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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone--I was out today in the garage and I thought I would finally check out the tire removal scenario, jack and accessories just so I would have some familiarity about the process if the worst happened. Should have done it months ago but there you go. So I take out the jack, put it under the car in the proper spot, hook up the handles etc, all is well. Or so I thought.

I then took the tire wrench and tried attaching it to one of the wheel nuts and lo and behold--the hole in the plastic wheel cover is too small to accommodate the wrench. In other words, I try to attach the wrench to the bolt, like I've done many times to different cars, through plastic wheel covers or straight into the hole on an alloy wheel and no go. It's just not designed for direct wrench access (the holes are apparently merely decorative...) as the holes of the plastic wheel cover are just too bloody small. Even with the one socket of the same size I found in my toolbox it would not go through the hole. I thought, what will they think of next, Toyota goes cheap on the base model with the tacky plastic wheel covers on steel wheels and to add to the indignity you can't directly access the wheel bolts.

Later I discovered in the owners manual that "for vehicles with full wheel ornament remove the wheel ornament using the wrench." Anyway, I studied the graphic as to how this is supposed to be done and even gave it a brief try but was afraid I was going to snap a piece of the cover off in the process so I gave it up. I know there are tools specifically designed for this task but they don't seem to be easy to find in Ontario--the prying tool with the little rubber piece that you can only seem to find by internet/mail order.

Is there anyone that has had experience with this issue that can shed some light? If you have used the prying-off end of the wheel wrench to remove the cover and have any tips or what ever other technique you have used. I mean I guess if I got a flat somewhere and I HAD to take off the cover I could do it, even damaging it but but good grief, the trials of getting the model with these cheesy plastic covers. Thanks for any advice!
 

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I don't have wheel covers but this youtube video shows a different way of removing it below:

 

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Discussion Starter #3
I don't have wheel covers but this youtube video shows a different way of removing it below:

How to Remove a Plastic Wheel Cover (hubcap) - YouTube
Hi, Thanks, I saw that video earlier today and tried that technique on my RAV--the problem is that its wheel covers are on REALLY tight and it's hard to get a grip since the plastic spokes are directly covering the metal ones on the actual wheel. It makes for an OK looking cover, I guess, as they completely cover the steel spokes, but makes that technique very difficult as you can't get much leverage pulling it out as there is limited grip space!
 

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Wheel Skin or Regular wheel cover (hub caps) ?

Hi, Thanks, I saw that video earlier today and tried that technique on my RAV--the problem is that its wheel covers are on REALLY tight and it's hard to get a grip since the plastic spokes are directly covering the metal ones on the actual wheel. It makes for an OK looking cover, I guess, as they completely cover the steel spokes, but makes that technique very difficult as you can't get much leverage pulling it out as there is limited grip space!
If you have steel spokes on your steel wheels then you may have wheel skins ? Wheel skins are completely different than regular wheel cover aka hub caps. Wheels with spokes can't use the regular wheel hub cap covers and use wheel skins instead.

I have wheel skins on my winter steel rims that have steel spokes. Removal is completely different with wheel skins than wheel cover (hub caps)

Here is what I mean:
http://www.rav4world.com/forums/87-4-2-accessories/168953-wheel-skin-installation-removal-guide.html
 

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If you have steel spokes on your steel wheels then you may have wheel skins ? Wheel skins are completely different than regular wheel cover aka hub caps. Wheels with spokes can't use the regular wheel hub cap covers and use wheel skins instead.

I have wheel skins on my winter steel rims that have steel spokes. Removal is completely different with wheel skins than wheel cover (hub caps)

Here is what I mean:
http://www.rav4world.com/forums/87-4-2-accessories/168953-wheel-skin-installation-removal-guide.html
No, they're the OEM "Ornamental" as Toyota calls them, wheel covers for the OEM steel wheels for the 13-15 LE base models here in Canada.

The technique is you're supposed to use the "prying" end of the provided wheel wrench to pry it off. I think I'll talk to one of the service techs at the dealership and see if I can get a demo on the tool they use and the technique involved as they do a million of them without causing damage (at least to mine so far).
 

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Since you mentioned the steel wheels have spokes that is why I though you may have wheel skins.

If the wheel covers are tight try using a screw driver (thinner head) and prying it where the spoke are. I believe that is where they are making contact. Also using two large screw driver would help also.

I had wheel covers on my Camry winter wheels and I just pry with a screw driver prying two spokes at the same time. This way all the pressure is spread over. This does allow the cover to come off just enough until you work all around. It is like taking a paint lid cover off that is stuck.
 

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Since you mentioned the steel wheels have spokes that is why I though you may have wheel skins.

If the wheel covers are tight try using a screw driver (thinner head) and prying it where the spoke are. I believe that is where they are making contact. Also using two large screw driver would help also.

I had wheel covers on my Camry winter wheels and I just pry with a screw driver prying two spokes at the same time. This way all the pressure is spread over. This does allow the cover to come off just enough until you work all around. It is like taking a paint lid cover off that is stuck.
Hi DL, thanks for the tips. I went to the dealer today and they showed me the way they do it: You grasp the cover at the top with your two thumbs pressing in on each side of one of the spokes toward the top, your other fingers kind of grasping the spoke from underneath or kind of on the edges of it and give it a firm pull and it comes off cleanly. To reinstall you start with getting the hole over the airfiller plug and push it in from bottom to top on both sides; then at the top, making sure that the two top plastic tabs are pushed a bit under the rim so they're on their way in, give a final push. I did it myself while he watched and didn't have a problem. The part you have to be most careful with is the final two plastic grippers at the top-- just make sure before you give it the final top shove to get the top in that they are just starting to push under the rim. It's a lot easier to demonstrate in person by doing it than to explain but hopefully it makes sense!
 
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