As a dealership service manager I'd spot-check the torque on wheel
nuts after the mechanic was finished a job. Random selection of a few
a week. Heaven help the guy who under-torqued or over-torqued a
wheel!!! I started this after a customer lost a wheel less than 3
miles from the shop. It never happened again. They guys were VERY
carefull to make sure all wheels were properly torqued. They'd run
them on with the impact on the hoist, drop the vehicle to the ground-
retorque with the torque wrench, then install the wheel covers if so
Toyota had no more problems with soft lug bolts than anyone else.
Perhaps some problems with soft alloy lug NUTS - but not any worse
than any other company in my experience. We always lubed the studs
before installing the nuts - just a light touch of anti-seize.
An air impact wrench will probably loosen them. I would take it back to
the tire shop, have them break the nuts loose and torque them myself
before leaving. If you do not have a torque wrench, then use a cross
wrench to retighten until you can get to a wrench. Most lug nuts tighten
76 to 80 ftlbs torque. You will have a real problem if you have a flat
on the road.
Despite some instructions I've seen I always use a little anti-sieze. I
haven't had a wheel fall off in the last 50 years and I've had no problems
removing the lugs or nuts.
I rotate the tires or change out to the winter studs myself so there's no
problem. On the rare occasions where I buy tires, the first thing I do when
I get home is retorque the fasteners. I've hit a few that required the
I'd bought a Harbor Freight electric impact wrench specifically to break
loose the bolts on a notorcycle fork's damper tubes, but it has come in
handy several times. For a tool that gets used once or twice a year at the
outside I've gotten my money's worth.
I have a decent compressor in my garage runs off 220V. Used to change
between seasons and blow the sprinklers in the fall. Never had to use
any thing on
wheel nut/stud on 3 vehicles other than proper torquing.
I learned this same lesson years ago after a tire shop over-torqued my
lugnuts after I bought some new tires. As a result, I now specify the
torque I want them set to, which is on the low side of the recommended
torque. They have me sign a waiver, and when I get it home I
double-check the torque and push it a little higher to the middle of the
I bought a set of tires in Knoxville. I prefered bias ply tube types when I
could still get them and they installed the set. On the F150, the spare was
in a hanger under the bed. The first clue was when the spare fell down and
was dragging on the road. As the trip went on, 3 out of 4 of the tubes blew
out. I was not happy when I got back to Arizona with the help of Fix-A-Flat
and a tire inflator.
One good thing about southern Arizona and the Mexican mechanics were they
understood tube tires.
Another time, I watched a motorcycle 'mechanic' install a new tube type tire
without the benefit of a tube.
I've alway done almost all of my own vehicle maintenance. I won't say I've
never screwed something up, but at least I knew when I did it and didn't get
a surprise 50 miles down the road.
If you mean the kind of wrench you hit with a hammer, I have two. I
think one has a 1/2" drive. I never had much luck with it in the past,
but I'll look for it.
Now that I've used oil, does that mean my lugs and nuts are no good?
When I reinstalled the first 15 with a torque wrench, I discovered that
the L wrench that came with the car gives the right torque "by feel."
How about that!
Nissan specifies 58-72 foot pounds. I set one to 64 with a torque
wrench, loosened it half a turn, and tightened it by feel with the OEM
wrench. The nut rotated to the same position. I tried it with other
nuts with the same results.
As I would not be pushing on the pry-blade end of the 10" wrench, I was
probably exerting 80-100 pounds, as much as would be comfortable on that
handle. More than that, I think you can usually feel when a screw
seats. Suddenly, it's less elastic.
About 1982, an uncle who'd been an Air Force enlisted mechanic 30 years
and an Air Force civilian mechanic beyond that, saw me using a 3/8"
ratchet with a 7/16" socket to put a water pump on a 1964 Wildcat. He
said I was overtorquing.
I should have groveled with my forehead in the gravel at his feet
because I knew immediately he was right. Usually, combination wrenches
were sized so that what felt comfortable was probably the right torque,
but that didn't work with a socket set. I began to pay attention to the
feel of a sudden increase in stiffness after the intended stretch in the
fastener was taken up.
When I replaced my HVAC thermostat, the terminal screws looked like #1
Phillips, but no #1 Phillips screwdriver I had would go through the
holes to reach the screws. So I used a #0. When I tested the
connections by tugging wires, they came loose. The screwdriver fit was
sloppy enough that I couldn't feel the screws seat. The screws also had
slots, but no screwdriver I found gave a good fit.
Later, I found a 9/64" flat blade that fit perfectly. With it, I could
feel when the screws seated.
I used to carry Phillips and Reed & Prince screwdrivers in my tool box.
They looked the same but weren't. With just the right driver, I could
get more torque, and I could feel when a screw seated.
I read a while ago that many mechanics don't use a torque wrench: they
use a well-calibrated elbow. The one time I used a torque wrench on a
crucial part, the thread in the aluminum casting stripped before I got
to the specified torque -- had to get the car towed to a repair shop and
have a Helicoil inserted.
On Tuesday, September 23, 2014 10:21:24 PM UTC-7, J Burns wrote:
BTDT. I had a flat with an old F150, Miracle of miracles the toy jack tha
t came with the truck worked. I had a cruciform lug wrench. No way could
I break any of the lugs loose. Called for road service. Unfortunately it
was harvest season and every service truck in the town was backed up on cal
ls. Mechanic finally came out in private car. He at least had a cheater a
nd managed to get all but one loose after an hours work. Finally had wait
until a tow truck showed up. He couldn't get the last one either. Finally
lifted truck and dropped breaking that lug. That lug had been cross threa
ded but driven tight with the rattle gun.
The usual problem is the tire shops don't reset the torque wrenches after w
orking on big equipment. Watch them sometime and at a good shop (mine is a
very good one) you will see them apply the rattle gun then pick up a real
torque wrench, apply 'click', yep it is tight. Unfortunately, yes it _is_
tight. But that 'click' only says that the nut has been tightened to AT LEA
ST the torque setting when in fact it has been way overtightened. The last
time the setting on the rattle gun was changed was to use it on some big s
I wrote the shop and long letter explaining what had happened.
My tire shop removed and reinstalled all 4 wheels, replaced the broken stud
and the next time I had a flat all lugs came off with normal pressure.
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