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Punctured and failed to remove wheel



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Just thought I'd pass on a warning to all those new owners preparing to head off on their travels. My Cali was 6months old with about 3000 miles on the clock when in a remote part of Mid Wales i picked up a puncture. I was on a single track mountain road so by the time i'd found a place to pull up safely the tyre was wrecked. Then came the problem, there was no way the wheel was coming off with the tools onboard. A local farmer tried to help with some extra leverage, pieces of timber, lump hammer etc but still no go so it was time to callout VW assistance. No problem out they came,i couldn't complain of the 2hr wait considering where i was and the sunday night timing. It still took the RAC tech about 40 mins of hard graft to get the wheel off he said it was a common problem with new vehicle alloys that had not been off from manafacture. When i went to my local tyre dealer to get the wrecked tyre replaced as i was about to head off to europe for 6 weeks i had them remove all the wheels lub and replace them (they did this for £20 worth it for peace of mind). Just as well i did as 2 of the others would never have come off if needed to whilst abroad. As my route included some high passes in the Alps and Dolomites i hate to think of the aggro this would have caused me. Hope this info allows others to check and avoid similar problems on route .
regards Keith.
Yep, had the same problem. The mallet we use for hammering in tent pegs is a rubber upholsterer's mallet and was eventually tough enough to do the job with one of us hitting as hard as we could alternately from behind and on the face of the tyre and the other waggling the wheel furiously.
Had both front tyres replaced at main dealer this week and watched the techie struggle with lump hammer for more than 5 minutes per wheel to get them off. Service manager said it is a common problem and as well as hammer method, other option is to loosen wheel nuts to just finger tightness and drive up and down a curb slowly and this should loosen it.
Yup, happened to me with my 57 plate 4Motion (standard 16" alloys).
Had to get AA out since I couldn't prize off the offending wheel.
Took AA man an hour once he had put it up on his own jack.

I had the service centre take them all off and put on the appropriate lubrication to prevent it happening again.
They struggled.

The last time the wheels were off appears to have been 20K ago when new tyres were fitted.
Both the AA man and the service centre reckon there hadn't been copperslipped (I think they said).
There's no record of where the tyres were last fitted so I guess it wasn't one of the service centres (VW van centres that is).
VW don't recommend using copper slip on wheels which is why van centres don't. Luck of the draw whether or not they come off straight away or take a bit of time.

MMmm that's interesting re copperslip.
Maybe it was some other lubricant my VW Van Centre recommended and put on.
But put something on they did.

I'm slightly alarmed to hear that it's otherwise a matter of pot luck getting a (say punctured) Cali wheel off or not.
I wonder what I would have done if my puncture had been on a lonely road up the West Coast of Scotland well outside moby reach where we spend a good lot of our time?
To say nothing of trips to remote bits of mainland Europe ...
Got the same problem with the additional nightmare that I cannot find the key for the locking wheel nut!

:doh :doh :headwall :headwall
We will copper slip wheels for customers, but it is reported on the invoice that it has been done at their request. Also remember that wheels are only removed at services when necessary. Alloys have big enough clearances to check brakes without removing them, so if you don't have pads til your second service (for example) you could conceivably go four years without having the wheels removed!

CaliTess said:
Got the same problem with the additional nightmare that I cannot find the key for the locking wheel nut!

:doh :doh :headwall :headwall

I guess the hardest is trying to get the nuts off with your paws..... :crazy
I imagine they're all the same. Where are you? I'm sure someone can help...

Years ago I bought what I thought was a bargain - an xr3i that was 8 years old with 1500 miles on. For an absolute bargain price. It had been kept near the coast. It was beautiful. But.... All the wheel studs sheared off and had to have bolt heads welded back on to get them off! Nightmare..
Two years after I got it, it rusted away to nothing... :cool:
MKRW said:
CaliTess said:
Got the same problem with the additional nightmare that I cannot find the key for the locking wheel nut!

:doh :doh :headwall :headwall

I guess the hardest is trying to get the nuts off with your paws..... :crazy

After a Paws for thought - Paul realised that the wheel nut key is in the tool kit & VW Assist kindly changed the wheel = looked lovely with 3 alloys & 1 black steel wheel.

Kwik Fit found 1 screw & 1 nail through tread so repairable + 2 repairs. With 3.8k on vehicle clock decided to have unused spare transferred to alloy & repaired tyre fitted to steel spare - total = £43.00

Much cheaper than quoted replacement Dunlop SP Sport 235/55/R17 + £243.00.

Very impressed with tyre pressure monitoring system = 1st warning of sudden deflation of nearside rear tyre with vehicle (4Motion) continuing to handle impeccably.

As for dogs & tyres......
After getting our one year old Cali, luckily I decided to take the wheels off and give them a good clean. They were almost impossible to remove. I finally succeeded with persuasion from a very heavy rubber lump hammer. Thank goodness I was doing this at home. I would hate to have attempted it in some remote location. I have now sparingly applied copper grease between the surface of the wheel and the hub and also to the studs. I realise that in the handbook it says that no lubricant should be applied to the studs but have done this to all my previous vehicles, the current one being a Mk 4 GTI Golf which we have had for ten years and have never had a problem by doing so.

Has anyone had a problem applying copper grease?

From my experience, I would suggest that everyone at least takes the wheels off at home. This could save a lot of heartache later, not to mention bruised knuckles, etc.
Should never apply any sort of oil or grease to any wheel studs as they do not torque up correctly & can come loose more easily. Always keep studs dry.
It did happen to me on my new Suzuki Grand Vitara a few years ago. Apparently new vehicles are more likely to suffer the phenomenon, even more likely if they are 4x4. In an older vehicle the surface of the hub is not that ideal anymore and the wheel is not "gluing" any more to the hub. From that time, I learned that the best solutions are: WD40 sprayed onto surface between the wheel and the hub. (do not spray it on the brake discs :mrgreen: ), WD40 has very good penetration abilities so it helps very much, just give it half an hour to work. Other than applying WD40, strong kicking to the top and bottom of wheel helps, of course when the car is slightly lifted and bolts are slightly loosen. Ever since I always keep the WD40 in my tool box.
Andy said:
Should never apply any sort of oil or grease to any wheel studs as they do not torque up correctly & can come loose more easily. Always keep studs dry.

Studs should be kept dry but lightly grease those parts of the wheel that articulate with any other metal.

But studs should be kept dry.
When I had a front wheel puncture, I got the wheel nuts off easily, but the wheel refused to budge. I got someone to check the web for advice. Acting on that advice, I got them to bring me a good hammer, and proceeded to hit the edge of the wheel - cautiously at first but then fairly hard (having made sure the jack was very stable and put some backup support in place just in case!). After every hit, I turned the wheel a quarter turn or so. This was of course easier for a front wheel! It took about thirty hits to loosen it. I now carry a hammer in my toolkit.
A tip i was given, was to slacken off wheel nuts then lower jack down to release wheel from hub i have tried it once on my bilbos T4 before i had the cali and it did work, hope this works for you
It's time to bump this thread up - particularly for new members of the Forum.

I had a puncture last weekend and was also unable to get the wheel off the axle. Fortunately I had just parked up (picked up a nail just as I entered the local recycling centre ..) and so was in a safe place to get the van jacked up.

It's commonplace for corrosion to take place where the alloy wheels touch the steel wheel hubs. After much kicking, pulling and rocking I still couldn't get the wheel off and had to give up and call out the AA. A few strong bangs with a steel mallet from behind the wheel managed to loosen it and we got the wheel changed. I asked the AA man to put copper grease on the wheel hub (not the stubs) which he was happy to do.

I have since bought my own small steel mallet and went to my local tyre place today to not only get the puncture repaired but also get them to remove the other three wheels and put copper grease on those wheel hubs too. All three were corroded and 'stuck' to the axles.

I would highly recommend that other owners to the same (this only cost me £5 per wheel). Without a hammer and copper grease it's doubtful you'll be able to get the wheels off by yourself. And you don't want to have to depend on the breakdown services if you're on holiday, overseas etc etc.
Yes, also found this when changing alloy wheels for steels and winter tyres. I ended up loosening all the studs on all of the wheels one turn then driving backwards four or five feet then forward the same, wheels then came off easier. I have not put copperslip on mine as the steels I have put on are not effected. when I put the alloys back on I'll put a bit of high temp graphite grease to avoid galvanic corrosion which is possible with copper on aluminium.

Hi all
I have always carried a small compressor in my Cali's, also handy at home to keep the pressures right
But if anyone want to buy my 28lb sledge hammer it is for sale. That will shift 'em.
I wonder if a small amount of silicone grease would help on the mating surfaces ( not the studs)?????????
Going to check my wheels, but does anyone bother or know the torque number to retighten the nuts ? I suppose a torque wrench is something else for the toolkit.