Since I started using a piece of pipe on the lug nut wrench many years ago,
I have not had an issue with breaking lug nuts free. I have a piece of
thick grey pipe, about 3 feet long that I slip over the lug wrench. Works
every time. On occasion I have had to extend it way out for maximum
leverage, but I've always been able to loosen the lug nuts when I had to.
When I recently had the tires replaced on my daughter's car, I was
concerned that they would be too tight because of the length of time the
installer spent with the air powered impact wrench on each wheel. I decided
to check a couple when I got home and they felt just right. Seems like they
had the torque setting correct, or close enough. Maybe the guy just liked
the sound of the impact wrench.
A simple device commonly called a "torque stick" has become more popular
in recent years, and it's a good thing, too. Looks like a short extension
that goes between the impact wrench and the socket, but it's made out
of just the right thickness and grade of steel to limit the amount of
torque applied to the lug nuts. They come in sets that cover the common
lug nut sizes and torque ranges. They're cheap and effective and really
prevent overtorquing lug nuts. We've bought them for all the techs at my
shop and insist that they use them.
There is always an easy solution to every human problem -- neat,
plausible, and wrong." (H L Mencken)
Actually, I made a mistake in my first description. The torque sticks
have an integral socket, and so will only fit on that size lug nut.
That further reduces the possibility of selecting the wrong one.
There are no stupid questions, but there are lots of stupid answers.
Larry W. - Baltimore Maryland - lwasserm(a)sdf. lonestar. org
On Tuesday, December 31, 2013 10:04:25 AM UTC-5, Stormin Mormon wrote:
Here's how I did it last time. It was not a flat, I needed to change to an
other set of tires to pass inspection. The other set was in the garage alr
eady mounted, all I had to do was jack the car up and swap them.
So I dragged the kids away from their video games. "Daddy's going to teach
you how to change a tire." groans and grumbles
Put the jack under the car. Raise it a little. Put the lug wrench on the
lug. Pull as hard as I can. Turn red. Children laughing. Go to the gara
ge and get 4 foot length of 1 inch water pipe. Pull as hard as I can. Tur
n red. Children still laughing. Stand on water pipe. Jump up and down.
Where are the kids? Guess they gave up. Put tires in trunk, drive to serv
ice station, borrow an air wrench and floor jack. They were closed but the
mechanic was still there and didn't even charge me to use the tools.
I've had some success with the T shaped "star
wrench". Pull up on the right, and put my foot
on the left. Lean my fat against the vehicle.
Sounds like an obvious case of mechanic put
the lugs on too tight with air wrench. There
have been cases of damaged wheels and warped
rotors with that "air wrench madness".
I'm slightly confused by your question.
I loosen the lug nuts with a lug nut wrench and (sometimes) a piece of pipe
for leverage. Why does that matter? The procedure would be the same
regardless of what kind of tool I use.
L shaped lug wrench
X shaped lug wrench
socket and ratchet
Socket and breaker bar
Each of these have different operating techniques.
One can press up, press down, rotate.
One of my techniques is to use the X shaped lug
wrench. I pull up on the right, with my hands.
Push down on the left with one foot, lean on the
side of the vehicle.
Using a socket and breaker bar, I can either
put the wrench on the right and pull up, or
wrench on the left and push down.
Same deal with L shaped lug wrench. Pull up, to
the right? Push down on the left? Push left with
handle at 12 o'clock?
Starting to become clear why I ask which technique
As I said, regardless of which tool I use, the procedure is the same as far
as jacking the car up just enough to take the weight off of the tires
before loosening and then jacking to down to add a little weight before
I don't consider the tool used to be a "critical detail" (your words)
related to the procedure. Now, if you were simply curious as to which tool
I prefer, that's something different.
My #1 preference? Any of the above tools, used by someone else, at no cost
to me. ;-)
My reality preference? Me using an L-shaped lug wrench with a breaker pipe
to initially loosen/finally tighten the lug nuts and a cordless drill with
a big socket to spin them off and on.
I've never like the X-shaped lug wrenches. I never can get enough leverage
and I've bent them trying to get lug nuts off. I don't like standing on
them for fear of snapping a stud. I've tried ratchet handles and sockets
with a breaker pipe. I've broke sockets, I've broke ratchet handles.
My pipe fits over all of the various L-shape lug wrenches that I and my
kids' assorted vehicles have, both the short wrenches and the long ones.
Trailer, van, pick up, wagon, sedans. It works for all of them, every time.
BTW...the short lug wrenches, like my daughter's Mitsubishi came with,
leads me to believe that the lug nuts do not need to be extremely tight.
The manual gives a torque setting and it is my assumption that the
recommended torque can be achieved with the tool provided with the car,
although I've never actually checked it. Obviously, I can get it tighter
with a longer wrench, and even tighter with a pipe extension, but wouldn't
one think that the tool provided with the car should be able to properly
get the lug nuts on (and off) without any other tools?
When I had the rental this weekend, I was able to loosen the lugs with the
short wrench that came with the car, even though I never actually changed
the tire. Assuming it was mounted with the correct torque, the short wrench
is all that should be needed.
I used to average about 3 tire changes a month when I towed stuff all
over the south. Mostly trailor tires, but the cordless and floor jack
made my average roadside stop less than 10 minutes. My wish list does
have a cordless impact on it, but I don't have such a need for it
anymore, other than man-toy desire, of course.
On Mon, 30 Dec 2013 11:28:13 -0800, "Malcom \"Mal\" Reynolds"
It was 1987 when I last changed a tire. But my wife called Saturday
evening that a tire was flat when shopping with my son.
Spare was flat too, even though it was checked in the spring.
Son bought a foot pump and left it in the trunk.
Went to nearby Midas and had the tire plugged. Picked up a nail.
I don't tolerate old tires or leakers. When one loses pressure I take
it to the shop and have it remounted.
I replace them with new tire every few years too.
But then you have the luck factor. Can't see the nail/screw you pick
On Sun, 29 Dec 2013 23:24:21 +0000 (UTC), DerbyDad03
How do you know it's a "real tire"? Sure, it may be 'standard load'
but does it really have the same amount of "carcass", tread plies,
sidewall plies, same amount of tread depth, same tread compound, etc.
It's pretty close in size but about 0.1" different in diameter. And
at what inflation pressure did it have "standard load"? Same pressure
as the other tires or did it need to be pumped up to 60psi like the
donut spares needed to be?
My guess is it's not a "real tire" but was specifically built as a
temporary, limited duty, spare with all that implies.
I called a local VW dealer. Spoke to a service rep. He said that they have
also wondered why they mark the spare as 50 MPH only. He said they have
never gotten a clear answer from anyone. He said it's a real tire on a real
wheel, so there is no reason that he can think of that it should be marked
as limited use.
However, here's an additional oddity: He was surprised that the rental had
a different sized spare tire than the 4 on the car. He said that typically
the spare is the same tire as the ones on the car, yet still marked as
limited use. So, I did a little research. The Bridgestone 205/55-16 came
standard on the VW Jetta SE, while the 195/65-15 were standard on the Jetta
S. Why the SE I rented had a spare from an S is beyond me.
There's another dealer I can call tomorrow. I'll let you know what they say
about the markings on the spare.
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