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Torqued my lug nuts

1097 Views 19 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  Papa Smurf
2
Had to remove a wheel to mount a mud flap, so I decided to torque the lug nuts properly upon reinstalling the wheel by borrowing my neighbor's torque wrench. While at it I decided to see if the factory had tightened the other wheels on my one month old car to the 100 ft. lbs. of torque specified in the users manual. None of the factory wheel were at 100 ft. lbs., but they were all tightened pretty uniformly. Each lug on the factory tightened wheels turned perhaps 1/4".

This is a feeble video showing how far a lug turned. Keep your eye on the writing on the socket.


Wheel Tire Automotive tire Motor vehicle Tread

My neighbor is a mechanic. He told me this was no Harbor Freight special, but rather a $150 mechanics torque wrench. Well OK now.

The 19mm socket normally lives on this 1/2" breaker bar stored next to the spare tire in the hatch area.
Metal Rectangle Nickel Tool Auto part
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Not uncommon with new alloy wheels. I got some movement on my oem wheels and on the winter wheels after a few months. Also happened with my motorhome and the new Alcoa wheels on it. It generally settles down after that. Never hurts to double check though.
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Had to remove a wheel to mount a mud flap, so I decided to torque the lug nuts properly upon reinstalling the wheel by borrowing my neighbor's torque wrench.
You're going to buy your own torque wrench now, right?

My neighbor is a mechanic. He told me this was no Harbor Freight special, but rather a $150 mechanics torque wrench. Well OK now.
F.Y.I. : A "Harbor Freight special" will serve you just fine for the purpose of checking Wheel lugs.
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You're going to buy your own torque wrench now, right?
Why buy the cow when you get the milk for free?
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You're supposed to retighten after 50 miles but obviously the factory isn't doing that.
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Had a similar experience. Bought a new 2021 Bolt from MO. Drove it home to NYC; over 1,300 miles.
Checked all lug nuts with my GearWrench digital torque wrench. All nuts moved a bit when reaching
100 ft/lbs.

Bought a new 2022 Bolt 2LT. Checked all lug nuts after driving the car a few days. All nuts moved a
bit when reaching 100 ft/lbs.

So, I think Bolts leave the factory at around 90(?) ft/lbs.
If you have one of the older style torque wrenches that have a needle and sweep gage, you can use it to remove a nut and the torque will read about 20ft/lbs less than how tight it was torqued. I never torque wheel nuts to 100ft/lbs, too tight to remove with a lug wrench on the road. My Bolt had the lug nuts torqued to about 105ft/lbs from the factory. When I rotated the tires at 7500 miles, I had a **** of a time getting them loose, I'm 69 and a little feeble from cancer treatment. I tightened my lugs to 80ft/lbs, then went around and retightened to 90ft/lbs. I not worried they'll come loose, and Iknow I can get the wheels off if I need to on the road.
A torque wrench is as accurate as its most recent calibration certificate :)
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If you have one of the older style torque wrenches that have a needle and sweep gage, you can use it to remove a nut and the torque will read about 20ft/lbs less than how tight it was torqued. I never torque wheel nuts to 100ft/lbs, too tight to remove with a lug wrench on the road. My Bolt had the lug nuts torqued to about 105ft/lbs from the factory. When I rotated the tires at 7500 miles, I had a **** of a time getting them loose, I'm 69 and a little feeble from cancer treatment. I tightened my lugs to 80ft/lbs, then went around and retightened to 90ft/lbs. I not worried they'll come loose, and Iknow I can get the wheels off if I need to on the road.
I'm sorry to sound imposing. For your own safety, why don't you carry breaker bar? That would make tightening/loosening nuts much lighter.
Most modern clicker torque wrenches manual says keep at zero where stored.
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A torque wrench is as accurate as its most recent calibration certificate :)
And after calibrating hundreds of torque wrenches I can say, when used properly, the old school bending beam style wrenches are the most consistent and reliable. The click type are definately more user friendly, but are by far the worst for consistency and holding their calibration.
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Why is life so complicated?
Why is life so complicated?
If it were easy, everyone would do it !
If it's something you might remove on the road, redo after bringing home from shop, and fasten with what you will carry.
From your thread title, I thought you hurt yourself..... :oops:馃槪o_O

But now I think, "That really torques my lug nuts!" is going to be my new catchphrase.....
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To verify the torque, set the torque wrench to loosen. Then set the value to less than the expected torque value. When it pops, increase the torque in 5 or 10 lb increments until it no longer pops but instead starts to loosen. You then know what value the lug was tightened to, according to your torque wrench.

If you set the torque wrench to 100ft lbs and then tighten it and it pops, all you have done is verified it was at least 100 ft/lbs. If it moves then pops you really don鈥檛 know what it was tightened to just that it was less than 100 ft/lbs and you then increased the torque.

I have received back my car from dealerships that the lug nuts popped at 180 ft/lbs when trying to remove and sheered a 1/2 inch to 3/8ths adapter.
Check OfferUp or FBMP for 1/2 beam style torque wrenches. There must be a dozen near me $10-$15 bucks. I have spare ones so I tossed one in the back to go with my new-to-me Cruze spare tire. Steel wheels usually don't need to be torqued but, I like tools.
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At my previous job we had a small fleet of light pickups. After a couple of "wheel off" incidents as the industry calls them I started paying attention and getting obnoxious with drivers who didn't get the lug nuts re-torqued within 150 km. after a wheel change. It's definitely a problem in the trucking industry and given how heavy these little cars are it wouldn't surprise me if we see more cases.
Hopefully people will pay attention when the tire shop asks them to return for a re-torque.

Not sure about steel wheels not requiring a re-torque - I've had 6 of 8 nuts move on my F250 after a winter tire swap and one of the incidents at work was a steel wheel. Anecdotal and uncertainty about calibration and all that but I'm still checking everything. It's how I got to be a grumpy old man.

I swapped out the winter tires once on my SmartCar immediately after brake work. They were supposed to be torqued to 80 ft-lbs but needed more force to remove than the F250 (150 ft-lbs). I had to add a cheater bar to the breaker bar I normally use on the F250. Apparently BMW mechanics don't make enough to afford torque wrenches.
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Pony,
Copy your grumpy old man comment. I love the euphemisms we use in the transportation industry! Wheel off, runaway thermal event, unintended acceleration, etc. Steel wheels can tolerate being over torqued much better than aluminum. This makes dealing with a steel spare much easier with only a tire tool, I'm guessing that's why manufacturers never supply torque wrenches with the spare. I torque everything just cuz I'm weird. Everyone, everyone, thinks I'm way too detail oriented, though they use a different term for this compulsion. Only wheel I have ever had come loose was in 1980. I caught it before the "wheel off event"! "Hey, what is that rapid, low frequency bumping noise!" It was the full-sized aluminum spare wheel I had just changed on our 79 Buick Roadhawk and I was on the side of a very busy two-lane road filled with commercial traffic. It was one of the first aluminum wheels I had experience with and learned then and there that these MUST be torqued. Not enough and it can loosen, too much and you can damage the wheel.
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I'm sorry to sound imposing. For your own safety, why don't you carry breaker bar? That would make tightening/loosening nuts much lighter.
I only carry a tire plugging kit, a 12v air compressor, and a 10mm wrench, to disconnect the 12v battery, the basics for the Bolt EV.
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