The News Wheel
No Comments

Could Your Car’s Hubcap Fall Off While You’re Driving?

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

Can a loose wheel cover fall off a moving car?

Have you ever hit a pot hole really hard and felt your car jolt so much that it seemed like the wheel would pop off due to the impact? Luckily, wheels are anchored down securely (as long as the bolts are properly tightened), but could that type of jarring impact on a tire be enough to send a loose hubcap rolling?

Red Green once made a joke about getting new hubcaps by digging a hole in the road and waiting for passing cars to hit it. While that scenario causes you to chuckle, it may get you wondering–could a car wheel’s hubcap fall off while you’re driving?

Bridgeport pothole

A gaping pot hole in a downtown street.
Photo: _chrisUK

There actually have been many documented incidents and testimonies of wheel covers coming off of cars on the road over the past century. Most of these incidents have to do with the hubcap not being attached or tightened properly, so a deep enough pot hole can jolt a wheel cover off and send it rolling. It can also be caused by a broken wheel cover that won’t adhere properly, or one that was designed poorly by the manufacturer.

A loose wheel cover is a hazard and potential danger on the road; if that thing runs wild in the middle of traffic, it can cause all sorts of danger and damage. And it wouldn’t be the pot hole which was liable for any damage–it would be you, the driver.

Because losing a hubcap has more to do with neglect or human error than just bad luck, it’s up to you to prevent it from happening. If you keep an eye on your tires when you go to periodically inspect, inflate, and clean them, you’ll be able to see if the hubcap needs to be tightened. And if you notice your car’s wheel covers are defective, purchase better replacements.

Those old metal hubcaps can cause far worse damage than the dinky plastic ones sold today, so if it does happen to you, the result shouldn’t be as bad as it used to be.