Which Way Do You Turn Hubs to Unlock Them

To unlock hubs, turn them counter-clockwise. Turning them clockwise tightens the hubs.

Hubs can be found on the front wheels of a 4wd or awd vehicle. They are a crucial component used in four-wheel drive systems, allowing the wheels to disengage when not needed. Hubs lock onto the wheel’s mounting studs, while the inside gears mesh with the wheel hub. If the hubs aren’t properly engaged or disengaged, the vehicle won’t be able to properly switch drive modes. One of the essential things that every driver needs to know about hubs is how to unlock them properly. In this article, we’ll explain how to unlock hubs step-by-step and provide you with other essential hub-related information.

Which Way Do You Turn Hubs to Unlock Them

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Understanding Hub Types

There are three types of locking hubs – manual, automatic, and free-wheeling. To unlock manual locking hubs, turn clockwise until the hub pops out. Automatic locking hubs unlock themselves once the vehicle is shifted into two-wheel drive. Lastly, free-wheeling hubs unlock when the vehicle is shifted from four-wheel drive to two-wheel drive.

Knowing which type of hub you have can save you time and frustration when trying to unlock them. Keep in mind, improper use can damage the hubs and even the vehicle’s drivetrain. Understanding your hub type and proper use is important for maintaining your vehicle.

Directions For Unlocking Manual Locking Hubs

To unlock manual locking hubs, the first step is to stop your vehicle or machinery and put it in park or in neutral. Second, get out and turn the locking hub counterclockwise until you hear a click sound. This sound signals the hub is unlocked and ready for use.

It’s important to remember that manual locking hubs require regular maintenance and upkeep to operate smoothly. Neglecting to maintain them can result in difficulty unlocking or even cause them to fail altogether. Whether you use a vehicle for work or leisure, taking care of its manual locking hubs will help ensure its longevity and optimal performance.

Ford 4×4 truck Auto vs Manual locking hubs Which Direction Clockwise

Directions For Unlocking Automatic Locking Hubs

To unlock your automatic locking hubs, first stop and park the vehicle or machinery. Then engage 4-wheel drive and reverse a few feet. This should disengage the hub, allowing you to turn it counterclockwise to an unlock position. Once unlocked, you can turn the hub clockwise to engage it and engage 4-wheel drive once again.

It’s important to know the proper way to unlock your automatic locking hubs to ensure proper functionality and avoid any potential damage. By following these simple directions, you can easily unlock your hubs and get back on the road with confidence.

Remember to always keep safety in mind while operating machinery or vehicles.

Directions For Unlocking Free-Wheeling Hubs

To unlock free-wheeling hubs, the first step is to stop your vehicle or machinery and put it in park or neutral. After this, get out and turn the locking hub counterclockwise until it stops. This will unlock the hub and allow you to adjust your vehicle’s wheels as needed.

When turning the hub, be sure to turn it with firm and steady pressure to ensure that it is properly unlocked. It is important to follow these directions carefully to prevent any damage to your vehicle’s components. Unlocking free-wheeling hubs is a quick and easy process when done correctly, and is an essential step for many off-road adventures.

Tips For Unlocking Stubborn Hubs

Unlocking stubborn hubs can be challenging, but there are a few tips to make the process easier. First, try lubricating the hub with wd-40 or a similar product. This can help loosen the hub’s grip. If that doesn’t work, gently tap the hub with a rubber mallet to help loosen it.

However, if you are still unable to unlock the hub, it’s best to seek professional assistance from a mechanic or technician. Don’t force the hub to avoid causing any damage and potentially expensive repairs. By following these tips, you’ll be able to unlock stubborn hubs with ease.


When it comes to unlocking hubs, knowing which way to turn them can be confusing. However, there is a clear answer. To unlock a hub, turn it counterclockwise. This will release the locking mechanism and allow you to move the hub freely.

If you’re still having difficulty, consult your owner’s manual or try some troubleshooting steps. Ultimately, proper hub maintenance and care will ensure that unlocking them is a smooth and simple process. By following these steps, you’ll safely and effectively unlock your hubs with ease.

Frequently Asked Questions For Which Way Do You Turn Hubs To Unlock Them

Which Direction Do You Turn Hubs To Unlock Them?

To unlock hubs, you need to turn them in a counterclockwise direction.

What Do I Do If The Hubs Won’T Unlock?

If the hubs won’t unlock, first try cleaning and greasing them. If this does not work, check if the internal components are damaged or worn and replace them if necessary. It is also advisable to consult a professional mechanic for proper diagnosis and repair.

What Are The Consequences If I Forget To Unlock The Hubs?

Forgetting to unlock the hubs can cause damage to the vehicle’s drivetrain and tires, especially if driving on hard surfaces such as concrete or pavement. It can also cause decreased fuel efficiency and increased wear on the vehicle’s components. Moreover, it can also result in difficulty in steering, reducing the control of the vehicle.

How Do I Know If The Hubs Are Locked Or Unlocked?

To determine if the hubs on your vehicle are locked or unlocked, you can visually inspect the hub itself. If the hub has a selector switch, it will typically be labeled with “lock” and “unlock” positions. If there is no selector switch, you can check if the hub is engaged by attempting to turn the wheel.

If the wheel turns freely, the hub is likely unlocked. If the wheel does not turn or feels stiff, the hub may be locked. It is recommended to consult your vehicle’s manual for specific instructions on determining if the hubs are locked or unlocked.

Can I Drive With The Hubs Locked?

It is not recommended to drive with the hubs locked unless you are driving in 4wd mode or off-road. Driving with the hubs locked in 2wd mode can cause excessive wear and tear on the front axle, resulting in damage to the vehicle.

Should I Leave The Hubs Locked Or Unlocked When Not In Use?

It is recommended to leave the hubs unlocked when not in use to reduce wear and prevent damage to the locking mechanism.


Now that we have explored the various types of hubs and their locking mechanisms, it is clear that there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of which way to turn them to unlock. It depends on the type of hub you have.

If you have a quick-release lever, turn it counterclockwise to unlock the hub. If you have a threaded hub, turn it clockwise to unlock it. For thru-axle hubs, check the manufacturer’s instructions for the correct way to loosen the axle.

Remember to always check that the hub is properly secured before riding your bike. Knowing how to unlock your hubs is essential to properly maintain your bike and avoid damaging the hub. With the right tools and knowledge, you can easily unlock your hubs and enjoy a smooth ride every time.

Keep your bike in good condition by regularly cleaning and servicing the hubs to ensure they perform at their best.

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