I live in a climate that necessitates changing the wheels to ones with studded winter tires and back again to ones with summer times twice a year.

After several years of owning the car, I noticed that the aluminium wheels got stuck to the wheel hubs, necessitating the use of a rubber mallet to cause the wheels to move allowing removal. Fortunately, after hammering with the rubber mallet for a while I managed to remove the wheels. I assume the cause is road salt causing corrosion to the wheel hub that is made from steel.

  • Is there a better solution to remove a stuck wheel, such as a special purpose tool to remove a stuck wheel?

  • How do garages remove stuck wheels?

  • Can the use of a rubber mallet to remove a stuck wheel cause damage to car components?

I figured out that it is probably better to prevent the problem rather than trying to fix it afterwards, so after I first noticed the stuck wheel problem, I have put a very minor amount of grease to the wheel hubs where the wheel makes contact with the wheel hub. This has allowed me to remove the wheels with no stuck wheel problems. I am, however, concerned that water might move the grease from the wheel hub to the brake disks. The risk is probably greater in the front where there are brake disks than in the rear where there are brake drums. Is this a good solution, or is the risk of grease getting to brake components too great? The car has a spare wheel, and I would like to have the ability to change the spare wheel in case of tire failure without having to carry a rubber mallet everywhere I go.

The car has not had a mandatory inspection after I first used grease on the wheel hubs, so I have no idea whether the brakes are unbalanced due to grease getting on the brake disks. I have, however, observed no anomalies with braking on the road.

  • Grease, and even light oil will not splash on the discs, unless the parts are soaked in oil. The number one cause of splippery spots on discs is from handling them with greasy hands, not from things splashing around.
    – sleblanc
    Commented Dec 25, 2015 at 0:07

2 Answers 2


I've worked at a garage. We use a rubber mallet. Hit it like your doing lug nuts. Hit it, rotate 90*, hit it, rotate 45*, and so on so you are not always hitting on the same spot.

We would normally put some grease on the hubs. You can use anti-seize also. I wouldn't worry about water moving it around. It is squished flat in there, and water and grease don't mix.

  • +1 on the grease. I always put a generous amount of chassis&bearing grease on the hub, and a tiny bit on the lugs to prevent rust and seizing.
    – sleblanc
    Commented Dec 25, 2015 at 0:04
  • 1
    @sleblanc lug nuts should not be greased. Clean and dry only.
    – vini_i
    Commented Dec 31, 2015 at 1:50
  • Marine grease is resistant to water erosion. A thin layer works well. Neversieze works on steel rims, but erodes from water. Neversieze generally does not work as well on aluminum rims. A principle ingredient in many neversieze like compounds is alumimnum.
    – mongo
    Commented Apr 21, 2017 at 11:40

I have successfully used a "Karate Kick" after watching it on an Eric the Car Guy video and yes it did work. You get your leg underneath the car and do a quick kick to the bottom of the tire on the rubber. Make sure the car is well supported and won't move. I never get under the car unless I have at least 2 or 3 supports (jack stands).

On a really tough one I've used a small sledgehammer to hit the bottom of the rubber of the tire from underneath the car. I've had 100% success with this one, but make sure you don't hit the rim! I've never had any damage to the tire with this, but again use it at your own risk because a bad aim could hit the rim.

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