Troubleshooting Tips for Mazda Protege Hubcaps
The hubcap of the Mazda Protege serves a more decorative purpose than a functional one, but this does not mean that it is not free of problems. In fact, due to its location, Mazda Protege hubcaps are quite vulnerable to wear and damage which might lead to the complete destruction and replacement of the hubcap. The following are some of the common types of hubcap failure and how to troubleshoot them.
The hubcap often comes loose
While they have been relegated to being mere decorative covers for the wheels, a hubcap that keeps coming loose can still be quite an embarrassing mishap (especially if it pops out while driving). In most cases, this is usually due to the hubcaps being incompatible with the wheels or one of its mounting points being damaged. Check the notches and other mounting points of the hubcap to see if they are still in good condition; if not, replace the hubcap. If the mounting points appear to be fine, check if the wheel is loose or is the correct size. Hubcaps cannot mount firmly enough on loose or oversize wheels and is likely to pop out when the wheel hits a bump at highway speeds.
Scratches on the hub surface
Rocks, branches and other road debris can easily scratch the surface of the hubcap, but these can be removed depending on the severity of the scratch. First, gauge the extent of the damage by running a fingernail over the scratch. If the scratch is shallow, it can be buffed out with some polish and a microfiber cloth. On the other hand, if it cuts deep into the hubcap surface, you may need to use sandpaper with 600 grit or higher to buff out the scratch. However, if the damage is extensive to the point that it compromises the integrity of the hubcap, replacement might be a better option.
Whether it's from a bad parking job or a fender bender, dents on metal hubcaps can be quite an ugly sight. Minor dents can usually be hammered out using a pointed body hammer and mallet, but in the case of serious dents the hubcaps are better off replaced with new ones.