How to Install a Snap Ring

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Things You'll Need

  • Safety glasses

  • Circlip or needle-nosed pliers

A snap ring is an incomplete loop of semi-flexible fastener which snaps in place over a machined groove to ease rotation movement while blocking lateral movement. A snap ring is also known as a circlip or C-clip. It can be found in the wheels of vehicles. A snap ring is a metal and can wear thin with repeated use. Replacing a wheel's snap ring requires removing the old one and installing a new snap ring. While installing a snap ring is quick process, care should be taken since it is can rebound when tensed.


Step 1

Put on a pair a pair of safety glasses.

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Step 2

Insert the tips of a needle-nose or circlip pliers into the holes at the end of the snap ring.

Step 3

Open the pliers so the arms of the snap ring are pulled back and the loop of the ring widens.

Step 4

Slip the expanded snap ring over the groove of the wheel. Close the pliers gently until the ring rests into the groove. Withdraw the tips of the pliers from the holes of the snap ring to allow the ring to snap into the groove.

Step 5

Make sure the snap ring is properly seated inside the groove or it will snap off.