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Changing Tire

how do you remove a rim from the rotor when it is stuck and you are changing a tire on the roadside?

Pull and push on the outside of the tire after removing the lug nuts. I’d get the best leverage near the top of the tire. Be very careful when you do this. The emergency jack is not stable. If it doesn’t move with reasonable effort, call for roadside assistance. It’s better to pay a little money than have the car fall on you.

Step 1, make dern sure you car is extermely secure on the jack. Put lots of “choks” under the opposing tires ( rocks and such ) because if you’re wiggling the tire to try to loosen it you could knock the car completely off the jack and have big trouble thence. . step 2 , you’ll want to tap or bang on the rim to try to loosen the rust. leave the lug nuts on the ends of the studs to protect the threads and keep the tire somewhat on the hub until it’s loose. Your lug wrench will make a good hammer but get a good rock also. The rock can be used as a spacer to reach inro the rim so you can bang on it with the lug wrench. Don’t whack the nut end of the lug wrench, you could bend the lip so it won’t fit over a lug nut. Tap from the inside, tap from the outside, tap forward, tap rearward, rotate slightly and bang some more. Now try to wiggle gently >>>> remember you could knock the car comlpletely off the jack…careful <<<<<<< Without some wd40 or other penetrating oil, this is abot all you can do …tap and wiggle.

Call a tow truck. I think its too dangerous to try and free up a rim thats rusted on while the car is jacked up with the emergency jack on the shoulder of the road.

The best answer is to have your tires rotated as recommended; in addition to extending you tire life, it will make it much less likely that you wheels are stuck in place.

I’ve read that some people loosen the lug nuts a bit, drive slowly, and hit the brakes hard. I have no idea if this is really safe or not, so do it at your own risk.

To prevent this in the future, anytime the wheels are off, put some anti-seize compound where the wheel touches the hub.

Thanks all! Very good advice, maintenance is best I know, my dad did this stuff for me before he passed away and now I am lost! My cousin came to where my car was pulled over(safe driveway-btw)and hit the rotor from the underside with a huge rubber mallet. Looked dangerous as everyone said but it worked! I am going to keep this site in my favorites!

A block of wood and a big aZz hammer. This same thing happened to me three weeks ago on my 06 Impala.

Another way is to loosen the lug nuts half way, and then start pushing on the side of the vehicles so it starts to oscilate in a rythmic manner. This will sometimes get the stuck wheel to pop off the hub.


This happened all the time in salt/snow country for me(Wi.) But for me it was done as a job in a garage. Some guys would hang on the car and then with some gymnastic manuver raise their legs up and kick the bottom of the tire with both feet.This was the fastest way. For me big hammer.Clean the rotor/wheel mating surface and use anti-sieze.My question what do you think about lubing the lug studs or lug nuts or in the case of the BMWs I was working on the lug bolts? Different shop foremen had different rules, Myself I liked to lube the lug bolts with the same silver anti-sieze. But I wondered,was this lube causing inaccurate torque levels. That was the foremans claim.

Using any kind of lubricant/anti-sieze on lug nuts/bolts will result in false torque readings. And because this hardware is always being removed/reinstalled for other services besides tire service, over time the constant over-torquing of this hardware can result in fitgue of this hardware where it can fail. Also, you ever see a new vehicle with anti-sieze on the lug nuts/bolts?

That foreman knows what he’s talking about.


Sorry to hear about you dad.

I work in the tire industry, whenever we encounter this problem (which is typically a few times a day) we smack the tire, not rim, with a sledge hammer. Now as I am aware that not many people carry a sledge in their car, the spare tire makes a good substitute. If you have an air compressor pump up both the stuck tire and the spare, hold the spare vertical and swing it at the tire. Same as everyone else has said though, make sure the car is sturdy. Whenever our company takes a tire off a car, we always grind the corrosion off the hub and bore assembly, try to go places that will do that.

I will only add, Make sure the parking brake is off .

Parking brake off? She’s replacing the tire, not the brakes. Keep the parking brake ON

There’s a couple of things here. This may sound counter intuitive but you do not have to hit the tire from the inside or underside of the tire. You can hit the tire on the outside near the tread area. This will act like a fulcrum and actually transmit more torque to the hub area than hitting it from the inside. Do near the top first, then bottom or front, then rear. This is a lot safer than getting under a vehicle on a shaky jack and hitting it.

The sticking occurs around the hub. Thats the center hole in the wheel and the part it fits over. To prevent this in the future, you can use an anti-seize compound or grease around this hole.

“hit the rotor”?? Do you mean the rim? You don’t want to hit the brake rotor, not built to handle that.