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VW MKIII-A3/B4 TDIs This is a discussion about MKIII-A3/MkIII Jetta/Golf (<99.5) and B4 Passats (96,97) TDI's. Non TDI related postings will be moved or removed.

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Old March 5th, 2004, 22:45   #1
Gobi
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Orange, California
Default Keep losing Wheel Covers!

Anybody have the same problem I have - having wheel covers pop off? I have a 1997 Jetta and have lost (3) wheel covers this year. At $42.00 a cover, this is getting expensive. Any thoughts on how to keep these covers on the wheel?
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Old March 6th, 2004, 00:49   #2
Rickstah
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Default Keep losing Wheel Covers!

I've had the same problem with my 98, and discovered it started after my last wheel rotate and balance...someone put some weights on the outside of the wheel, not big, but enough to keep the metal ring from seating...after awhile they just fling off. I bought some more but next balance I'm going to see if they can rebalance with the weights on the inside, otherwise I may try to get some more wheels instead of the steel oems. I also had a set of hubcaps that were designed so that the middles made contact with the calipers in front...also wouldn't allow the rim to seat...get some with middles that stick out more to give more room to insert around the rim.
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Old March 6th, 2004, 01:32   #3
DPM
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Fuel Economy: 38.5- 47 Forester, 49-55 Peugeot
Default Keep losing Wheel Covers!

Why not cable-tie them in place?
In the UK, parts places sell silver ties specially for the purpose...
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Old March 6th, 2004, 05:00   #4
Rammstein
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Default Keep losing Wheel Covers!

Ask them to put the weights inside, it's what they do with mags. [img]/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]
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Old March 6th, 2004, 07:17   #5
Stealth TDI
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Default Keep losing Wheel Covers!

Hi,

I had lost three, too. I lost one when I made the mistake of letting a WalMart rotate my tires during a road trip. I noticed the wheel cover wasn't secured properly. Upon inspection, I saw that one of the retaining clips was broken. I put the cover on as best I could. But it flung off somewhere in the desert. The covers were $62 in 1999. WalMart bought that one. The next one likely came off while crossing a cattle guard at high speed. I lost the next one in a pothole in Oakland. After replacing nearly a set (BTW, they can be had for $36 at Impex), I decided to remove the wheel covers until I moved out of my pothole-ridden area. I painted my steelies gloss-black and ran ghetto-style for 18-mos:



Within months of moving to VA, I lucked out and landed a set of VW alloys. Now I don't worry about losing wheel covers, although I still have a full set for my "winter wheels." FWIW, I won't another car without alloys. [img]/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

But to answer your question, I made it a point to check the alignment of the wheel covers from time to time. I ensured the openings in the covers were centered over the openings on the wheels. I think after hitting a pothole or two they shift off center, then ride up on the valve stem and pry themselves off. But that's just my theory.

Good Luck,

Scott
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Old March 6th, 2004, 09:09   #6
Toronto_Vento
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Default Keep losing Wheel Covers!

One word...alloys. Ha ha....seriously, though. I would ask to see if next time they can't put the weights on the inside of the wheel. Sounds like the cover isn't attaching properly, and they just get loose with a little agrivation.
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Old March 7th, 2004, 11:47   #7
Peter Cheuk
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Default Keep losing Wheel Covers!

I lost two hubcaps on my car, too. I knew where the first one went (gotta love those donut freeway onramps!). The second one disappeared after my wheels got rotated on my second service. I ran the car for a year without any hubcapbs at all. I now run aftermarket alloys and have no hubcap worries.

The first hubcap was lost when I was going really fast around a long high-speed freeway on-ramp. The steel wheels actually flex under these conditions and this was enough to pop the cover right off of the wheel. This happened on the front driver's side wheel, the one with the highest load during that turn.
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Old March 7th, 2004, 16:10   #8
kabatc
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Default Keep losing Wheel Covers!

I have a set of the VW 7 spoke alloys. I still have all four center caps but all four of the VW emblems have disapeared! I don't think its theft, and no you can't but the just the emblems from the dealer, $20 each for the center caps.
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Old March 7th, 2004, 18:57   #9
RC
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Default Keep losing Wheel Covers!

[ QUOTE ]
...I still have all four center caps but all four of the VW emblems have disapeared! I don't think its theft, and no you can't but the just the emblems from the dealer, $20 each for the center caps.

[/ QUOTE ]

Same here......all I need is the VW emblems..... [img]/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img] [img]/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif[/img]
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Old March 10th, 2004, 05:27   #10
USdan
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Default Keep losing Wheel Covers!

This has been a tough winter on the roads. A lot of pot holes. Just down the road are scattered a varity of wheel covers. I have replaced some of mine with "other " brands, as long as they fit. The difference is only noticeible when the car is going very sloww or is stopped.
Don't beat me up. I'm just cheap. I do have a NB (1) cover.
Most of the covers that fly off are damaged , but you will occasional find a good one, just not VW.
The car just looks better with all of the wheels covered.
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Old March 10th, 2004, 07:58   #11
VWWV
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Default Keep losing Wheel Covers!

RC - I've been over on E Bay looking for the center VW emblems for my stock wheel covers (96 Passat) and couldn't find them although I think I saw some months ago when I didn't need any. I did see some adhesive backed foil emblems and some alloy center caps with emblems and I think I was searching under "VW wheels and wheel covers"? Maybe one of those folks can help you? Good Luck! BTW, you wouldn't have some stock 14 inch wheel covers lying around, would you? Paul
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Old April 20th, 2004, 22:01   #12
spoilsport
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Default Keep losing Wheel Covers!

[ QUOTE ]
I have a set of the VW 7 spoke alloys. I still have all four center caps but all four of the VW emblems have disapeared! I don't think its theft, and no you can't but the just the emblems from the dealer, $20 each for the center caps.

[/ QUOTE ]

My wife keeps losing the VW emblem only, off of her Jetta's 15" Avus. Center caps stay put. That emblem appears to be some sort of laminate material. Does anyone know if you can buy just the emblems for Avus center caps ?
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Old April 21st, 2004, 05:41   #13
Stan TDI
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Default Keep losing Wheel Covers!

I had a similar issue with one wheel in the past. What my problem was is that the wire rod (running around the inside of the wheel cover) was not properly seated in the clip in one section. Put it in the right place and all was well. Doubt this is your problem since you are buying new ones and still have the issue.

I have a '97 also [img]/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img] and have never lost a wheel cover. And I am the original owner [img]/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img] (OK...it fell off but I found it)
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Old April 21st, 2004, 05:46   #14
sulrich
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Default Keep losing Wheel Covers!

Yep! I lost 3, found 1, bought 1 for a grand total of -1. I ended up buying two cheapies (ugghhhh [img]/images/graemlins/mad.gif[/img]) and put them on the passenger side so I don't have to look at them when I walk up to my car. Sooner or later I hope to find another match and can put them back on.

In the meantime, I'm using removable zip ties. Some electronic shops might have them. The removable types are hard to find but worth it when you have to fix a flat..... that is unless you take are at a dealer and they cut them off, DOH!

Final solution, alloys [img]/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img]
I keep watching ebay but to no avail. Unfortunatley I have too much rubber on the set I have now to simply toss the 14-inch steelies away.

good luck!
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Old April 21st, 2004, 06:39   #15
lupin..the..3rd
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Default Keep losing Wheel Covers!

[ QUOTE ]
Anybody have the same problem I have - having wheel covers pop off? I have a 1997 Jetta and have lost (3) wheel covers this year. At $42.00 a cover, this is getting expensive. Any thoughts on how to keep these covers on the wheel?

[/ QUOTE ]

Are you sure they are popping-off on their own? A co-worker of mine kept "losing" wheel covers from his car. Very conveniently, a hobo or vagabond of some sort would always approach him the next day in the parking lot and would just happen to have the same hub cap for sale! So after paying $35 to this hobo to buy a "replacement" for the third time, he reported it to our security guards. They caught the hobo in the act and it didn't happen again.
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