Breaking Wheel Caps on Toyota Tundras?
Recently, we found an interesting thread on Tundrasolutions.com about breaking wheels caps. As a potential problem with Toyota Tundra pickups, we thought it best to follow up on this. Here is what we found.
On June 18, 2012 Gerry R. on Tundrasolutions.com laid out the problem:
I recently visited my local Toyota Dealer…While performing maintenance 3 of 4 wheel caps were broken and now need to be replaced. On the work order it states: “The wheel caps disintegrated, through no fault of the technician.”
The President of the dealership was of no help and considers it my problem and cost to replace the wheel caps at a dealer cost to me of $80.00 each…
Obviously, the problem here is that Gerry is looking at $240 worth of parts (an outrageous amount, I might add) for three broken caps. Gerry points out that perhaps 1 broken cap is possible, but 3? Seems like the technician screwed up.
From The Horse’s Mouth – What a Toyota Service Expert Has To Say
With that information, we went to talk to our favorite Toyota service manager. He told us that on the 1st generation Tundra, center caps on the aluminum wheels are more prone to breakage. No one knows why these caps are more prone to breaking, but they definitely seem to break more often than the center caps on other wheels.
As for the center wheel caps on the 2nd generation (2007 and up) Tundra, they don’t seem to break any more or any less than any other vehicle. They can be tricky, however, which brings us to some helpful tips.
How To Keep Your Center Caps From Breaking
Sometimes center caps break because they’re old, or because they’re brittle, or because the guy who put them on the last time didn’t line them up properly and then wailed away on them, weakening them.
- When you install your center caps, be sure to line them up before you smack them. This is the easiest way to break or weaken the clips.
- Try not to mess with them when the plastic is extremely cold (such as when they’ve been sitting out in winter weather all night). Let the plastic come to room temperature and they’ll be less likely to break.
- Go slow – you can often get them clipped in with just a little bit of force. The less pressure you exert, the less likely to break.
When a cap inadverdantly breaks, different dealerships and shops will handle the situation differently. Some shops will “take it on the chin” and just order a new cap at their expense. Others will try to tell you that they didn’t do anything wrong, and that the caps were just old and/or brittle. Some will try to split the replacement cost with you (which, frankly, seems pretty fair considering that no one can know why the caps broke).
Yet again, however, this little story illustrates a time-tested lesson: This problem is a great example of why you should have all of your service done at same shop or dealership. If/when something like this happens, your relationship with the shop will probably get you a free part.
Filed Under: Tundra Wheels and Tires