnuts rusted a lot faster. The one tire without the cover got a flat. I broke a stud trying to remove the bolt to mount the spare. I called AAA, they broke another stud so I got towed 40 miles to the nearest service station. We were 125 miles into a 500 mile trip, on a Saturday afternoon and had to sneak the 2 cats and a dog into the only hotel about 1/2 mile walk away from the service station. The hotel had a no pets policy. The shop got some studs from tires plus or someone as the auto parts stores were closed, and we got on the road about 11 am Sunday morning. The wheels with the covers I checked after we got home, no problem.

Wheel cover or hubcap. Let’s call them wheelcaps and be done with it.

At one time VW had an issue with noisy hubcaps. The hubcap/wheel would flex while cornering and this would cause the hubcap to click like a bad CV joint.
This was cured by bending the tangs on the hubcap a bit more.

Notice anything in common with these vehicles?

They both have hubcaps.

The reason?

They’re both high performance vehicles.

And you can’t have a wheel cover on this type of vehicle because a wheel cover can spin on/fly off the wheel, cutting/pulling out the tire valve stem.

And that would be a bummer for a racer or a cop.


Sweet and very rare '68 Roadrunner. I think the Hemi models were the only ones with dog dish hubcaps. Makes me yearn for my old '68 although mine only had the 383 Magnum. It also had Magnum 500 wheels; not steel with caps.