I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I will never ever do this again!

I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I will never ever do this again!

Well, I forgot to tighten my lug nuts after loosening them yesterday to work on my 3. Took off today morning to drop my son off at the swim academy. My spider sense kept telling me something wasn’t right. I once heard a faint rattle coming from somewhere in the front wheel. Then it was gone. 5 miles later, at 70 mph on the interstate, it dawned on me. My head felt light, my stomach queasy, and I said to my son, I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I will never do this again! (forgetting to torque my lug nuts)

Crawled to 30 mph , took the next exit which was very close, parked immediately. Called my wife to fetch the torque wrench.

Took out the aero covers, and all the lug nuts were there. Some were loose, but they were held in place by the aero covers!

Worst mistake I’ve made working on my cars for the last 20 years. Never again.

rxlawdude | 14 août 2019

At least you didn't lose your nuts.

raqball | 14 août 2019

Wow! Close call... Glad you didn't; lose a wheel..

Frank99 | 14 août 2019

Man, that would suck!

My worst mistake was last year when I forgot to tighten the oil drain plug on my boat after changing the oil. Very expensive mistake.

RedShift | 14 août 2019


Guffaw! That’s why I wear tighties :-)

RedShift | 14 août 2019


Ouch. Buddy of mine had his Camry engine bend a crankshaft because the oil was low and he ignored the temperature warning light.

CST | 14 août 2019

Just curious - why did you loosen them? Were you rotating?

RedShift | 14 août 2019

Trying to rotate the tires and also do some sound insulation work. Unsuccessfully. The lift I have is not compatible with the lift jack adapters I bought online. I’ve since resolved that one by getting the right adapters, but the actual lifting has to wait till next week.

gballant4570 | 14 août 2019

Frank99, I just ordered an electric boat. That will keep me from making that mistake.....

RedShift, best car DIY decision I ever made was to stop putting my hands on them, about 20 years ago.....but I still put my hands on my old 1949 Allis Chalmers B from time to time....

RedShift | 14 août 2019

I can’t keep my hands to myself! It’s in my blood to take apart things , no matter how expensive. (you should see what I did to my other car, the Model S!)

walnotr | 14 août 2019

Am I correct thinking there is a tapered shoulder on the lug bolts? If you drove enough with several loose lug bolts it could be possible the matching taper in the wheel could be damaged and you will never get them to hold toque again. Worth having checked out when you take them off next week.

RedShift | 14 août 2019


I will surely check on that. Thanks buddy

ST70 | 14 août 2019

@ gballant4570 - cool...what boat?

Kary993 | 14 août 2019

Checklist....racers and weekend mechanics always check the checklist.

nwfan | 15 août 2019

Staying with the narrative. I forgot my locking nut socket on model S wheel.
Drove away and it's gone. Discovered my mistake the next time I attempted
to remove my wheels.

Easy fix. Drove to a local tire outfit. Took mechanic all of 1 minute to remove the
lock nut off each wheel. I asked him if he thought it was a good investment.
Got a good laugh. I guess it might deter the inept crook. But not the thief who
routinely steals wheels.

tucsonsims | 15 août 2019

You picked a fine time to leave me loose wheel...

CharleyBC | 15 août 2019

@tucsonsims: great one!

Trekman | 15 août 2019

Jeez, another song stuck in my head.

carlk | 15 août 2019

"Worst mistake I’ve made working on my cars for the last 20 years."

Age may have something to do with it? ;)

BuffaloBillsFan | 16 août 2019

@Tucsonsims. +100!

RedShift | 16 août 2019


Very funny! :-D

Techy James | 16 août 2019

Ouch that reminds me there was a time when working on my brakes on old Pontiac Grand Am. I had to use WD-40 to get one of the Disk Bolts to unfreeze in location. Put everything back together, and even retightened the Bolts on the Brake. Next day coming home on highway going 70 miles an hour my Left front wheel started braking on it's own. So I pulled over, and that bolt I used WD-40 on had worked it's self loose and the caliper was dragging on the rim of the wheel creating braking force. Luckily I had the sockets I needed in car, I was able to get the brake caliper back in place and retightened the bolt while off to side of the road. On way home I stopped at Auto Zone got some lock-tight and then when I got home proceeded to remove all the bolts cleaning them and adding some lock tight just in case.

MichaelB00012 | 16 août 2019

rxlawdude | August 14, 2019
At least you didn't lose your nuts.

@rxlawdude - What are you talking about, he said he called his wife - he gave his nuts away years ago...