How Long Do Wheel Covers Last? (Explained)

Some of the things that make our wheels look good are the hubcaps or the wheel covers. The wheel cover is simply what the name describes it to be, and that is a cover for the wheels.

That said, we all know that our wheels often go through a lot of wear and tear because of how they are the components that are constantly exposed to the road. So, how long do wheel covers actually last?

Here’s how long wheel covers last

There is no definite time as to how long wheel covers last because wheel covers are made of different materials. Metal ones will last for years and maybe somewhere between 4 to 6 years. However, plastic ones or the ones that often fall off will probably last somewhere between 2 to 4 years.

Even though wheel covers or hubcaps aren’t really necessary, it still is better to have them because they make any wheels look a lot better than what they should look like.

However, you also need to know that wheel covers are just as exposed to wear and tear as the wheels themselves. That means that you need to make sure you have high-quality hubcaps.

Related: Can I Drive Without Wheel Covers? (Explained)

Do wheel covers come with wheels?

One of the components that people don’t realize actually exists is the wheel cover, which is basically the covering that keeps the nuts and bolts on the wheels hidden. Some people think that wheel covers are actually already included in the wheels themselves, but you should know that wheels were often made without wheel covers.

But do wheel covers come with wheels when you buy them?

In most cases, the cars that you buy come with stock wheels that already come with wheel covers. This was the case in older cars that came with older wheels because the car manufacturers knew that the stock wheels without the wheel covers look ugly and unappealing. That is why they would throw in the wheel covers that usually carry the branding of the car company.

Meanwhile, when you buy wheels from other sources, the wheel manufacturing company also usually includes the wheel covers as well. And, of course, the reason is that they also know that stock wheels look very ugly. As such, including the wheel covers will only make the wheels look a lot better.

But, again, this was the case decades ago when the wheel manufacturing companies were yet to find ways to develop wheels that didn’t look as ugly as they once did. Nowadays, most wheel companies and stock wheels come with alloy rims that no longer need wheel covers. That is why wheels today do not usually come with wheel covers, as the alloy rims already look good as they are.

How long do wheel covers last?

As mentioned, wheel covers usually come included with the wheels when you buy your car from the dealership. The manufacturer already throws the wheel covers together with the entire package so that the car looks more enticing and appealing.

But how long do these wheel covers or hubcaps last?

The truth is that there is no definite length of time as to how long wheel covers last because this all depends on a lot of different factors such as the overall quality and materials of the wheel cover and how well you take care of the wheel covers.

High-quality metal wheel covers will most likely last at least 4 years, but it isn’t rare for them to last for as long as the wheels do. This is usually the case when the wheel covers are made of metal and were properly installed by someone qualified to install them.

On the other hand, wheel covers that are inferior in terms of quality such as when they are made of plastic and are not properly installed or have poor installation mechanisms will not last very long. They may be able to last somewhere between 2 to 4 years, give or take. And the reason why they don’t always last too long is that the materials are poor and the chances of them falling out of the wheel are quite high.

Then there is also the fact that you also need to take care of the wheel covers as well. Regular cleaning is usually already enough to make sure that the wheel covers last long. However, things such as wheel alignment can also make a difference because wheels that are unaligned will put more pressure on the wheel covers of the misaligned wheels. 

All that said, the important thing to know here is that, if you are planning to buy wheels with wheel covers, make sure that you do so from a reputable company that is known for selling high-quality wheels. Usually, when the wheels are high-quality, the wheel covers are also made of superior materials and were properly installed.

Do hubcaps serve a purpose?

Now, when we were talking about wheel covers and hubcaps in this article, we talk about them as if they are very important to the vehicle. However, the thing you need to know is that they are not important or even necessary at all. Hubcaps do serve their own purposes but they are not necessary to the car.

In most cases, people look at wheel covers or hubcaps for their cosmetic purposes. That means that the common notion is that hubcaps are only there to improve the car’s overall aesthetics because older wheels look downright ugly without wheel covers. But you should also know that, while hubcaps aren’t necessary or important, they still have a good role.

Hubcaps are not only there for aesthetic purposes but can also help keep dirt and debris away from the inner part of the wheel. The fact that wheel covers essentially cover the wheel allows them to serve as the shields that will prevent mud, snow, or rocks from getting to the wheel itself. While wheels are made to withstand such conditions, it still is better to have the hubcaps take the brunt of the wear and tear so that your wheels can last longer.

Can wheel covers fall off?

One of the problems that people often have with wheel covers is that they actually do fall off. You have seen this in movies when cars are in the middle of an accident, as you can see their wheel covers rolling on the road.

However, what you should know is that wheel covers don’t always fall off the wheels. A wheel cover falling off is usually the result of a wheel cover of inferior quality, such that it is made of poor materials and that its attachment mechanism isn’t too sturdy. So, when the car hits a pothole or when the wheels are moving too fast, there is a chance that an inferior wheel cover will end up falling off the wheels.

Then again, as long as your wheel covers come from a reputable source and that you made sure that you bought high-quality wheels with superior wheel covers, the chances of your wheel covers falling off are minimal. Probably the only time a high-quality wheel cover will fall off is when the car was in an accident. Aside from that, you shouldn’t worry about your car’s wheel cover falling off as long as you maintain your wheels regularly and that you don’t push your wheels to their limits.

Sources

Reasons Why Hubcaps/Wheel Covers Might Come Off A Car

How to make your wheels and hubcaps last

What Is the Importance of Hubcaps?