Wheel nuts undertorqued

Wheel nuts undertorqued

While I was installing wheel lock nuts I discovered that all other nuts are undertorqued. Torque wrench made a significant move to reach the specified torque. The wheels haven't been touched since the purchase. Though the specified in the manual torque of 129 lb*ft is high, for example, BMW M3 spec is 88 lb*ft.

Magic 8 Ball | 17 mai 2019

Common to all cars to have to re torque the nuts after a few miles.

Иг | 17 mai 2019

A few miles after what? Coming from the assembly line?

Magic 8 Ball | 17 mai 2019

Yes, tirerack and other wheel websites recommend re-torque after 50 to 100 miles on new wheels. When you buy your new car it comes with new wheels.

don.lind | 17 mai 2019

When I picked up my M3 back in December, they did explicitly tell me to check/retorque the lug nuts after a couple of weeks. My car had like 3 or 4 miles on it when I got it, so shortly after you get the new vehicle...

doughicks411 | 17 mai 2019

I have never heard of this on any new car and I've had a bunch of them...

Magic 8 Ball | 17 mai 2019

I think there is a huge margin of safety on this. I have really never paid attention and over the years have found missing and loose lug nuts on cars and trucks I have driven many miles. I have not heard of any wheels falling off or issues associated with such on a TESLA yet.

stephenfootball | 17 mai 2019

Deeez Nutz.

Frank99 | 17 mai 2019

I've never heard of a car manufacturer recommending re-torquing the lug nuts, but every aftermarket wheel manufacturer does. I have heard people discuss finding their lug nuts loose a few miles down the road after major wheel work (new wheels, new hubs, whatever), so it does happen in the aftermarket that they need to be checked. The question is, are manufacturing processes and materials good enough that new cars shouldn't need it? I don't have an answer to that.

TabascoGuy | 17 mai 2019

This is not just a good practice to follow for new wheels, it is always a good idea to recheck lug nut tightness after changing a wheel for any reason (flats, tire rotations, brake jobs, etc.), new or old.

Magic 8 Ball | 17 mai 2019

oops I meant factor of safety.

I think wheels falling off a TESLA would be big news.


stephenfootball | 17 mai 2019

Blame AP. ;)

TabascoGuy | 17 mai 2019

Or wait for the auto tighten update.

stopnair | 17 mai 2019

sidenote- can someone recommend a good torque wrench? would love to buy one from amazon.

Bighorn | 17 mai 2019

I got a decent Kobalt from Lowe’s. Definitely makes sense to re-torque after 50 miles. Nothing magical about bolts that makes the first time special in that regard.

gmr6415 | 17 mai 2019

Use anti-seize on the threads and the face of the nut where it contacts the wheel. You'll get a much truer torque and you won't have to go back and re-torque after X miles. Just don't over do it. A little goes a long way.

andrew | 17 mai 2019

I check the torque every 5k miles when I perfrm my own rotation and re-check once in between and one or two nuts are always under torqued. haha better than a loose screw, right?

andrew | 17 mai 2019

I've heard and read that this is not recommended because it creates over torque?

ODWms | 17 mai 2019

I bought this one, and it’s great.

TEKTON 24330 3/8-Inch Drive Click Torque Wrench (10-80 ft.-lb./13.6-108.5 Nm)

kcheng | 17 mai 2019

I read the manual, and I didn't see the page where they mention to retorque the car's nuts after 50 miles. Anyone know the page?

Foottraffic | 17 mai 2019


For torquing, I use an old Craftsman beam torque wrench and a CDI 2503MFRMH click torque wrench. I use the beam to speed through the first lower torque increments, and I use the CDI for the final torque ~129 ft-lbs. The Craftsman goes up to 145 ft-lbs and the CDI ranges from 30-250 ft/lbs. I 'd suggest getting a beam type wrench from any reputable brand. It's very simple and you shouldn't have accuracy issues for torquing lug nuts. The CDI is nice and well-built, but it is pretty pricey now. I don't know if I would recommend the CDI with its new price unless you use it for more than torquing your lug nuts. Below is the link to the CDI it on amazon.

InParadise | 17 mai 2019

Same thing happened on my car when I installed the locking nuts. Quite a bit of travel to retorque.

gmr6415 | 17 mai 2019

@andrew, What you read and heard is pure BS. I was a heavy duty mechanic for almost 25 years. Lubricating the threads and contact surfaces provide a more accurate torque and actually increases the service life of a bolt, nut or stud. It also prevents galling on both torquing and removing.

There is a product on the market specifically for torquing applications called International Compound. As mechanics we referred to it as peanut butter, because that's what it looks like, but thicker.

The reason people have to go back and re-torque speaks for itself. Do you think the nut/bolt is actually loosening up? Torque preload is all about stretching a bolt or stud to it's optimal tension. Too little and the load isn't correct. Too much and you risk failure. The most common reason optimal torque isn't obtained the first time is from friction between the male and female threads and the mating surfaces, i.e., the bottom of the head of the bolt or the nut and whatever it's holding down. Lubricating is the only way to obtain optimal torque the first time.

"Lubrication Reduces Friction"

"Lubrication reduces the friction during tightening, decreases bolt failure during installation and increases bolt service life. Variation in friction coefficients affect the amount of preload achieved at a specified torque. Higher friction results in less conversion of torque to preload..."

"Lubricant or anti-seizure compounds should be applied to both the nut bearing surface and the male threads."

stopnair | 17 mai 2019

ODWms, the one you suggested has a max of 80 ft.-lb. Isn't the recommended value more than that?

gmr6415 | 17 mai 2019

@andrew, It ain't pretty, but I've still got a can of International Compound in my toolbox. I just pulled it out for a look see. I haven't turned a wrench professionally for 22 years, but I've still got everything I need to do it.

gmr6415 | 17 mai 2019

@stopnair, you are correct. The recommended torque for M3 lugs is 129 lb/ft. You would also want to make sure the torque wrench is a 1/2" drive. Below is similar to mine, but it won't torque in both directions. Mine will.

Bighorn | 17 mai 2019

Torque is 129 so buy one rated to 150 lb-ft

Magic 8 Ball | 17 mai 2019

The snap-on wrench is what the mobile tech had when he came out.

stopnair | 17 mai 2019

$400 for a torque wrench...crap...

Bighorn | 17 mai 2019

I know I didn’t pay $100 for mine

Magic 8 Ball | 17 mai 2019

When you use the tool all the time it is worth the money. For occasional use there are many options.

Harbor freight sells one that is probably adequate for 20 bucks.

gmr6415 | 17 mai 2019

@stopnair, you can find a quality torque wrench for less. I used my tools professionally and when you're working on multi-million dollar equipment you want to make sure your tools will get the job done right day in and day out.

I would have the calibration checked on all of my torque wrenches at least annually, and I can't remember a Snap On torque wrench every being off and needing recalibration.

kcheng | 17 mai 2019

Reminds me of when I installed my mini splits. I was told to use Nylog Blue on the threads, so I could get a true torque.

ODWms | 17 mai 2019

@stopnair, my apologies. I posted the wrong link. This is the one I bought. Looks identical, but it's 1/2 in. drive, which allows for up to 150 lb:

landoncube | 17 mai 2019

“Vinny: Maybe you didn't twist it hard enough.
Mona Lisa: I twisted it just right.
Vinny: How can you be so sure?
Mona Lisa: If you will look in the manual, you will see that this particular model faucet requires a range of 10-16 foot pounds of torque. I routinely twist the maximum allowable torquage.
Vinny: How can you be sure you used 16 foot pounds of torque?
Mona Lisa: Because I used a Craftsman model 1019 Laboratory edition, signature series torque wrench. The kind used by Cal Tech High Energy physicists, and NASA engineers.
Vinny: In that case, how can you be sure THAT'S accurate?
Mona Lisa: Because a split second before the torque wrench was applied to the faucet handle, it had been calibrated by top members of the state and federal Departments of Weights and Measures, to be dead-on balls accurate. Here's the certificate of validation!
Vinny: "Dead-on balls accurate"?
Mona Lisa: It's an industry term.
Vinny: I guess the ****in' thing is broken!“

stopnair | 17 mai 2019

ODWms Thanks for link..just ordered one..

Иг | 17 mai 2019

@stopnair, I recommend a covered socket not to scratch your rims, unless you already have one:

stopnair | 17 mai 2019

Иг , good point ..I don't have one...should I get size 21 mm?

ODWms | 18 mai 2019

@stopnair - You’re welcome!

Иг | 19 mai 2019

@stopnair Yes, 21 mm

ODWms | 19 mai 2019

@Иг - thanks to you, also. I just received my socket this morning.

andrew | 20 mai 2019

Thanks for the info. Will good old lithium axle grease work just fine as a lubricant?

gmr6415 | 20 mai 2019

@andrew, Any lubricant is better than nothing, but in the case of anti-seize it contains very small metal particles that act as bearings between the mating surfaces, so you get a smooth even torque. Lubricants made specifically for torquing bolts such as International Compound #2, don't contain metal particles, but are designed to do the same thing. International compound is actually designed for internal engine parts and can melt into the engine oil and not result in damage.

I like anti-seize for for wheels for several reasons. (1) the bearing effect (2) it's readily available (3) it will prevent galling between the tapered surface of the wheel nut and the alloy wheel (4) you need only a little and it doesn't make a big mess. You don't want so much that it's oozing out all over the place and then when you drive your car it slings all over the place.

mikes | 21 mai 2019

Almost all manufacturers oppose using lube on lug nuts! Torque specs given are for "dry" installation.If any lube is used, use only on threads to help prevent possible corrosion and make removal easier, which is usually only the case in northern climates anyway.

sky-pilot | 21 mai 2019

He's the one I have, $64, and two-day with prime 50 to 250:

terminator9 | 21 mai 2019

I have this for under $30 Comes with a nice case and have used it several times.

I haven't heard this on new cars but I hear the tire rotation places like Costco, Mr. Tires, etc say it all the time. Who takes it back after 100 miles? I have never done it and never have the wheels fall off my car. I assume the same concept applies on new cars too. I always thought it was one of those things like "brush your teeth after every meal", "an apple a day keeps the doctor away"...

gmr6415 | 21 mai 2019

@mikes, that's simply not true in 99% of situations. With dry threads you can lose as much as 90% of the required tension force because of friction. The only time you would dry torque is if it's specified because the manufacturer determined that torque for that application and fastener specifically on dry fasteners. That said, what happens about the 3rd time you use that same fastener and something like galling from lack of lubricant has happened to the threads that you can't see? Your subsequent torque will be way off because of having to overcome the additional friction from the galling.

In my almost 25 years as a mechanic I never ran across a recommendation for dry threads. It can result in galling and fastener failure. It almost always results in improper tension force between components. Most manufacturers use scientific studies to come up with their torque specs for a specific grade fastener in a specific application and they are done using torque lubricants.

Places like Tire Rack will tell you the opposite. Which is why their installers will tell you to re-torque or come back after X number of miles. If the wheels are properly torqued from the beginning why would you have to re-torque them?

Is that acceptable for main bearing caps bolts, rod bolts or head bolts inside an ICE? Has a car manufacturer ever told you to bring the car back so they can tear down the engine and re-torque everything? How about the nut that holds a turbo charger compressor wheel to the stud end of the turbine? I don't think so. If they aren't torqued perfectly the first time they'll come apart at 100,000 to 200,000 rpm. There is zero room for error. I can see a pilot going on the radio to tell passengers that they've got to stop off at the airport and have every thing in the turbine engine re-torqued because it's been running X number of hours.

If you properly lubricate the threads and the mating surfaces you won't have to re-torque because it's torqued properly the first time.

Torque is all about stretching the bolt or stud and creating tension which is like a spring force that holds parts together. With bolts you can't really measure the stretch, but with studs and nuts you can. You can mount a dial indicator to the end of the stud and measure the stretch as you tighten the nut, but most people don't have the equipment to do that. Some applications specifically call for you to measure the stretch and pay no attention to how much torque it takes at all. Some tell you to use a low torque and then turn the fastener X number of degrees beyond that.

I can guarantee you I've torqued 100s of thousands or more bolts and nuts in my lifetime and every one of them was lubricated.

bruryan | 21 mai 2019

dry threads are asked for in many instances. period.

bruryan | 21 mai 2019

The more I think about this the more it raises my BP. Spark plugs are often dry torqued. Wheels, the list isn't small.
And yes airplane engines are overhauled periodically. Lubing a dry thread changes the required torque because you have changed the resistance.
Retorquing head bolts is a requirement for older classic cars. Unless the manual says lube you shouldn't.

texxx | 21 mai 2019

@gmr6415 - Do some research please. There are plenty of authoritative sources that contradict your view that lubrication doesn't affect torque. Multiple sources recommend a general reduction of 25% if the bolt is lubricated.