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Mazda Protege Hubcaps

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.

Dents

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.

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  • Tips on Mazda Protege Hubcap Repair and Maintenance 27 February 2013

    The hubcaps of your Mazda Protege are among the most visible parts of your vehicle, so it's only natural that they be cared for and maintained regularly. Because of its location, the Mazda Protege hubcaps are constantly exposed to mud and road debris which can dull or - in worst cases - damage the hub caps. But by maintaining them on a constant basis, the hub caps will retain its brand-new appearance for a long time.


    Make sure to clean and polish the hub caps regularly.

    Regular cleaning of your Protege's hubcaps will not only make your car's wheels look more presentable but also prevent the onset of corrosion. Use a garden hose at full pressure (or a pressure washer if you have one) to blast away any hardened dirt around the hub caps and inside the wheel well, followed by scrubbing with a non-scratch cleaning pad or sponge to remove any large particles of dirt sticking on the cap. If the hubcaps are made of aluminum, mix a cleaning solution of 1/2 cup vinegar and a quart of warm water and wash the caps with it to prevent tarnishing. Rinse the hub caps again and polish it with household glass cleaner.


    Tap dents out with a pointed hammer and mallet.

    Dents on the hubcap can be quite unsightly, but minor denting can be hammered out using pointed and crowned body hammers and a teardrop mallet. Set the dented hubcap face down on a sandbag and gently tap the perimeter of the dent with a pointed hammer. Next, hit the dent itself with the small side of the mallet. Turn over the hub cap and carefully tap down any high spots using the crowned body hammer.


    Sand out scratches on the hub cap using a microfiber cloth or sandpaper.

    Removing scratches on your car's hubcaps depends on the severity of the damage, so make sure to gauge the scratch by running your fingernail against. If the scratches are minimal, polish and microfiber cleaner will do, but if the scratches are deeper you will have to use sandpaper. First, apply a small amount of polish on the scratch and, using a microfiber towel, spread it in small, circular motions until the scratch disappears. If it doesn't, soak a piece of 600-grit sandpaper in a glass of water for 10 minutes and scrub the scratches with it until they disappear. Remove excess grit with a microfiber towel.