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Lug nuts start to come off, then stick

Home Forums Stay Dirty Lounge Service and Repair Questions Answered Here Lug nuts start to come off, then stick

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  • #1025349
    Curt GirardinCurt Girardin
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      Hello, I have a 2010 Honda Element, and I’m pretty sure the shop has overtightened my lug nuts. One by one, anytime I have to take a wheel off for brakes, tpms sensor, whatever, my lug nuts snap – but in a peculiar way…

      They loosen as expected, and start to come off easily, until they are about 50% – 75% off. Then they suddenly seize. I go to tighten, then loosen, then tighten, thinking that there’s a problem with the threads, but as I do so, they seem to get more and more bound up, and eventually won’t move at all. The car has never been out of Florida, so it doesn’t have an ounce of rust on it. And the lug nuts are all still OEM lug nuts so they are completely covered.

      Also, last week, after a stud snapped off in this manner on the driver’s rear tire, a couple days later, when removing the wheel to replace that stud – another lug-nut seized on the stud after coming half-way off, and it eventually snapped off. I know that was torqued properly, since I just torqued it myself two days prior. No rust or scale to speak of, everything went on smoothly, I always start them by hand, and then torque down with a torque wrench afterwards. What gives? The only thing I can think of is a technician down the street at the tire shop is over-tightening them with their impact gun. I’ve never had this problem until I started letting them rotate my tires. I assume that once over-tightened past a certain point, they must be getting stretched and weakening.

      My question is twofold:

      1) What is causing them to suddenly seize up, after they have spun 50% off freely?

      2) Is there anything I can do to “save” it, so I don’t have to replace the stud? It’s not such a big deal replacing studs on the rear hub, but a major PIA on the front, as the entire hub needs to come out and the wheel bearing needs to be replaced.

      Thanks, Curt

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    • #1025424
      Billy AndrewsBilly
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        1. Threads damaged by over-torqueing as you suspected. This happens when someone puts them on with an air wrench instead of hand torqueing.

        2. Nope, studs must be replaced. See if the shop will work with you.

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