Tire Won’t Spin When Jacked Up: 6 Reasons With Solutions

When you jack up your car, most often, it is to check if the wheels are running properly. But what if your tire won’t spin when jacked up? Here are the possible reasons and what to do about it.

When a car is jacked up during a tire change, the main idea is to make the process easy for the one going through with the replacement process. But sometimes it can happen that the tire is stuck and you are not being able to move it, no matter what you are trying. What to do, then?

In this article, let us give you a few pointers about what can cause a tire to get stuck when jacked up and what you can do to solve this problem.

Tire Won't Spin When Jacked Up

Guide Pin Jammed

Sometimes when your guide pin gets jammed, it could cause the tires not to move when it is jammed. This pin – also called the locating pin – is installed by press-fitting it directly into a bushing. These can be used for internal and external locations and are used for the controlled positioning of any workpiece.

The guide pins are located around the axle shaft of the front and rear wheels. They are also connected with the axle shaft and brake pad to ensure that the wheels are moving right when in motion.

Once you have figured out the position of the guide pin, try turning it and loosening them up a little so that it can move around freely. Make sure that there is no direct problem with the wheel bearing and proceed to fix the guide pins in place.

Clean Out The Brake Pads

There are problems with the brake pads that can cause a car’s tires to get stuck when it is jacked up. If there is some kind of obstruction with the brake components, they will result in the car tires not moving freely when you are trying to get a replacement done.

One solution to this problem is cleaning the brake shoes and checking for brake fluid leakage or any kind of wear and tear that is causing trouble. The other option you have is to jack up the car and crack the lug nuts to get the tire moving.

If your car is on neutral when jacked up and parking brakes are off, the wheels should be able to move freely. Start with the passenger tire, moving it one rotation at a time, then move on to the rear tires. If the brakes are not jammed, it should not be much trouble to spin the wheels when it is jacked up.

Tire Won't Spin When Jacked Up

Brake Line to Caliper Pressure

One way to get the tires spinning again is to remove the brake line to the caliper to check for residual pressure. This works when there are stuck calipers or any kind of soft lines present. Unless the front locking hub assembly of the tires is locked and stuck in a certain position, they should start moving.

Seized Caliper Bolts

A common cause of clippers getting stuck is when there are caliper bolts or pins that get seized. This has to be checked carefully before you start replacing the tires. In most tires, there is a rubber boot that will keep packing grease over time on the sliding pins. This causes the grease to dry out, and pins get rusted.

Rust is a common cause for the pins not being able to slide freely. In this case, you can remove the pins and clean them out before replacing the rubber bolts. Reinstalling the clean pins could be one solution to get your tires running again.

Tire Won't Spin When Jacked Up

CV Joint or Transmission Problem

When you have a CV joint or transmission problem, it can cause the tires to get stuck after you have replaced them. In order to avoid this, start by checking the suspension parts and if they have accidentally gotten locked. This can occur when you are lifting the car up by the chassis.

The transmission can get stuck for a number of reasons, but it is an easy fix to check the struts and see if they are all the way up or down. Next, try to shift the linkage from the shifter to the transmission. Of course, this is a solution when your car is automatic.

Your Car is a 4WD, and this is Normal

If you are using a 4WD car, it can be a normal occurrence for the wheels to get stuck when the car is jacked up. In most cases, it is because the wheels are interconnected with each other, and the tires could just get stuck for a number of reasons. These cars can also have a wheel hub bearing problem.

While this is not too much of a problem to worry about in a 4WD, you can try to adjust the wheels with a little more pressure with your hands. Try spinning the passenger tire first and moving on to the other wheel that is getting stuck.

Tire Won't Spin When Jacked Up

Frequently Asked Questions

What would cause a tire not to spin?

If the front wheels are not spinning, it could be due to a wheel bearing that has seized up. It could also cause the rear wheels to stop spinning. The other problem you can run into is with the rear axle.

What do you do when your tire is stuck and won’t spin?

There are a number of ideas to use when your tires get stuck. The first thing to do is to figure out the exact problem that is causing the tire to get stuck. Otherwise, you can start by hitting the center of the stuck tire with a hammer or holding a wood block to move the tire from the rim.

Why does my tire spin when jacked up?

When your tire is jacked up, sometimes it can start moving because the transmission lock has not been put correctly. If the transmission and rear diff are not locked, the wheels can start spinning even when they have been jacked up.

Tire Won't Spin When Jacked Up

Can you turn the wheel while the car is jacked up?

It is recommended that you do not turn the wheel when the car is jacked up because if the jack is loose in some way, you risk turning the car accidentally. Unless properly secured, the car can also fall off, causing serious damage and injury.


It can be a difficult situation when your tires get stuck and you are in the middle of repairing them. Luckily for you, it might just be a simple problem that you can solve if you know a few tricks on the car’s components. There will be no need to call a mechanic when your car is stuck on a jack, or worse still if it is in the middle of the road.

Thank you for reading, and good luck with your next tire change!

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Sean Mendez

Hi, I am Sean, a self-confessed petrolhead. I live in Boise, Idaho with a busy family of four and our energetic Labrador retriever. Thank you for visiting my website. You can find my email on the contact page.

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