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Discussion Starter #1
I have an odd occurrence happening and I’m curious if anyone else has ever had the same problem? I don’t think it’s coincidence and I think there might be an underlying problem causing this.
It’s been almost 30 days since I tackled the pass key problem here with you guys so the car must have known it’s time for a new problem. I lost a center cap Off my wheel while driving about a month ago, so I went to the junkyard and got replacements and figuring this would happen again I bought numerous replacement. Five to be exact and today I lost the last one off the car while driving.
Before you say it they were only three dollars apiece so that’s why I kept just popping them on there thinking maybe the last one wasn’t in good shape and this might be the one that actually stays on there.
I could chalk it up as the center caps being bad because I got them all from a junkyard and they were used. I’m not sure if they were from an impala or a Monte Carlo or what year they were even from.
The reason I think there’s some underlying problem causing this like a vibration or something that I missing is they keep falling off the front right hand will. I’ve never lost a center Off this car and now out of nowhere I can’t keep a center On that front right hand wheel.
 

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I guess you are talking about factory Impala SS wheels with the plastic "center" cap. FWIW I am original owner and have never had one come off. I have also had them off 100's of times as I 1/4 mi the car so use a track tire on back and stock fronts but center cap needs to be off exposing lug nuts to pass Tech Inspection. This way higher than normal center cap removal has never caused them to pop off let alone repeatedly

None of them have ever come off. I did notice on a few one or two of the plastic fingers broke off. If to many of these break off than I suspect they no longer hold well

You mention RF....that often is the "smack the curb" wheel so if that is what is going on or you keep hitting pot holes with it the center caps should otherwise stay on

Since it seems to be the same rim...maybe do a tape wrap around the inside prongs/tangs of the cap to add more diameter to the cap will help hold it on better
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I’m shore your right abt the pot holes. I’m working in Lima Ohio which is the rail road crossing Capital of the world! I think there must be a cross track here or something but I don’t care what direction you drive in this town you will hit railroad tracks numerous times in a short distance of travel. The roads are beat to death here as well, this is a heavy industrial town.
I noticed one came off as I was coming on to a bridge, Right as the asphalt ended and the concrete began At the expansion joint the damn center cap Popped off. Maybe I’m ready for a better pair of shocks
 

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I lost center cap only once when I hit a very bad pot hole. Your streets must be covered with center caps... They must be hard on suspension. I would drive that car without a center cap on RF wheel. Not a biggie.
 

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Maybe try swapping the front wheels side to side and see if the RF still pops a center cap or if the issue swaps sides as well. If the issue swaps to the LF then I would suspect a wheel issue if not then I would suspect an issue with the right front of the car.
 

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Maybe try swapping the front wheels side to side and see if the RF still pops a center cap or if the issue swaps sides as well. .
IDK what kind of car the OP has but if a SS it very likely has "directional" tires so L-R swap not advised. Need front to back

But I suspect the suspension needs some attention...or more effort avoiding the pot hole mine field where he drives
 

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OP -



This could be way out there but you mentioned not knowing the provenance of your wheels. So eyeball your cap tits and the corresponding nib lip of your wheel closely. Make sure they are positioned and lined up perfectly with the 5 sets of nibs, thus providing full pressure retention. It's even more pronounced when Fleetwooders use DTS cenetercaps on oem SS wheels = many vanished caps. I lost two caps right after getting an inspection = then learned to check IMMEDIATELY anytime anyone else has touched the car.
 

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Quick fix is to smear clear silicone onto the ribs of center cap before putting it on.
Once it dries, will hold quite well.

Nab
 

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Discussion Starter #9
My best friend bought this car new and I know for a fact he never done anything to it other than drive it and keep it in the garage. It’s a 1996 model and I know the wheels have never been changed but I’m not sure if he ever change the center caps or not because they have a Chevy bowtie on them and I thought they were supposed to have an impala on them.
 

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I know the wheels have never been changed but I’m not sure if he ever change the center caps or not because they have a Chevy bowtie on them and I thought they were supposed to have an impala on them.
"Bowtie" center cap emblem is not stock to a Impala SS....sounds like the center caps you have are not "exactly" correct for the stock SS rim and pop out easier. Rough road conditions not helping...
 

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so your problem is the wrong center caps >>>>>>>......................

these fit very tight OEM stock as built ..no bowtie ..
 

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Maybe it is time for new struts?
These cars don't use struts.

Even if the shock absorbers were worn out enough to be causing this, he'd be feeling the vibration in the steering wheel. Since he hasn't indicated feeling such a vibration, I doubt this is a suspension or out of balance issue.

As noted, the caps aren't correct for the wheels, or that wheel has some sort of damage to the cap mounting area.
 
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