When you get tires....

I found out the mechanics at Sears like to break the cheap plastic hubcaps that came on my 2000 LX. They busted all 4!! Next time the hubcaps will stay at home until the tires are replaced.

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I have a 2001 model Focus Zetec with 16" alloy wheels (with five "split" spokes). When I got new front tyres recently, the garage scratched them across all the spokes when they were on the tyre removal machine. They claimed my wheels were the problem as they are too convex. Hmmm.....
Pleased to say that they arranged for an alloy wheel repair company to fix the problem at no cost to me. And a very good job they did of them too. They even repaired a few small "dings" that I'd put in them, thanks to an errant kerb stone. So in the end, it was a bit of a bonus!!
Tim
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Actually it's not their fault. I broke all 4 on my 2000 wagon the first time I pulled them off, and I'd never broken a wheel cover in decades of car work before that. They were simply crap. The replacement ones are much better, and are not likely to be broken no matter where you go.
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time
work
Assuming the US hub caps are the same as UK wheel trims (!), the safest way to remove them is to thread a short piece of 6mm (1/4inch) nylon hose or similar in and out of two of the holes in the cap. Pulling sharply then removes them without damage as the force needed is applied to the strongest part.
I have had to educate both my local dealer (3 broken at a service) and the local Quik-Fit (1 broken, "We never done it, honest") how to do this!
HTH,
Chris.
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strongest
I don't doubt that this works but since the universal way of removing wheel covers for a century now has been to pry on the edge, any covers that break when one does this are not worthy of the name, and should go in the trash. Which mine have.
The automobile is a mature technology requiring a substantial quality standard from all its parts. There is no reason to accept less, considering the price we have to pay for cars and parts. Ford has corrected this (and other Focus defects), but the fact that it occurred in the first place testifies to their failure to enforce discipline among suppliers early in the Focus program, so Ford should pay.
Cheers
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