Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Fran asks: The other day, I noticed that two (out of five) of the lug nuts on my car had fallen off. One of the remaining three was loose. Luckily, I found this before the other lugs fell off – and presumably, the wheel.
What could have caused this?
My reply: This happens more often than you might think, because it’s common for tire shops and oil change joints to use an air gun to tighten lugs rather than by hand. In the hurry-up environment of today’s service business, it can and does happen that lug nuts aren’t tightened properly; they can be left loose or over-tightened. I’ve seen them sheared off, too.
This is why I think it’s sound policy to thread/tighten by hand. Then you know the lugs are seated and tightened correctly.
I also advise people to check the tightness – and looseness – of their car’s lug nuts themselves; ideally, as soon as possible after any work done that involved removing the wheels.
Never trust. Always verify!
. . .
Got a question about cars, Libertarian politics – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!
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