Tire change problem
July 25, 2016 4:54 AM   Subscribe

2012 infinity. Got lug nuts off, but tire won't budge. How do I get the tire off?
posted by LonnieK to Travel & Transportation (12 answers total)
Rear wheel? Disengage the parking brake.
posted by kuanes at 4:55 AM on July 25, 2016

You are talking about taking the wheel off the hub I am assuming. Have the wheels been off the car since it has been in your possession? Never had this happen to me, but force would be my first option, perhaps with some penetrating oil sprayed around the wheel studs and left for half an hour or so (avoid spraying onto the brake disk). Make sure the car is supported by a jack stand, and isn't going to easily topple, then give the edge of the tyre a sharp shove with your foot.

Do not disengage the parking brake, this will be stopping the rear wheels rotating, and hence the car moving, which is A Good Thing when a car has one wheel off the ground and supported on a jack or jack stand. It will not affect your ability to remove a wheel.

If this doesn't work, you may have to take it to a workshop.

You are sure you got all the nuts off?
posted by GeeEmm at 5:18 AM on July 25, 2016

I gotta ask, because you used, specifically, the word "tire."

You will NOT be able to get the tire off the rim yourself - that requires specialized equipment.

Do you mean to take the whole wheel off the car, or just the tire?

If your lugs are the bolt-type (you remove them, and then come out as a threaded bolt) then once removed, the wheel should EASILY come off the hub.

If your lugs are more like nuts that thread onto studs, you may need to work the wheel a little bit back and forth to get it to slide off the studs, but it still shouldn't be very hard at all.
posted by Thistledown at 5:24 AM on July 25, 2016

Have you tried putting cold water on it? That's what helped me change a tire on a super hot day once when I figured thermal expansion was the problem
posted by mattamatic at 5:25 AM on July 25, 2016

Very gently lower the jack until the wheel has a bit of weight on it - the weight of the car applied at a slight angle should pop the stuck lugs. You can then raise the jack back up and remove the wheel.
posted by ChrisHartley at 5:40 AM on July 25, 2016 [6 favorites]

Before you do ChrisHartley's suggestion, thread all the lug nuts back on the studs three turns. SLOWLY lower the vehicle weight back down on that corner. If it doesn't pop loose, snug the lug nuts down, back them off two turns from tight, and start rocking the car and bouncing on the bumper.

If *that* doesn't work, drive the car very slowly one tire circumference while someone outside rocks the car.
posted by notsnot at 5:55 AM on July 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

A similar thing happened to me a few years ago. We tried lowering the car onto the studs and that did not separate the two. What had happened is a small amount of moisture had rusted the wheel directly to the hub - effectively welding the two together. What finally got the wheel off was this: loading it on a wrecker, getting it taken to my mechanics, and him literally using a blow torch and rubberized sledge to weaken the rust spots.
posted by Nanukthedog at 6:02 AM on July 25, 2016

I've definitely had this experience. What works for me is a soak with penetrating oil followed by some solid whacks to the back of the tire with a length of 4x4. Lots of people swear by driving it a short distance with loosened nuts too.

A little anti-seize compound between the hub and the wheel will help prevent this next time.
posted by ssg at 8:00 AM on July 25, 2016 [2 favorites]

I used to work at an auto repair shop. It was very common that after taking off the lug nuts, the metal of the wheel was stuck (usually with rust or corrosion) to the rotor. The standard MO was to give the outside edge of the tire a good whack with a heavy (10-lb) rubber mallet. Sometimes it would take 2 or 3 whacks to come loose.

You can do the same by just kicking the edge of the tire with your foot or hitting it with something heavy. A flat piece of wood can help protect the tire/rim if needed.

Also, leave one lug nut partially threaded on, so that when the wheel does come loose, it won't fall onto you and/or damage the backing plate.

And yeah, if you're working on the rear wheel, make sure the e-brake is down.
posted by Questolicious at 8:50 AM on July 25, 2016 [3 favorites]

Sheet of plywood (or a 4x4), held against the wheel. Apply sledgehammer to the board. Board will cushion the direct impact enough that you won't dent or bend the wheel, and you still get the kinetic energy of a sledgehammer hit. Took me three swings to get mine off the last time it rusted to the hub.
posted by Mayor West at 9:37 AM on July 25, 2016

The standard MO was to give the outside edge of the tire a good whack with a heavy (10-lb) rubber mallet. Sometimes it would take 2 or 3 whacks to come loose.

That's exactly what the AA guy did to my tire when I had the same problem. Worked like a charm.
posted by ClarissaWAM at 12:22 PM on July 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

Agree with Mayor West, assuming we're not actually discussing tires, but getting the wheel off the car. Lug nuts removed? Hit the inner rim with a big hammer, problem solved.
posted by Rash at 2:10 AM on July 27, 2016

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