View Full Version : re-torque wheels after 24 hours/25 miles?


RichPA
07-09-2011, 12:58 PM
The shop that does my oil changes/tire rotations recently started printing on the receipt "wheels must be re-torqued after 24 hours/25 miles." Never used to do this - is it really necessary, or is it just CYA liability stuff for them?

Andyman
07-09-2011, 01:02 PM
We've been doing that at Costco for years. It seems to be more of an issue with the alloy wheels than the steel ones. Perhaps the softer alloy compresses more than steel and needs tightening???

Svt
07-09-2011, 01:10 PM
its the temperature changes that occur when driving from the brakes etc. Causes the expansion/contraction of dissimilar metals. Most new wheels are made from aluminum mounted to a steel rotor. It is a good recommendation to re-torque them after driving it for a day. They can loosen up.

The older cars with steel wheels didnt really have this problem.

Elfasto
07-09-2011, 02:00 PM
^^ HE speaks the truth.

Retorqing usually needs to be done after 100 km or a week, but that depends on your rims. But retorqing is necessary.

bshorey
07-09-2011, 02:22 PM
The shop that does my oil changes/tire rotations recently started printing on the receipt "wheels must be re-torqued after 24 hours/25 miles." Never used to do this - is it really necessary, or is it just CYA liability stuff for them?

Mercifully, most tire shops seem to be getting out of the practice of putting lug nuts on with high powered air guns. If the lug nuts are installed properly the first time, then yes, they should be retorqued.

bs

jbrainey
07-09-2011, 02:30 PM
Also....re-torquing should be done with the wheels cold. Try to hit them in the morning before they have become heat soaked in the sun.
This was never a problem with steel wheels. You could just crank them down with a 4-way or impact driver and they were good.

mikeybc
07-09-2011, 04:21 PM
I always retorque, once after 10 miles pr so then again after a hundred, especially with aluminum wheels. Overtightening or uneven torque will prematurly warp the rotors causing brake pulsation.

skippy_ps
07-09-2011, 04:26 PM
Never re-torqued a wheel in my life and never had one come loose either, steel, alloy, makes no difference. I have read that it's recommended for new alloy wheels and that kinda makes some sense.

My guess is that tire shops want you to come back in for a check as it's a lot cheaper and easier than dealing with a wrecked car and injured passengers after a wheel heads in one direction and the car in another.

Murray

similost
07-09-2011, 04:45 PM
Mercifully, most tire shops seem to be getting out of the practice of putting lug nuts on with high powered air guns. If the lug nuts are installed properly the first time, then yes, they should be retorqued.

bs

If a shop does you like they did me, and crossthreaded a nut on.. then no worry of retorquing... That one was a bitch to get off. Broke the stud.. pain in the ass replacing the stud..

RichPA
07-09-2011, 05:31 PM
Went back for the re-torquing this afternoon. Asked the manager if it was necessary, or a CYA liability thing. He said "CYA, don't tell them I said that."

grey
07-09-2011, 07:03 PM
its the temperature changes that occur when driving from the brakes etc. Causes the expansion/contraction of dissimilar metals. Most new wheels are made from aluminum mounted to a steel rotor. It is a good recommendation to re-torque them after driving it for a day. They can loosen up.

The older cars with steel wheels didnt really have this problem.

You nailed it. Not a bad habit and I have found the alloys get slightly looser after they have been torqued to factory spec., but not falling off. Every lug here gets the torque wrench and a dab of anti-seize. This will save effort in replacing parts and struggling on the side of the road.

DENNYDOG
07-09-2011, 07:12 PM
Maybe if the shops actually used a torque wrench in the first place. The torque sticks are a bunch of crap.

Have you ever heard of anyone buying a brand new vehicle and having the salesmen tell you to bring the car in to have the wheels retorqued? I haven't.

BTW you should NEVER put anything on the threads of your wheels studs. This includes anti seize.

roger2
07-09-2011, 07:35 PM
.....BTW you should NEVER put anything on the threads of your wheels studs. This includes anti seize.


About a year ago I did front brakes on my car and checked the rears. Because the rear drums were a pain to get off due to rust, I got a tube of anti-sieze and put some on the metal where the drum meets the hub to avoid having the same issue later. While I was at it I decided to also put anti-seize on all the wheel studs...

Fast forward to this summer. I buy new tires. No problem initially, but when I come back for my 50 mile re-torque the mechanic's torque wrench seemed unable to reach the specified 100 ft/lbs. The young mechanic, with a confused look on his face, came in to explain to his boss the problem he was encountering. The lug nuts were apparently being tightened beyond the correct torque...the wrench kept turning but would not seem to reach the "click" that indicated proper torque.

Next day I removed each lug nut (one at a time), wiped off as much anti-seize as I could, and tighened them up myself. I noticed that many of the lug nuts seemed to have been flattened on the 45 degree (?) angle where they contact the wheel. I assume this is the result of over tightening.


DENNYDOG, is this the reason you say never to put anything on the threads of the wheel studs? Or was there another reason?

DENNYDOG
07-09-2011, 07:48 PM
Torque specs are calculated without it. Putting any additional lubricant on the studs can change the torque characteristics of the nut and stud. While this may not sound like a big deal, overtorquing can damage the studs and cause failure.

Lubricants can also lead to the nuts coming loose.

Every shop manual I have ever read recommends to NOT add additional lubricant. It shouldn't be necesarry anyway if they are torqued correctly.

If people are having problems with their lug nuts coming loose after torquing them to the proper spec. They either need to replace all of the nuts, the studs or both. I would recommend doing both.

enjoythemusic
07-10-2011, 07:03 AM
Torque specs are calculated without it. Putting any additional lubricant on the studs can change the torque characteristics of the nut and stud. While this may not sound like a big deal, overtorquing can damage the studs and cause failure.

Lubricants can also lead to the nuts coming loose.

They either need to replace all of the nuts, the studs or both. I would recommend doing both.

What he ^^^^ said x100.

PS: Use calibrated hand tools here and do recheck after a few days of driving just to be sure.

1. Remember when first mounting the tires to tighten the lugs by hand first (this avoids cross threading the bolt to the lug),

2. Then do basic tightening with hand tool via CROSS PATTERN close to but not at spec.

3. Then use CROSS PATTERN to tighten the bolts per spec via torque wrench. Then double check all lugs to torque spec.

4. Drive for a day or three, then recheck per spec with calibrated torque wrench in a CROSS PATTERN.

See: www.expresstirecenter.com/documents/lug%20nut%20torque.htm for what i mean by cross pattern.

Ok, that might seem like a lot of work, yet only needs to be done perhaps twice a year depending on protocol for tire rotation or summer to winter tire changeover. Personally, i have two complete sets of tires mounted on different rims. The reason is that during summer (temps over 40F) is one set of multi-piece rims and Perelli PZero Rosso summer high performance tires. For winter due to high snow and sand/salt road, single piece rims and Blizzak LM-60 tires.

bshorey
07-11-2011, 01:46 AM
Torque specs are calculated without it. Putting any additional lubricant on the studs can change the torque characteristics of the nut and stud. While this may not sound like a big deal, overtorquing can damage the studs and cause failure.

Lubricants can also lead to the nuts coming loose.

Every shop manual I have ever read recommends to NOT add additional lubricant. It shouldn't be necesarry anyway if they are torqued correctly.

If people are having problems with their lug nuts coming loose after torquing them to the proper spec. They either need to replace all of the nuts, the studs or both. I would recommend doing both.

I've been using a little bit of Never Seize on the threads for the better part of the past 30 years now. The Never Seize bottle recommends it for lug nuts.

The actual torque spec difference for dry vs lubed is only a couple of foot lbs.

I've never had a failure, or a nut come loose. I have had failures with non lubed threads, bolts seizing or shearing lugs. This is for year round New England driven vehicles.

I agree, if properly torqued lug nuts are falling off, the threads are probably worn and should be replaced.

bs

Mark W.
07-11-2011, 08:15 AM
When I worked for Chevron in 1977 we had specs for all cars with disk brakes for proper torque. We used a beam style torque wrench. So nothing new. As to retorquing sure why not its a safety thing.

The local chain Les Schwab uses real click type rotary adjustable torque wrenches just like my Craftsman I use.