What Is the Purpose of Hubcaps?by Kim Nunley
A hubcap, or wheel cover, is a decorative piece that covers the center area of an automobile tire. Hubcaps are used primarily for aesthetic reasons. However, they do provide some minor safety and aerodynamic benefits.
A hubcap's position over the center of the wheel provides some weather protection, thus helping prevent rusting and corroding of lugs and studs.
Hubcaps may cause an automobile to be more aerodynamic and thus increase, though minutely, fuel efficiency.
If wheel lugs are not properly tightened, they can fall off. If a hubcap is present, they will fall into the wheel cover and jingle, alerting the driver so that immediate attention can be given. Wheel lugs falling off unnoticed can result in the entire tire coming off the car.
Despite not being essential, hubcaps can be somewhat expensive, so if an owner is not concerned with aesthetic benefits, generic hubcaps are available. Used hubcaps can be purchased for a more affordable cost from a recycling yard.
The presence of hubcaps will affect the resale value of the car, so an individual interested in selling would want to ensure the presence of all four hubcaps.
- link Car Talk: Hubcaps