How To Get A Stuck Tire Off

Last Updated on April 16, 2023 by Paul S.

According to a study by AAA, there are an estimated 220,000,000 flat tires due to various reasons every year! That means there is a chance that you will need to change your tire to your spare sometime in the lifetime of your vehicle. While most of the time that is easy your tire can get stuck and when it does it’s a pain! This article is written to provide you with information on how to get a stuck tire off!

When your tire gets stuck, that means that your quick spare tire change is not going to be so quick. It’s not typical that it can happen but it does happen, and it happened to me!

Let’s get into it!

How To Get  A Stuck Tire Off

Here are some various methods to try to get your stuck wheel off your car so you can change your spare tire and get off the road fast! If you are stuck in the driveway you have some time so you can use some of the methods we provided below that require a little more time. 

Use WD-40 To Remove the Wheel

The first thing to do is to use a can of WD-40. This is the typical response you will need to loosen things up but to free nuts and bolts, you can use aerokroil or liquid wrench as well!

There are a lot of misconceptions about WD-40 because it was probably one of the only products people used back in the day so it became the answer to everyone’s problems in the automotive and mechanical world. 

WD-40 is mainly used as a rust preventative and to degrade existing rust from things. 

If you have something stuck, Aerokroil or liquid wrench may be better suited for the job because this oil’s specific use is to penetrate deep into corroded items like the wheel of your car!  I am not getting paid to rep these companies but I thought I would pass on the info.

Spray the penetrating oil onto the component of your wheel that is stuck (lugs nuts/studs/hub) and let it sit for a minimum of 15 minutes. After that try again to move the stuck lug nut or the entire wheel from the hub. 

Try Hitting To Remove the Wheel

Once it is jacked up in a safe spot try to hit the wheel with something soft. A rubber mallet would be best but it could be something from the side of the road that has some weight to it. You could kick it but just be careful. The point of hitting it is to get that oil to penetrate even more and even help break the bond the rust has created.   

Try to hit it in different places and slowly rotate the tire as you are doing this. This will assist the oil in deeper penetration and could cause it to finally unbind. 

If you have nice rims you don’t want to hit them with anything metallic or sharp because this will cause damage to them. 

Hitting the Stuck Tire Off From the Other Side

Another approach to removing the wheel is to hit it from the other side. 

For this, you will need to use a proper jack stand that is certified for the weight. Do not use the jack that comes with the vehicle. These are not made to hold the car for a long time nor to work under the vehicle. 

Once you are sure the vehicle will not fall, get a 4×4 or anything that is strong and can span the length of the tire. If you have a quick grip you can place that on the tire and lumber to free up a hand. Then you can proceed to hit it with a sledgehammer or something that has a lot of weight. You can be under the vehicle but make sure that you are out of the way of the tire and that your motion will not cause the car to fall down. 

Give it some solid hits and then check the wheel. Repeat if necessary. 

Driving to Loosen the Wheel

After using the procedures from above try driving with the nuts loosened for a small distance. 

Be sure to lower the vehicle from any jack stands and only loosen the nuts, do not remove them completely. What you are trying to do is allow the rusted part of the wheel to break free from the hub.

Only travel a few feet and keep an eye on the wheel. If you have someone with you be sure to roll down your window and have them give you a shout if they see the wheel coming off the hub. DO NOT TRAVEL FAR OR FAST!!!

Take the Stuck Tire to A Mechanic

After all else has failed you probably have to take your vehicle to a mechanic! 

Be sure to replace all your lugs and remove all jacks from the vehicle. Check around the vehicle for any loose tools so that you do not run them over. 

If you have a flat and can’t drive to a mechanic you may need a tow. Or if you are near a city you may be able to check for a mobile mechanic. They will be able to assist you on the road and avoid the cost of a tow truck. In many cases, mobile mechanics can be cheaper than an actual shop and get your car back on the road a lot quicker!

How To Remove Seized Lug Nuts

The dreaded seized lug is a nightmare to get off. Don’t do what I did and stand on the lug wrench and shear off the bolt. That is an instant trip to the mechanic’s shop!

Rusted Lugs
Lugs/Nuts Getting Rusty

Of course, like anything metal that is stuck, drench it in your Aerokroil or liquid wrench. Let it sit for 15 minutes. The more time the better but it’s understandable if you need to get going. Giving the lug nut some gentle taps will help in the penetration of the liquid. (if you can’t get it off try to place some more of these products on the lug nuts and leave it for a day)

Once you are ready to give it a shot grab the correct socket for the lug and apply some force to it. Depending on how it is positioned it is best to apply force either up using your legs or down so that you are able to use some of your body weight. 

Remember, the longer the wrench or drive the more force will be applied to the lug. This also makes it easier for you as well! A lot of people recommend jumping on the lug but in my experience, all that happened was spending more money to fix my wheel. 

Patience is the key to removing the lug nuts and then getting your wheel off as well. Your best friend is the penetrating oils and time! 

How To Prevent Your Wheel From Getting Stuck

The biggest reason your wheel is getting stuck is rust. If you want to prevent this from occurring use an anti-seize lubricant and apply it to the face of the hub that comes into contact with the wheel. 

Now if you already have some rust forming you will need to get that removed. If you allow it to build up, your wheel will continue to get stuck when you need to remove it. 

Some of the best ways to remove this rust are with rotary sanding discs. These are sanding discs that can fit onto your drill in order to spin and clean that rust right off. You could also do it by hand if you don’t have a drill but the drill will make it a quick job. 

After you have cleaned the hub you can add a small amount of corrosion inhibitor to the face of the hub and the lugs.  Just a little will do the trick. Also, do not get any liquids on the brakes. 

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