How to Remove a Wheel and Tire Stuck on an Axle

by Jody L. Campbell

It is one thing to have a wheel and tire stuck to the hub if you have the vehicle on a lift, but it is another if you are on the side of the road with a flat tire that won't come off. Unfortunately, this isn't uncommon for some vehicles that have rims that fit snugly around the hub of the knuckle. You can get the wheel and tire off of the car no matter if it's on a lift or a jack, but it's not going to be pretty and you're going to have to show it whose in charge. Follow these helpful steps.

Replace one lug nut onto one of the studs of the stuck tire. Thread it on about three or four threads. This will prevent the tire from flying off of the knuckle.

Spray a liberal dose of lubricant around the circumference of the center of the tire rim where it seats over the hub of the knuckle. Allow the lubricant to soak in and respray.

Strike the wheel and tire from the inside sidewall outward with the 2 lb. sledge hammer. Striking the rubber part of the sidewall will make the hammer bounce if there is still air in the tire, so be careful. You may have to hit the rim with the hammer to shock it free from the hub. This will require caution so that you do not damage the rim. Try to strike the rim near the bead of the tire where the tire and rim meet, again from behind hitting outward.

Use a long heavy metal pipe if the hammer does not work. This may not always be convenient, but if your vehicle has a history of sticking rims, you should acquire one and carry it around in the trunk or someplace handy. Again, swing the pipe with brute force from behind hitting outward and try to contact mostly rubber sidewall, but again you may have to strike the bead of the rim.

Spray more lubricant and keep re-striking the tire with the hammer or pipe until it breaks free of the hub.

Remove the lug nut and remove the wheel and tire when you are successful.

Items you will need

About the Author

Jody L. Campbell spent over 15 years as both a manager and an under-car specialist in the automotive repair industry. Prior to that, he managed two different restaurants for over 15 years. Campbell began his professional writing career in 2004 with the publication of his first book.