So, I have a 2007 Acura TSX with stock rims/lug nuts. Anyway, I just recently had to have one tire replaced due to a side wall puncture. Now, on that wheel, I am noticing that one lug nut is sticking out further than the other ones. It feels tight when I try to turn it, and I am unable to loosen it by hand. I don’t have a torque wrench, so I am not sure what it is torqued to, but I am kind of concerned about this.
Could they have screwed up the lug nut post? Obviously, I will take it back to the place I had the tire/rim put on at, but they most likely won’t be open till after the holiday.
If someone could advise how I should proceed at this point. I will be going out of town (2hr drive Sat), so I am kind of worried. Has anyone experienced this?
hmmm … well, this is a new one, never seen this posted here. I think you mean one stud is sticking out further, right? The lug nut is the thing that screws onto the stud.
Those studs are pressed into the hub. So if one is longer than the others, there is a cause for concern, maybe it has somehow been pulled out a bit for some reason. It’s possible though that someone has installed a new stud, and it just happens to be longer than the others. Here’s a vdo on how it works, might provide you some clues on what to ask the shop.
I suspect that they cross-threaded the lug nut, so that it’s kind of wedged in place. If so, the stud and nut should both be replaced.
Regardless, for your drive this weekend, you’ll be safe as long as you make sure the other four lug nuts are tight. There’s plenty of safety margin there. If you want to be extra careful, keep your lug wrench handy and double-check those four every now and then.
My guess is that someone may have cross-threaded it. That can lead to it sticking out further than the others and will also cause the lug to be very tight. If this is the case the wheel stud will have to be replaced along with the lug nut.
With a 5 lug wheel the car can be safely driven on the other 4 lugs as long as they’re tight and do not have the stud threads mangled.
Dang it, this stupid tire shop did the same thing with one of the last studs when they replaced all 4 tires!!! I think it ended up running me like $60 to fix it. So frustrating!
Also, how would one cross-thread a lug nut with an impact driver? I’m really frustrated with this place!
Last, is there ANY WAY that the current stud can be re-used if the lug nut has been cross threaded? Or, will it have eaten up the threads on the stud?
So it’s not that the stud is sticking out longer, but that the nut is further out on the stud? Yes, that sounds like a cross threading problem.
Cross threading happens when the nut isn’t correctly aligned in the first place, when hand starting it on the stud. The impact wrench just powers it on, all the more cross threaded is all. A careful tech would catch the problem it when it happens.
You had to pay $60 last time to get the shop to fix the cross-threading mistake they made? That doesn’t seem right to me. In my opinion they should offer to fix it for free. The materials are inexpensive and the only real expense to the shop really is the time it takes to replace the stud. Which they wouldn’t have had to do if they had done it correctly in the first place.
Yes, the lug nut is sticking out further than the others. It’s not the stud. I will be taking the car back next week, although I’m sure they will tell me it wasn’t them.
Funny thing is, they have a card they give you to come back after 50-100 miles to have the nuts retorqued since the heat can cause them to expand. Typical Tires Plus! I’m done with that place!
I think Tire Rack is one of the sponsors of the Car Talk radio program. Maybe give them a try.
If they screw it up they should cover the cost of fixing it. If they’re the last ones to have their hands on it they:
- Caused the problem.
- Or ran across a pre-existing problem and are just as guilty for running the car out the door without notifying the customer of the problem so a repair could be done at that time.
The only quick alternative would be to remove all of the lugs and the wheel assembly. The suspect stud could be examined and if not mangled too badly a thread die could be run down it and that should straighten out the threads enough to make it serviceable. The lug of course is not worth the effort; that would require a new lug.
It’s a good idea with alloy wheels to retorque the lugs after 50-100 miles but it’s not because of heat.
Tire Rack? George do you have their address?
Yep, me three think they cross threaded it. The nut was not started straight so when they used the air tool on it, it torqued it as far as it would go on the stud and not farther due to the wrecked threads. That’s why its tight, but sticking out and not down to the wheel itself. Thats why I always hand thread them on first for a few turns to make sure and then hit it with the air gun. They owe you a new stud and a new chrome nut but don’t be surprised if there are others too.
I too think that they cross threaded the nut, and I would insist that they correct this on their own dime. You just got the new tires from them…there’s no reason anyone else touched them
The only other thing that could cause one nut to stick out farther that the others would be, that the worker lost a lug nut that fell on the floor, or got kicked, and disappeared under a tool box, and they used a deeper nut (Longer) to replace it. I have a drawer full at the shop just for that situation.
But because you can’t loosen it i’d say it’s cross threaded.
I too always start them a few turns by hand to be sure they are threaded properly.
My guess is that they “bottlenecked” (stretched) the stud. When that happens, the nut becomes tight without properly pressing the when against the hub and the stud becomes longer than the others. Possibly the beadbuster put the first nut on with his impact wrench then realized he’d screwed up and put the others on properly.
To check this, wheel needs to be removed and a thread gage run down the lug. If it is, in fact, stretched, the lug needs to be replaced.
Actually, whether it’s bottlenecked or cross threaded, it needs replacing anyway.
So, I went back to the tire shop, and informed them of my findings. They had a guy come right out with a torque wrench. He removed the “what I thought was a cross threaded” lug nut. However, come to find out, the stud is fine, and the 1 lug nut is longer than the other 4 (hence it stills out further). They all torque to spec, but obviously one of my lugs got mixed up with someone else.
The tire shop is ordering the correct lug nut for me, but at least for the time being all is ok, including my stud! Thanks for all of your help!
Thanks for the followup post, Jman. It’s good to hear the good news.
Ding, Ding, Ding! We Have A Winner! Congratulations Yosemite!
Yosemite said, “The only other thing that could cause one nut to stick out farther that the others would be, that the worker lost a lug nut that fell on the floor, or got kicked, and disappeared under a tool box, and they used a deeper nut (Longer) to replace it.”
I saw your comment before I could suggest it. I’ve created this situation on my own car with longer lug nuts used for replacements. My Chrysler cars had chrome jackets on the lug nuts that would develop rust (salt damage) under the jackets and swell up, even split open, making it difficult to use them. I’d keep some new/used spares on hand. Once I bought one that was a bit longer.
I’ll be waiting patiently for my prize…a new, fresh can of blinker fluid.
I don’t remember what car we owned at the time, but I replaced all the lug nuts after getting a flat on the side of the road. The nuts were so short and the cavity so deep where they were recessed into that I couldn’t get the Danged blasted things started. And trying to use the lug wrench provided to start the nuts was a frustrating chore too.
After buying all new…longer lug nuts…I realized that I could have just bought a deep well socket that size for the trunk…just as a nut starter. Too late!!!