I don’t know if you remember the 80’s but I do. It was back there, between Boy George and Oliver north, during a time when imports were the exception that Honda motor company patented and developed the first hubcaps and wheel covers that were held in place by the lug nuts of the vehicle. It’s one of those “DUH” moments in history where a concept is so simple you wonder why it was ever any different. The oddity is that it took over 15 years for any other companies to copy the concept. You can patent a bolt design but you can’t patent the concept of the nut and bolt so there was nothing holding the other companies back from designing their own assemblies.
It has been said that there are few other companies that can match the quality of a Honda hubcap, even today. While it takes more than the old place and punch method the old hubcaps used to get them on, the small amount of added effort is a fair trade for knowing that your hubcaps aren’t going to go careening over a cliff as your driving along some day. There was one occasion that an observant cyclist saved themselves from a good deal of potential injury by managing to notice and avoid one of the rogue “click on” hubcaps on the shoulder in their path. It had been obscured by some short grasses but was substantial enough to have kicked up and caused some damage.
The Honda design is amazingly simple. The Honda hubcap uses a chrome lug nut with a snap-in place washer. The washer holds the hubcaps in place. The washers are held in place by the lug nuts themselves that surround the central hub where the logo is generally stamped.
If you have a Honda but for some reason do not have the factory wheel covers then take note. If you want to put wheel covers on you will need to first ensure that you at least have the washers. Without them the wheel covers will not stay in place. You will need at the bare minimum, half of the total number of washers present on the lugs. If you do need to purchase washers or wheel covers they can be acquired from any Honda dealership.
When purchasing hub caps or wheel covers you must also ensure you are buying a compatible model. There are not only lug pattern differences but also lug span issues. For an example the Honda Accord hub caps cannot be interchanged with the ones from the Honda Civic because the span between the lugs on the Honda Accord is 115mm and the bolt pattern for the Honda Civic is 100mm. These two vehicles have their own unique covers that you must replace accordingly.
When questing for the perfect wheel covers you have to consider more than just the lug pattern and span. Although they don’t all change every year there are model year as well as model specific differences. Mostly this has to do with overall appearance and rim size. You will need to use a hub cap reference guide to be absolutely certain you are ordering the correct parts.
Also, don’t be afraid of aftermarket parts. If you can find replicas, they may not have the logo on them but they should work just as well. The hubcaps main functions are cosmetic and also protecting the inner wheel from dirt and debris. Although some people prefer authentic parts as a matter of taste, functionality is available for those that don’t require paying extra for the name.