Asked in Dodge Intrepid
Dodge Intrepid

How do you change your tire on your 97 Dodge Intrepid took off all nuts and you can't pull it off?

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Answer

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Wiki User
12/09/2006

The problem you describe is not uncommon on any vehicle on which the wheels have not been removed for a long time. Usually, the cause is RUST which has formed in the small space between the back side of the wheel and the surface of the axle hub wheel mounting flange. This thin layer of rust tends to bond the two surfaces together, sometimes making it almost impossible to break loose by hand. There are several ways to "crack" the rust film bond, releasing the wheel. I will suggest them in order of least violent to greatest. Regardless of method, before trying to break it loose, for the sake of SAFETY, reinstall all the lug nuts. Do not screw them down all the way, only 3 to 5 threads on. This will capture the wheel and prevent the possibility of the wheel "flying" off the vehicle when the bond breaks loose. It also will help to protect the threads on the studs. 1. Try kicking the tire at several places around its circumference. DO NOT kick it violently enough to knock the vehicle off of the jack or stands. I suggest that the jack be "backed up" with some kind of blocking beneath the axle or a-frame. 2. If 1 is not successful, take a hammer and carefully [so as not to damage the lugs or deform the wheel] tap all around the hub area [only where the wheel contacts the axle hub flange] of the wheel, which hopefully will break the rust film. 3. If 2 is unsuccessful. try applying something like penetrating oil, WD-40, Rust Buster, or a similar liquid product [available at all auto supply stores] which is designed to penetrate, loosen and free rusted parts. Follow the label directions, and make sure to apply to the cracks and crevices around the lug studs and the hole in the center of the wheel. This will enhance the penetration into the contact area between the back of the wheel and the axle hub flange. After allowing the rust treatment several minutes to penetrate and work, take the hammer again and carefully tap all around the wheel in the area between and around the studs and therefore over the area where the wheel and hub are in contact. At the same time, if you have someone else to assist, have them gently "rock" the tire while you tap the contact area. If none of these methods are successful, I suggest replacing the lug nuts, tighten them properly, and take your vehicle to a TIRE SHOP where the professional personnel are experienced in solving this problem. Good luck ! j3h