Though complex procedures should preferably be handled by a professional, there are some tasks that don’t require a lot of expertise. This can include changing a flat tire. Should the wheel become stuck, however, you may need to improvise to address such an issue.
There are a couple of methods you can use to approach this particular problem. They include using blunt force such as a hammer, technical means such as applied heat, and mechanistic solutions such as driving back and forth on loosened lug nuts. The particular solution you choose depends on the severity of the situation and the resources at your disposal.
Driving on Loose Lug Nuts
This method is one of the more straightforward alternatives available when addressing a stuck wheel. In most cases, it can be applied when the wheel is not aggressively clinging to the frame. In such cases, you simply need to apply a little pressure to the area in order to loosen it from captivity.
It should be noted that this strategy is mostly applicable when you’re in a relatively safe environment away from moving traffic. Simply loosen the lug nuts on the wheel in question, taking care not to remove them fully. Four or five turns should do the trick – as you don’t want the nuts too loose lest they come off entirely when some additional strain is applied.
Once this is done, get in your car and drive back and forth for a few yards. This motion will serve to apply pressure to the wheel – forcing it to come unstuck as a result. The back and forth motion can be seen as a sort of grinding movement that breaks any adhesive element causing the problem. Take care not to drive more than a few yards in either direction.
This could result in the application of too much pressure which could damage the wheel or lead to the lug nuts popping off. Individuals should also stand on the opposite side of the tire involved to enhance their safety. This is because should the nuts pop off, the force of its trajectory could be dangerous to anyone in its flight path.
If this doesn’t work the first time, don’t panic. Simply get back in your car and repeat the process a couple of more times. Sometimes it takes more than one go to fully dislodge the wheel from its entrapment.
Using Brute Force
Another direct method that’s available when considering how to remove a stuck wheel on your car is through the use of a hammer. As with the first alternative, this option is applicable for wheels that are not zealously glued to the frame. Though a traditional hammer can prove useful in this endeavor, using larger sized alternatives may offer quicker results.
A club or short sledge hammer, for example, will provide a wider surface area for impact due to their size. Firstly, raise your car to an appropriate level that will allow you access to the back of the tire. Once this is done, loosen the lug nuts by four or five turns to create space for the wheel once it comes unstuck.
After the wheel is in position, start hitting the bottom of the tire so as to loosen the area that is stuck. You might need to apply some relatively adequate force to have any impact on the wheel. You can hit it from the front, though applying pressure to the backside of the tire can bring about better results.
By hitting the backside, the strain applied goes directly against the force holding the wheel in place. It’s crucial to ensure that you only make contact with the wheel, as hitting the rim can bring about damaging results. The potential for such mistakes is the main reason that most mechanics would not advocate for this approach.
You can lessen the potential risks involved, however, by using a rubber or other soft-faced hammers. These materials would not produce a devastating effect, even when you make direct contact with the rim by mistake. Though an adequate amount of force is required, be careful not to use all of your might – just in case you miss your target.
Using a Blowtorch
Applying heat to the area in question is a more aggressive stance if the wheel won’t come off after removing lug nuts. Should the use of force and pressure fail to bring about the desired results – then expanding the frame might be the best option for success.
For this, you will need to apply an open flame to the affected wheel using a blow torch. It should be noted that this isn’t a recommendable strategy if you have no previous experience using such a device. Manipulating an open flame can be a dangerous task if not addressed in an appropriate manner.
Using a PB blaster to penetrate any oil is the first step when using heat to address the situation. Once this is done make a point of wiping any excess fluid left on the area.
The penetrant is not absolutely flammable, but there is still a risk of it lighting up should a lot of the unevaporated fluid remain present.
You can soak up the excess liquid using an absorbent rag. Once the area is suitably dry, apply the blow torch. Adjust the torch to produce a small, blue flame as you don’t need a lot of heat. Apply this flame to the affected area for about half a minute or so. Should it not work initially, you can repeat the process a couple of more times.
One of the primary reasons behind a stuck wheel is the development of rust around the area. Using a rust removal lubricant is an excellent means of solving this problem. Simply spray the solution onto the affected area and allow it to sit for about 10 to 15 minutes.
Once it dissolves into the affected region, you should be able to break the rustic seal with ease. Additional applications are recommended should it fail to work the first time.