Is there a way to secure Hubcaps to fix runaway Hubcaps?

I recall buying a Chevrolet pickup several years ago and it had optional wider wheels with Silverado trim rings to fit them. Some young fella wanted those wide rims with the rings enough to trade 4 narrower rims, rings, centers and new tires for them. Go figure. I’d just paint the wheels grey drive on.

I’ve used the method posted by @Tester above, just put a little more bend in the spring-wire, and it worked ok. It won’t work though if, like @Nevada_545 says, the plastic tabs are broken or cracked.

I see hubcaps that have fallen off passing cars all the time on the side of the road, in ditches, off in the neighbor’s rose bushes, etc. And I see those springy wire-circles all the time too, without the hubcap. I have no idea how the two parts get separated. The moral to the story is, you aren’t the only one loosing your hubcaps to the bumps in the road.

This is why I prefer the Chrysler method of securing the wheel covers with the lug nuts so many people were complaining about a while ago.

@the same mountainbike , I know that OP’s car was a Camry, I thought you were replying to my comment about the picture that Mustangman posted.

Oldtimer, the Chrysler method drives me crazy. I recently helped a young neighbor remove a wheel on a brand new Dart to look for a nail, and the thought of having to go through that process on a dark and rainy night was nightmarish.

The young man now wants to get more stylish hubcaps, but he’ll also have to buy a whole new set of lugs. I doubt if the OEMs will fit over a regular hubcap.

Different strokes for different folks, I guess. {:smiley:

When the little plastic claws started breaking off the wheel covers of my '06 Matrix I knew they would soon start coming off the rims.
I used the zip ties for a couple of years and kept an old pair of diagonal cutters in the glove box in case I needed to take them off on the road.
Last year I removed the covers (resting in my basement now) and coated the steelies with black POR-15.
The covers made creaking sounds since I bought the car at one year old, so I was glad to be rid of them
Last week I bought a set of generic covers from Amazon for $30.
The claws seem better than the original covers.

My '88 Accord had covers held on by the lug nuts.
They eventually started developing cracks around the mounting points.

Many years ago VW had some problems with wheel covers and those were all steel covers. What usually happened with them is that a spring steel tab or two would loosen and during cornering when there was wheel flex the wheel cover would knock just like failing CV joint.

People were often surprised when that CV joint bill they were expecting turned out to be a bend the clip and hand the car back freebie.

For what it’s worth, I saw the zip-tie approach on all of the rental cars I saw in South Africa over the last 5 months, including about 4 that we rented (VW Polos, and one Chevy Spark). Ugly? Yes. Effective? I have to think that given the conditions of the roads in SA, Avis has tested it pretty severely. Plus, there are all the US drivers like me who whack the left curb for a while getting used to driving on the left.


It is interesting. We are not finding pothole free roads nowadays. How did you manage to keep hubcaps intact?

Do we need to look for any spec/strength in Zip-tie to use with hubcaps?


Good to know about your dabbing of anti seize . Is it a one-time solution or we need to do, whenever we remove hubcaps?

Do you apply this only for Wire retainer?

My '05 Camry has had crappy aftermarket hubcaps since 2008 (when we go it), they come off very easily if you pull. But we haven’t had issues with it coming off while driving. My wife would not really avoid potholes and my teenage learned how to drive on this car with a lot of curbs being traumatized in the process!

“Do we need to look for any spec/strength in Zip-tie to use with hubcaps?”

no, they have many hundreds of pounds of breaking strength. You only need ten pounds or so. Try breaking one yourself.

@RIMD Toyota. The plastic tabs on the back side of the wheel cover is where I lube them.

I know this sound backwards, but the lube allows the clip to return to is proper position (tighter) instead of working it’s way loose. Even the old style hub caps with the metal tabs.
Where ever the two pieces join.

As we all know Anti Seize does not get washed away too easy from the weather and a little goes a long way. Great for those chapped lips too and once you’ve used it for the grandchilds diaper rash…you’ll never have to worry about having to babysit again.

My feeling is that The wire retainer or metal clips rust and that “rust dust” binds the clips up so that they cannot spring back tight on the next bump. Little by little they get closer to popping off and once they get too far they are gone.

I’m too tired and my brain just cannot think of a better way to explain it right now.


Duct tape. Js

I think it was our 96 Accord…where the hub-cap (or wheel covers) were held in place with the lug-nuts. Never had an issue with them flying off.

TSM- there is no need to deal with the hubcap on a dark and rainy night. Just take the wheel off and throw the hubcap in the trunk. Then at your leisure, remove the appropriate 3 lug nuts ( you don’t have to jack up the car and snap the hubcap over the 2 lugs . Then put the other 3 nuts on.
Here in the Buffalo area, it is very hard to keep hubcaps on, the clips rust to pieces, you can’t lose the Chrysler type.

My few cars that had these hubcaps(95 Civic and Subaru) actually used the lug nuts to secure the hub cap(plastic) to the wheel. A superior design in terms of not losing it. Not sure why other car makers did not do this simple but effective design.

One drawback to the Honda OEM wheel covers is that the lug nuts show - and if you’ve used them a couple times for rotating tires or swapping wheels for the seasons, the lug nuts get rusty. They look bad. I’ve stored away my OEM Honda covers and have had a couple sets of aftermarket wheel covers that snap onto the wheels. They look good, cover the lug nuts, and last a few years before getting scarred up from the occasional curb scrape (I am married.) I’ve only had one fall off, probably because one of its tabs had broken so it was on rather weakly and with uneven tension.

One drawback to the Honda OEM wheel covers is that the lug nuts show - and if you've used them a couple times for rotating tires or swapping wheels for the seasons, the lug nuts get rusty

The lug nuts show on every vehicle I’ve owned that had mag/chrome wheels…so what. The lugs on my wifes Accord were not open ended. They never rusted.

The Honda lug nuts rusted. That was a disappointment because, like you, I didn’t expect them to. I don’t mind that lug nuts show, except if they rust. So, do I take a chance on buying 20 new lug nuts (that may or may not rust) or buying 4 new wheel covers that cover the problem, and look pretty good doing it?

Interesting comment, Mike. I have acorn lugnuts, ten years of age, and none have any evidence of rust whatsoever. Perhaps that closed end is the secret to rust free lugs!