Hub Cap Set-up in Three Easy Steps
Hub caps are the trendy metal-or plastic-pieces that both decorate and cover the exterior of a car's wheel. Mainly designed to provide an upgrade in the vehicle's looks, they are one of the most in-demand car accessories in the market. Have four of them and you can enjoy a drive that has both class and style. Luckily, that kind of ride isn't hard to achieve. Follow these steps and you could have your fashionable hub caps installed in a breeze.
Required skill level: Novice
Tools you'll need
- Four trendy hub caps
Examining your car's hub caps
Different hub caps require different-but easy, just the same-forms of installation. Some are pinned into place with clips, while others are bolted with lug nuts. For easy installation, use a wrench or screwdriver, especially when you see spaces for nuts or bolts on the hub cap's surface.
Removing the old hub caps
For bolted hub caps, unfasten the nuts with a wrench first so the caps can be easily pulled off the wheel. But if these ornamental covers are just snapped in place, you can simply pry them off with a screwdriver.
Installing the new hub caps
Align the new hub caps with the bolts or clips that would put them in place. Make sure that each cap is completely and evenly positioned around the wheel. While aligning, note that the tire's valve stem should not be covered. Once the new hub caps have been perfectly positioned, tighten the nuts with the wrench. As for hub caps fastened with clips, simply push the caps onto the wheel. Check if the new hub caps are secured tightly by tapping the edges with your feet. Repeat the steps for all wheels and enjoy the posh drives after!
Some car owners may enjoy accessorizing their vehicles too much, changing car parts too often. We don't discourage such penchant, but we'd like to remind you of the possible damages this may cause to your car. Frequent taking off and putting on of hub caps would thoroughly expose the fasteners to wear and tear, eventually making the covers prone to falling off. For a long-lasting stylish ride, it is best to replace or install new hub caps only when necessary.
The Better Hub Cap: CCi versus APA/URO Parts
Make your car look classy, rugged, stylish, robust, and all the other possible adjectives you can think of. You can achieve whatever look you desire for your car by simply putting on hub caps on your wheels! CCi and APA/URO Parts both guarantee top-rate design, perfect fit, and durability in their respective selections of hub caps, but which brand stands better in terms of covers for the wheel center? We checked their specifications, and this is what we observed:
Certainly, both brands can upgrade your car's looks with their lines of hub caps made compatible for almost any vehicle make and model. CCi, however, wins this round with its larger inventory of hub cover models. A car owner's accessorizing experience is made easier with its more varied selection of cap designs that can flexibly cater to the automobile look desired. Aesthetically, CCi products are also more stylish compared to the simple exteriors of the APA/URO Parts hubcaps.
Product fit, as in any car part, trickles down to the installation process. CCi and APA/URO Parts both score in this measure with their easy-to-install, perfect-fit hub caps. Both brands pride themselves on the amount of laboratory research they conduct to get the precise fit that can be apt for the needs of most vehicles. These efforts are realized with DIYers being able to install their products in a breeze.
WINNER: CCi and APA/URO Parts
You can get a CCi hub cap at $18- $197. But the priciest an APA/URO Parts hub cap can get is $12. That's a difference of more than a hundred bucks! Because of that, APA/URO Parts beats CCi in this criterion.
WINNER: APA/URO Parts
Though hub caps from both brands are subjected to a series of tests and product research, APA/URO Parts wheel center covers stand out with the extensive laboratory procedures they undergo. Before release, each steel and rubber component in the APA/URO Parts products are exposed to extreme conditions to test their strength, stiffness, and compression. The brand's quality assurance is capped off with the unlimited-mileage or two-year APA/URO Parts warranty that comes with each hub cap purchase.
WINNER: APA/URO Parts
CCi hub caps are better in terms of their wide variety of trendy designs and good product fit, but this is countered by APA/URO Parts' affordability and commitment to quality. Apparently, APA/URO Parts bags the title in this encounter, although the choice ultimately depends on the customer. Which would you prioritize-style or price? You decide.
Hub Cap: What to Consider When Buying One
One way of customizing vehicles is installing hub caps. Also known as wheel caps, hub caps are metal or plastic covers that protect tires from debris and rust. But aside from protecting tires, hub caps also have aesthetic purposes. In fact, hub cap installation is one of the most common ways of improving a car's appearance. If you want to buy some hub caps to upgrade your vehicle, there are some things that you must consider first. Listed below are some of the factors that you have to consider, so you won't end up buying wrong hub caps.
The right size
When buying hub caps for your car, you need to choose the right size. Fortunately, knowing the size of hub cap that you need is very easy. All you need to do is check the last number inscribed on your car's tires. For instance, if the tires of your 2009 Honda Civic have the numbers P175/65/R14, then you will need 14" hub caps. Likewise, if the last number is R16, then you'll need 16" hub caps.
OEM and aftermarket
Once you know the size of hub caps you need, you can now choose between original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and aftermarket hub caps. OEM means that the part is manufactured by your car's maker. On the other hand, aftermarket parts are those that are made by other companies such as CCI, APA/URO, and EMPI. Basically, aftermarket hub caps are cheaper than OEM because of the market competition. However, even if aftermarket caps are cheap, you still can't guarantee their quality. So you won't regret your purchase, make sure that you're familiar with the trusted aftermarket brands in the market. But if you don't want to gamble, then you should purchase OEM hub caps. Even if they're more expensive, you can be assured that they will suit your car perfectly.
Metal and plastic
If you'll leaf through a car parts catalog for hub caps, you'll notice that hub caps are offered in metal and plastic models. Even if both metal and plastic hub caps protect tires from debris and rust, they still have differences.
- Price: Nowadays, a plastic cap ranges from 25 USD to 40 USD while a metal hub cap costs around 50 USD to 100 USD. So, if you're on a tight budget, you should buy the plastic ones.
- Installation: When it comes to ease of installation, most people prefer plastic hub caps over metal ones. This is because most plastic caps are fastened on wheels via hoops that secure them in place. Unlike metal caps, you don't need to hammer plastic hub caps in place. All you need to do is fasten them on, then voila! You have new hub caps.
- Design: Aside from protecting your tires from debris, hub caps spruce up your ride, too. If you want your car to look like those classic Mustang and Falcon vehicles, you should buy metal hub caps.
Installing Hub Caps in Four Easy Steps
When it comes to customizing vehicles, equipping wheels with hub caps is perhaps the most common choice of car owners. Also known as wheel trims or wheel covers, hub caps are metal or plastic pieces that cover a portion of the wheels. Although most people think that these caps are only for aesthetic purposes, they also protect brakes, lug nuts, and bearings from road debris that may cause premature corrosion. So if you want to add some touch to your ride's wheels and protect them at the same time, installing hub caps is a good idea. This guide will teach you quick and simple steps on how you can do it in the safety of your garage.
Difficulty level: Easy
What you'll need:
- Hub caps
Step 1: Park your car on level ground. Then, check your car's wheels if they already have hub caps. Some new cars come with built-in caps, while older cars do not. If your car has them, check if they're snapped or bolted in place.
Step 2: Once you're done checking, remove the hub caps one at a time. If your car has snap-on hub caps, slide your screwdriver under the first hub cap and gently pry it away from the wheel. In case of bolt-on hub caps, remove the bolts and nuts first. Then, pull the cap off.
Step 3: Align the new hub cap with the bolts and nuts (in case of bolt-on caps), but make sure that it's not blocking the valve stem. Then, by using your wrench, tighten the bolts and nuts, so the hub cap will not fall off. If you're installing snap-on caps, push the first hub cap until it snaps in place. Tap it with your feet to make sure that it's installed tightly.
Step 4: Repeat all these steps until all the hub caps are replaced. Test drive your car for a few miles to make sure that the hub caps won't suddenly fall off.
Final tip: Do not remove your car's hub caps willy-nilly because doing so will loosen the hub cap fasteners. If these fasteners are loose, the caps may fall off or droop unexpectedly.