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Dumb Question # 42...........Wheel lug nut size.

Dumb Question # 42...........Wheel lug nut size.

Hi Everyone,

I've been stuck in the house for about 4 days, over the holiday. I'm going nuts with boredom. I finally came up with a question for this forum. Here we go. Are the lug nuts on the wheels a standard size ??? I ask because, when it comes time to buy new tires, can any tire shop get our wheels off the car, or will they need an adapter of some sort ? AND......will they know how to jack up the car, without hurting the underside ???

Bob in Seattle

WantMY | 26 november 2017

Jack points are shown in user manual you can download and read. There is nothing special about wheel or tires - all standard, so any tire shop can handle it. Model 3 also has auto TPMS configuration, so you do not need to worry about it either, just make sure the TPMS sensors are compatible with Tesla when installing/replacing them.

lilbean | 26 november 2017

Just make sure the lug nut caps are removed.

andy.connor.e | 27 november 2017

I dont know a single body shop that does not have 6000 tools. This is not something you need to worry about.

liftsrock | 27 november 2017

I recommend having a copy of the Owner's Manual pages showing the lift/jacking points to give to the tire shop to insure that they place their lifting lugs in the correct positions. I also recommend having a copy of the wheel nut torque specs for them to refer to and that you tell them that you do not want them to run the wheel nuts on with their impact wrenches; please use a torque wrench and tighten the nuts to Tesla specs. I do this with my BMW X3 because I had a tire shop over-tighten the wheel nuts with their impact tool and when I took the car in for a routine service they could not get the wheels off in order to rotate the tires. They had to some of the wheel nuts off and replace them . . . very stupid stuff . . . the tire shop is a very large and reputable area tire dealer, but issues like this can be caused by an inexperienced or lazy technician. I have been inclined to go to Auto Zone or O'Reilly's and purchase a torque wrench to keep in the trunk in case I ever go to another non-BMW shop, but I have not done that yet. Smaller local shops might not even own a torque wrench. In addition to what I described above, over-tightening the wheel nuts can lead to the studs breaking off and loss of a wheel. This may be rare, but it is something that you just don't ever want to have happen to you because of stupidity and/or carelessness.

liftsrock | 27 november 2017

the BMW shop had to chisel some of the wheel nuts off . . .

WantMY | 27 november 2017

@liftsrock They could just use more powerful impact gun and studs will snap after a couple of minutes, then just install new studs and nuts. I got one nut cross-threaded by Pepboys' dude. This is real problem as those folks can screw you big time. I always check with torque wrench after anyone touched the wheel nuts. It is good idea to reset torque to the same value to keep stress off the rotors.

liftsrock | 27 november 2017

@WantM3, unfortunately the BMW dealership could not get the nuts off with their equipment. I think that maybe the ones they had to chisel off were the anti-theft bolts with the flower-shaped heads. Regardless, now days you have to make sure that anyone who works on your car knows the specs and uses a torque wrench. I just don't want to have to do it or check it myself. My wrench-turning days are over! :-)

Yodrak. | 27 november 2017

"when it comes time to buy new tires, can any tire shop get our wheels off the car, or will they need an adapter of some sort ? "

"I dont know a single body shop that does not have 6000 tools."

I don't buy tires at body shops.

Frank99 | 27 november 2017

According to the Owner's Manual (p. 138):
Lug Nut Torque: 129 lb-ft (175 Nm)
Lug Nut Socket Size: 21 mm

That's a hell of a lot of torque, and a standard lug nut size.

Rutrow | 27 november 2017

Great! My torque wrench only goes to 120'lbs.

bobinseattle | 27 november 2017

Thanks for all the great advise guys. I'll be sure and get a torque wrench and a socket.

Bob in Seattle