How To Get a Stuck Tire Off Your Vehicle

Updated: Jan. 31, 2024

Removing a tire stuck on a car without harming the rim can be tricky. Here's how to pull it off.

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Remove a rusted-on wheel with rust penetrant, a hand maul and a block of wood. Prevent rusting with anti-seize lubricant.

Materials Required

  • Anti-seize lubricant
  • Rust penetrant

You were all psyched up for a quick tire rotation—until you found a rusted-on wheel. Here’s how to “unstick” a wheel and prevent it from sticking again.

You’ll need an 18-in. length of 2×2, a can of spray rust penetrant and a hand maul. You’ll also want to jack up the car, support it with jack stands and remove the lug nuts.

Project step-by-step (3)

Step 1

Apply penetrating fluid

Spray a generous amount of rust penetrant into each mounting hole. Let it sit for five minutes. Rotate the tire a half turn and reapply the spray.

Spraying on nuts of tireTMB Studio

Step 2

Knock the wheel free

Place the end of a 2×2 on the outer edge of the wheel and smack the wood with the maul, just enough to create some breaking force and vibration. Rotate the tire a quarter turn and repeat the smack/rotate procedure until the wheel is free.

Hammering on tire using wooden stickTMB Studio

Step 3

Prevent future wheel sticking

Clean the rust penetrant and surface rust from the mounting surfaces. Then apply a light coat of anti-seize lubricant.

Applying lubricant on tire mounting surfaceTMB Studio

Anti-seize lubricant

This special lubricant stops rust.

Clean the mounting surface on the brake drum/rotor or hub with a wire brush. Then coat the surface (never the studs) with a light coat of anti-seize lubricant.

LubricantTMB Studio