Another article where I hear you saying “Are you kidding – he’s going to explain how to take a wheel off?!” Since this is part of many service steps, I thought I would chip in a few simple tips I have accumulated.
Of course you’ll be either jacking up the car, using a ramp or a lift. Since I don’t have the luxury of a ramp or a lift (yet!), I am making do just fine with a simple 2 ton trolley jack [see my post on this].
Before you lift the car my recommendation is to crack the road wheels loose. They are seriously torqued, and if you have them off the ground and spinning in the air it takes more fiddling around. So, I just crack them loose a quarter turn before lifting (you don’t want to really loosen them fully with the cars full weight still on the wheel).
You need a 22mm 6 point socket, and a deep thin walled one would be preferred. Deep to help clear the face of the wheel (although you can use an extension) and thin walled to make sure it fits into the recessed opening. My socket was nothing special, just a 22mm deep impact socket from Craftsmen.
One small tip is to wrap the socket end with blue painters tape to help prevent accidental scratching of the wheels surface as you crank away on the nuts or the socket slips off. Just some cheap insurance to protect your expensive rims.
Be careful lifting the wheel off to not let the wheel drag with its full weight across the threaded studs as this could damage them a bit by flattening the threads. Try and carry the weight as much as possible (I use my feet under the wheel to lift up as I pull if forward and off.
The process is simple then:
- Crack the 5 wheel nuts loose just a quarter turn
- Lift the car until the wheel is off the ground
- Finish removing the 5 wheel nuts
- Pull the wheel straight out and off taking up its weight as you do.
Here is a short video of the process I follow: