Service Bulletin: Removal of Tight Wheels

Subject: Removal of Tight Wheels
Model and Year: All Passenger Cars
Source: Chevrolet Service Bulletin
Bulletin Number: Number 85-28, Section 3E (X), Feb., 1985


Sometimes wheels can be difficult to remove from the car due to foreign material or a tight fit between the wheel center hole and the axle hub or rotor.  These wheels can be removed without damage as follows:

  1. Retighten all lug nuts on the affected wheel.
  2. Raise vehicle then loosen each nut two (2) turns.
  3. Lower vehicle to floor.
  4. Rock the car from side to side as hard as possible using one or more persons' body weight to loosen the wheel.


    Rock the car from "drive" to "reverse" allowing car to move several feet in each direction.  Apply quick, hard jabs on the brake pedal to loosen the wheel.
  5. Raise the car.  Remove the lug nuts and the wheel.

Never use heat to loosen a tight wheel because it can shorten the life of the wheel , wheel bolts and/or wheel bearing.

Excessive force such as hammering the wheel or tire can also cause damage and is not recommended.  Slight tapping of the tire sidewall, such as with one's hand or a rubber mallet, is normally acceptable.

If penetrating oil is used, it should be applied sparingly to the wheels' center hole area only.

Before reinstaling wheels, remove any build up of corrosion on the wheel and brake drum (or rotor) mounting surface by scraping and wire brushing.  Installing wheels without good metal to metal contact can cause the wheel to work loose as the car is driven.

© Copyright General Motors Corporation.  All Rights Reserved.

GM bulletins are intended for use by professional technicians, NOT a "do-it-yourselfer". They are written to inform these technicians of conditions that may occur on some vehicles, or to provide information that could assist in the proper service of a vehicle. Properly trained technicians have the equipment, tools, safety instructions, and know-how to do a job properly and safely. If a condition is described, DO NOT assume that the bulletin applies to your vehicle, or that your vehicle will have that condition. See your GM dealer for information on whether your vehicle may benefit from the information.
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