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Am I an idiot or can lug nuts loosen themselves?


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9 replies to this topic

#1 Chip Hedrick

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Posted 28 November 2004 - 08:56 PM

On Saturyday, 11/20/04, I mounted my winter wheels and tires on my '98 OBW.

I then drove the car for several days.

On Thanksgiving Thursday, my wife and I got in the car to travel to a family Thanksgiving dinner. We had to turn back after less than a mile because of the car shuddering from what seemed like an out-of-balance tire.

The car sat in my garage for several days. Today I decided to investigate the issue. On a whim, I used a torque wrench to check the tightness of the lug nuts. The first three wheels were fine. When I got to the final wheel (the front driver's side), the lug nuts were loose. A couple of them were very loose.

Was it that I was sloppy when I mounted the winter wheels? I could swear that I used a torque wrench on all four wheels (to 70+ lbs-ft)? Or is it possible the the lug nuts worked themselves loose in a 100 mi or so?

The wheels involved are the 7yr old OEM aluminum alloys that I now use for winter wheels (and which look pretty rough). The tires involved are Nokkian snow tires that are on their 6th season. So I'm dealing with some well used components.

#2 AK-Brando

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Posted 28 November 2004 - 09:53 PM

Maybe somebody more knowledgeable than me can answer this, but I've always been told to re-torque lugnuts after ~50 mi or so, especially on aluminum wheels.

#3 SubaruGl10

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Posted 28 November 2004 - 10:11 PM

That once happened to my Grandma but the torque converter was the orginal cause of the problem, needless to say the trans needed to be serviced..well hope that helps out alittle :banana:

#4 jankemi

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Posted 28 November 2004 - 11:08 PM

Was it that I was sloppy when I mounted the winter wheels? I could swear that I used a torque wrench on all four wheels (to 70+ lbs-ft)? Or is it possible the the lug nuts worked themselves loose in a 100 mi or so?


Is it possible that the wheel was not centered/positioned correctly? If so, it would still torque up OK, but as soon as you drove, it would shift & loosen.

#5 FindingForester

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Posted 29 November 2004 - 12:20 AM

I've heard recommendations sometimes that alloy wheels be re-torqued after a week or some hundred miles of driving. I've always had steel wheels, though, so I can't say for sure.

#6 cookie

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Posted 29 November 2004 - 01:22 AM

and is one of the reasons a lot of shops set thier guns too tight. I retorque my BMW alloys a few times over the next week when I have them off. The Forester has steel and I only do them twice.

#7 DerFahrer

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Posted 29 November 2004 - 01:28 AM

That reminds me actually, I never retorqued the lugs on my XT after putting alloys on some 1000mi ago :eek:

#8 Setright

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Posted 29 November 2004 - 06:24 AM

They must be re-torqued. Some "settling" of the rim and hub will occur and this causes the nuts to loosen.

I usually drive for a day (ca.60miles) and re-torque the next morning, while the rims are cold. There is often one "loose" nut per wheel, and from then on no problems.


It does help to torque the nuts in stages when you mount the rims.

#9 swi66

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Posted 29 November 2004 - 07:54 AM

They must be re-torqued. Some "settling" of the rim and hub will occur and this causes the nuts to loosen.

I usually drive for a day (ca.60miles) and re-torque the next morning, while the rims are cold. There is often one "loose" nut per wheel, and from then on no problems.


It does help to torque the nuts in stages when you mount the rims.


Aluminum wheels are notorious for tightening slightly "off" so they will loosen up.
Always use a torque wrench, and re-tighten.

I have what is known as a torquestick for my air impact gun, and have hads no problems.

Another note: Aluminum wheels are also notorious for "welding" themselves to the hubs. If driven in the winter, remove them at least once a year to prevent this.

swi66

#10 Setright

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Posted 29 November 2004 - 12:26 PM

Or smear a thin coating of copper grease on the hub!




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