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Safety Notice on Tightening Lug Nuts

Home Forums Stay Dirty Lounge ETCG Suggestion Box Safety Notice on Tightening Lug Nuts


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  • #992978
    Shannon CoffeyShannon Coffey


      I have enjoyed your channels for many years. In my years of repairing my cars I have come across a few things I would like to share with people but I don’t have a channel to do so.. I wonder if you might not do a segment in ETCG on the following experience I had.

      I almost had the wheels on my car come off because I incorrectly torqued the lug nuts. What I did was with the car in the air I had a second person torque the lug nuts while I applied the disk brakes.

      Evidently by holding the brakes, the piston in the calipers pushed first on the inside pad against the rotor causing the inside pad to push the rotor out on the lug bolts. Then the outer pad clamped on the rotor and between the two pads held the rotor firmly and while my helper torqued the lug nuts. We thought we had a good tightening of the lug nuts when we did not. Over a very short time the nuts worked themselves loose and had I driven the car much more I would have had one or both wheels come off.

      The lesson is to always tighten as much as possible when in the air then lower until the wheels are on the ground and finish the tightening. The wheels will provide small lateral play by the rubber on the road to allow for a good torque. But never hold the brakes and tighten the lug nuts.

      I had been doing this wrong for years and never had a problem until this time. I know almost every brake job I have seen mentions lowering the car to where the tires are on the road. I have never seen anyone mention the safety issue of doing it by holding the brakes. I would bet others are doing it the way I used to and people should be alerted to the problem. Most of us DIYers learn by trial and error and by utube. But this the kind of error one does not want to experience. This issue should be made part of every brake job video.

      If you use this for a ETCG segment, please let me know. I want to watch it.

      Shannon Coffey

      PS: I grew up in Cincinnati 40 years ago in a burg called Hartwell that is sandwiched between Wyoming and Lockland.

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    • #993025
      EricTheCarGuy 1EricTheCarGuy

        I’m sorry to hear about your experience, but as I often say, experience is the best teacher when it comes to auto repair and maintenance. I actually did a video on this some time ago. I hope it covers what you were looking for. Thanks for the suggestion.

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