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AutoAmenity Chrome Wheelskins Hubcaps Home > FAQ

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions


1. How do I determine my wheel / rim size?

 

2. Fitting Hubcaps or Trim Rings to Steel Wheels - Are they going to Fit?


3. What is the difference between the terms: Hubcap - Wheel cover - Wheelskin?


4. What is a Wheelskin?


5. Hubcap Materials -- Which is better: plastic or metal?


6. How to tighten hubcaps to keep them from falling off?

 

7. Grills 101 -- Everything you need to know about aftermarket Chrome Grill Inserts

 

8. Auto Wheel and Tire Technical Terms

 

9. How to determine Bolt Circle or Bolt Pattern

 

10. Dual Wheel Terms and Measurements

 

11. What is a Dayton or Spider or Spoke type Truck Wheel?

 

12. How to Read your Vehicle ID Number, or VIN.

 

13. Understanding "Smart Key" Terms


14. Hubcaps for Winter Wheels

 

15. Hubcaps for Wheels With Center Clearance Issues

 

16. Fitting Chrome Accessories to Vehicles outside North America

 

17. Proper Packing of Returns to avoid damage and maximize your refund

 

18. Dual Wheel Types and Lug Nuts

 

How can I tell if my wheels take Regular Replica Hubcaps?

Standard Steel Wheel

Our replica hubcaps fit Standard Steel Wheels, one example is shown at left. Nearly all are the push-on type,

 

To determine yours go to Standard Steel Wheels or Styled Wheels -

 

Wheelskins are made to fit specific styled wheels. They match the exact geometric form of specific styled wheels, with a bright chrome finish, and are not interchangeable onto different wheels.

 

Fitting Hubcaps or Trim Rings to Steel Wheels - Are they going to Fit?

What are these "Replica" Hubcaps and how good are they?

962s  Silver Wheel Covers / Hubcaps
189c Chevy Chrome Hubcaps / Wheel Covers

Replica Hubcaps are close copies of OEM style hubcaps, with no logos, so you don't have to pay extra for them. Nearly all of our Replicas are the "push-on" type. They are generally equal to and sometimes better than OEM quality.

 

All passenger vehicle hubcaps have been made of ABS plastic since about the mid 1980s, detailed in the Hubcap Materials article above.

 

Many replicas are available in chrome, which most originals are not. Our chrome is actually plated on the hubcaps over a layer of copper, the same way chrome is plated onto steel. We find that the chrome plating actually holds up better over time than the silver paint.

 

Take a moment to read through some of our unsolicited Testimonials and see what our customers are saying about them.

 

Wheel covers for larger vehicles, such as 18-wheel trucks and other dual-wheeled vehicles, are called 'simulators' and may be made of stainless steel.

 

Can I purchase any of your products with the original factory emblems, logos, or trademarks?

We sell Replica hubcaps / wheel covers with NO OEM trademarks. Our Replicas are close copies of OEM designs, without logos. Logos are the legal trademark of the manufacturer, as such it would be Trademark infringement to include them on an aftermarket product. Our Replica wheel covers sell for significantly less than original equipment parts. If you want products with the trademark Logo, you'll have to buy an original equipment part, and pay their price. Or...

If you want to purchase stick-on Logos, you can Google "Logo Stickers" for online sources.

            http://www.webxtremes.com is one example.

 

How important is the number of lug nuts on push-on Replica hubcaps?

895s Honda Silver Hubcaps / wheel covers
944c Toyota Chrome Hubcaps / wheel covers

**The number of lugs on the hubcap does not need to match the number of lugs on your steel wheel.**

 

Nearly all of our replica hubcaps are made to be universal-fit, and so are the push-on style.

 

The lugs on replica hubcaps are decorative, and float in the air above the real lugs holding the wheels on the axles.

 

They may have 4 or 5 lugs. Usually smaller wheels (13 or 14 inch) have 4 and larger wheels have 5. The general rule is more lugs are stronger for heavier vehicles.

 

But some of our hubcaps have no decorative lugs at all.

 

Over the last 50 years, the vast majority of hubcaps have been of the push-on style, though the attachment mechanisms have changed from the old plated steel hubcaps with sharp tabs to the modern ones with retention rings and plastic or metal clips.

What are "Under-Lug" hubcaps?

430c Chrysler Dodge Charger Under-Lug Chrome Hubcaps

Some OEM hubcaps are held on with with two or three lugnuts, we refer to this as the "under-lug" mounting style. A problem with this type of mounting system is the bolt circle diameter may vary from make to make and model to model, sometimes even year to year. Another problem is that since the hubcap is held on in the center and the edges are somewhat loose, they are prone to being noisy.

 

The several under-lug-style replica hubcaps we carry are for specific make-model-year classes, and are NOT universal-fit. If you want under-lug hubcaps, and don't see yours on the website on your vehicle page, you will have to go to your dealer for them.

How do I install my Hubcaps or Wheelskins?

Align the hubcap notch with the valve stem

Go to our Installation Pages.

 

 Can I buy a single hubcap or wheel cover?

We do sell partial sets. Call us or click to email Phil at AutoAmenity.com to check availability and price for specific models. Unfortunately our suppliers charge us extra to break sets of 4, so the partial set prices are out of proportion.

 

I've lost a hubcap off my vehicle. Will yours fly off?

Our wheel cover product lines use state of the art spring steel wire rings with steel or plastic clips retention systems. These systems provide the most secure retention possible. If they are mounted properly to the wheel, hubcaps will not come off unless you intentionally remove them to change a tire. When you install any hubcap, always check it to be sure you cannot remove it with your bare hands. If you can, your wheel may be slightly oversize and hubcaps may be able to fly off.
Go to our page Tips to tighten hubcaps that fit too loose. We frequently get calls for hubcaps to replace those that were lost shortly after having tires or brakes serviced.
TIP: After taking your vehicle for service, if wheels had to be removed for service, ALWAYS CHECK to see that your hubcaps are reinstalled securely.

Some of our customers report they experience fewer lost hubcaps when they remove them before any service involving removing the wheels, and reinstall their hubcaps themselves after that service. This avoids subjecting your hubcaps to young servicemen with bigger hammers than brains. This is especially true with Wheelskins which utilize perimeter clip retention which many newer servicemen are not familiar with.

 

Wheel Cover Noises as you drive

We get very few complaints of noise from Hubcaps, Wheel covers, Wheelskins. But in relatively rare cases, this may happen. Let me start by saying that most people are not aware that wheels flex as they roll down the road. Modern wheels are made with better grades of steel, that is both thinner and lighter, but more flexible than in the past.

We have found sometimes in cases if the wheels were dirty or gritty, and the hubcap or Wheelskin has been mounted on the gritty wheel, then the flexing of the wheel as you drive may causes small movements between the wheel and the wheel cover, which may cause creaking or squeaking noises. The solution: Take the Wheelskin off and clean the wheel, and also the contact points of the hubcap or Wheelskin so they have no residual dust or grit, then remount the Wheelskin again. This simple hint seems to work in most cases.

 

How accurate are AutoAmenity Product Pictures?

In some cases, our pictures may differ slightly from how your product may look in different light(s). We strive to provide high quality pictures of our products that show as much detail as possible, so you will know exactly what you are purchasing.

It is a challenge to accurately represent our products in pictures. Most of our products are shades of silver, gray tones, and reflective chrome, which are difficult to image well. Experience has shown that bright overcast days provide the best natural light that brings out the finest product details, such as the lugs on hubcaps, the lettering on center caps, etc. This is especially true for our items with chrome finishes, which are perfect mirrors and reflect everything in the background. Many of our pictures are taken on auto dealer sales lots, where we are installing the items on cars for sale there. The only digital alteration we do to our pictures is to remove distracting raindrops, reflections of the camera and cameraman, and sometimes the auto dealer flags or signs reflected in the background. We do not make any intentional alteration to the rendering of color or finish, with the following exception: We use a number of "catalogue pictures" which are taken by professional photographers in studio conditions for printing in our suppliers' catalogues. In these pictures, the photographers have sprayed items with a special fogging spray that minimizes reflection, so the pictures will not include reflections of the camera, tripod, lights, furniture, etc. in the background.

Please note there may be some tone or reflectivity variation between production batches of the silver, gray, or black paints applied by our supplier/manufacturers. We often carry the same items made by different manufacturers, and there may be minor variations between them and our pictures. Finally, our website pictures are processed by a photo optimization program, which reduces the file size so the picture will download faster to your computer. This optimization process can produce some minor distortion in the resulting picture, which we hope is not usually noticeable. The last factor that may affect the way our pictures look is your computer screen settings for brightness, contrast and color balance.

 

Can a Wheelskin be made or adapted to fit on a different wheel, like an aftermarket wheel?

Wheelskins are designed and molded of rigid ABS plastic to precisely fit the geometry of one specific OEM wheel. Wheelskins closely follow each curve and spoke and indent and go into the holes between the spokes, like skin, hence their name.

Therefore, there is only ONE Wheelskin that will fit a specific wheel, and that Wheelskin will fit NO other wheel.

Since it costs upwards of $30,000 to design and make a mold, Wheelskins are only made for wheels on the most popular vehicle models.

For example, while there are a couple of different Wheelskins for base model Ford F150, (the most popular vehicle in America), there are none for the F150 higher model option wheels. There are NO Wheelskins made for the wheels of less common, more expensive, or more exclusive brands like Acura, BMW, Cadillac, Infiniti, Lexus, Mercedes, Peugeot, etc, because there are not enough of those wheels on the road to make Wheelskin production cost-effective. Also, there are NO Wheelskins made for ANY Aftermarket wheels. 

It is not possible to modify a Wheelskin to fit a different wheel than the one it was designed for.

 

What is the Accuride Wheel Number?

The Accuride Company, a Canadian firm, manufactures wheels for dual wheel vehicles. Dual wheels are not standardized, and so every dual wheel has a specific Accuride number, which helps us to determine the correct fit for dual wheel simulator wheel covers. Click this link to see diagram of Accuride Wheel Number location.

 

A word on Prices

"It's unwise to pay too much...but it's worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money...that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot. It can't be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run. And if you do that, you will have enough to pay for something better." - John Ruskin

 

Product Application for Current Year Classes

We do our best to keep current with the latest year classes our products fit, based on information from our suppliers and manufacturers. At times we may be a little out of the current date range for certain products. If for example you have a 2009 vehicle, and you see an Wheelskin for a wheel that looks like yours, but our page says it fits 2005-08, check the Hollander numbers to see if it will fit your 2009. And similarly for other chrome accessory products. Call us to see if up-to-date information is available for your vehicle.

 

What is “O.E.M.?”

O.E.M. stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer.  E.g.: OEM Chevy parts are manufactured by General Motors.

 

What is “aftermarket?”

Aftermarket is a term used to describe replacement parts or upgrades for vehicles not made by the original manufacturer.

 

Which is better: O.E.M. or aftermarket?

It depends on the product. Some O.E.M. hubcaps seem to be designed to fail. Clips on many minivan hubcaps are extremely weak and tend to break after the hubcap has been removed a few times. Good brands of aftermarket hubcaps are designed with stronger clips and will stay on longer than original equipment.
The BIG difference:  You can buy a whole set of Replica aftermarket wheel covers for less than the cost of a single OEM cover.

 

Can tall lug nuts interfere when mounting hubcaps?

In our experience, the most common problem in mounting replica hubcaps is long aftermarket lug nuts. Those pretty chromed or color anodized tall lug nuts, or the oversize locking nuts, are designed to accent a wheel without hubcaps. Our Replica hubcaps are designed to fit easily over normal-size OEM-type lug nuts.
A few makers, for example late '90s Hondas, put overlength lug nuts on wheels, that sometimes cause problems. As long as your lug nuts do not extend beyond the end of the wheel studs, you should be OK with our Replica Hubcaps. If your lugs are longer than this, you should be able to purchase a set of standard length nuts at your local auto store or wrecking yard.

 

Properly Tightening Lug Nuts is VERY important!!

Be Sure to Properly Torque your Lug nuts every time you remove them, when changing or rotating tires, or when installing bolt-on hubcaps. Proper installation requires that the wheel lug torque be set to the recommended specification for your vehicle. Torque values can be found in your vehicle's owner's manual, or obtain them from your vehicle dealer or service provider. As a general rule of thumb, most auto lugs should be tightened to at least 75 to 90 foot-pounds. It is best to tighten the lug nuts in a pattern of opposites as shown in the diagrams below. First tighten all the lugs to about 75%, then repeat the pattern to snug in to full torque.

Lug Nut torque tightening sequence pattern

 

Do certain Make/Model wheels have problems mounting hubcaps?

There are a few make/models with unusual wheels that do not take standard Replica hubcaps.
One example is some Subarus with 13 inch wheels made around 1990, that have a large protruding castle nut on the spindle. This castle nut is too tall for most hubcaps, but we have a few specific models that will fit. Check this page: Hubcaps with Extra Center Clearance

Another example is Chevy Corsica or Cadillac El Dorado with front wheel drive, whose weird wheels do not take any standard hubcap.

 

Why do hubcaps come off?

  A number of reasons. The most common are:  1) damage from contact with a curb,  2) faulty installation, and 3) broken retainer clips or struts. Sometimes the impact from a big pothole or speed bump can knock off a hubcap. Heavier vehicles like RVs or heavy-duty trailers tend to throw hubcaps because the steel wheels flex more while rolling down the road. Front wheels tend to throw hubcaps easier than rears because they flex more when taking curves at speed.

   We get calls almost daily from folks who lost hubcaps, including OEM and bolt-on hubcaps, after having their wheels, tires, or brakes serviced. It is our opinion that those fellows in the service bays do not pay enough attention to re-installing hubcaps. Consequently, a number of our customers tell us they make a habit of taking of their wheel covers and leaving them home when having wheel service, and then they put them back on themselves to ensure they are done right.          Refer to How can I tighten a hubcap that seems to fit too loose?

 

Is there a hubcap guaranteed NOT to come off my car?

There is no hubcap (or wheel for that matter) that can be guaranteed never to be damaged nor fall off, nor be stolen.

 

Can the installation of hubcaps or Wheelskins mar the finish of my standard or styled wheels?

Yes, the retainer clips or struts that contact your wheel may mar or scratch its finish. The function of a hubcap or a Wheelskin is to cover the wheel, and not fly off.  In order for the clips to hold the hubcap on the wheel at road speeds upwards of 80 mph, bouncing over speed bumps and into potholes, they must put significant pressure against its surface.

 

Can the removal of chrome trim products mar my car's finish?

Removal of trim products does not generally cause damage. But damage can occur if a non-professional person uses a metal tool against the car's paint or finish in a removal attempt.
The 3M automotive tape does its job very well, and removal of peel-and-stick trim products may cause damage to auto paint if you are not careful. Please review our removal guide below. The adhesive may or may not leave residue marks which may not be removable, and there may be less bleaching of the auto paint that was under the tape, leaving a "shadow" mark.
While installation of our Chrome grill inserts does not cause damage, removal may, in some cases.  The plastic clips hold tightly, and may possibly cause paint chips when being  removed. Some models have 3M tape to supplement the clips, and the same precautions noted below must be taken when removing the tape.

 

Removing Chrome Trim or Auto Moldings held on by peel-and-stick tape:

The longer these peel-and-stick products have been in place, the more difficult they may be to remove.
With new trim accessories or moldings that need to be removed or changed if you goofed on the installation, pull off the item ASAP. The longer peel-and-stick glue sets up, and the more heat it gets, the harder it sticks. Start one end and lift it up slowly, it should peel OK.


Items that have been in place for years may be more challenging to remove. Work slowly and methodically, with lots of thumb action. You might use a tool that will not damage the paint, such a plastic spoon, spatula, or Popsicle stick to help it along. If the tape separates from the molding and stays on the paint, you should still be able to work it off. There are a couple of brands of automotive glue remover made for this purpose, found at your local auto stores, that may be quite helpful. Follow their directions.
But do not use "Goof-Off" on auto paint, the label says "may damage paint." 

Some of our customers report they have used some diesel fuel (kerosene) or Gunk Brand Liquid Wrench, and it softened the glue and didn't bother the paint. These are suggestions that may be applied with thought and care, and we cannot be held responsible if you damage your vehicle. Consider talking to your local body shop, they do this all the time.

If you have order or product questions not addressed here,

Go to the Contact Us Page and send an email with your question.

Please include enough vehicle information so we can address your specific question.