Dodge's new cockamamie lugs

Helped a friend with a three week old Dodge Dart with a flat today. I’d like to get my hands in the idiot that designed the stud (bolt?) system. The “studs” are more like strange bolts from another planet that incorporate in themselves a method to also hold the hubcaps on. The wheel has to be held on the hub end, the holes in the wheel lined up with the holes in the hub, two bolts inserted and hand tightened, then the hubcap clipped onto the two bolts, the other three installed, and everything torqued to 100 ft-lbs. It was a complete pain where the sun don’t shine. And we did it in the afternoon on a sunny day. I truly pity the poor person who has to figure this out at 1:00 AM in a downpour.

And no, there is no spare. Only a can of fix a flat and a 12VDC pump.

I’ve never bought a Dodge before. This ensures that I never will.

Thanks for letting me vent.


I’m not comfortable with the idea of buying a car without a full size spare tire

The day is fast approaching, where absolutely no manufacturer offers that anymore

It will be a sad day

Every motorist will be helpless, and forced to use that stupid can of fix a flat, or the pump . . . which won’t fix a shredded tire, anyways

Or they’ll be at the mercy of the auto club, or a stranger

To . . . . with fuel economy. I want my full size spare


Must be a Fiat design.

I’m looking forward to the airless tire, but probably won’t live to see it.

I don’t like not having a spare, but I’ve prepared myself mentally.
But combine that with a wheels that an engineer has to figure out how to change? A wheel that one as to hang on the hub and visually align the holes while installing the first two lug bolts, then install the hubcap and then install the other three lug bolts (it MUST be done in that order), then, with the hubcaps on, do the final torque?
I can’t in any manner justify that design. Must be a descendant of the guy who reverse threaded all the lugs on the right side of the Chrysler Imperials in… what was it, the mid to late '60s?

If any of you get a chance to use this new system, expect to start drinking. I plan to.

I hope the airless tire is a lot better than the Tweels that Michelin designed.

I just found a picture of the nutty bolts.

It’s a self-centering bolt, as are many, that loads on the conical surface, as self-centering bolts generally do. Two of the hubcap holes clip onto any two of the annular “bands” milled into the bolt just below the hex head. If all five hubcap holes clipped to the annular bands after installation of the lug bolts, it might even make some sense. But the hubcap cannot be installed with all five bolts in place. It is necessary to install two lugs, clip the hubcap on, and then install the other three bolts. Not to be redundant, but try figuring that out at night in bad weather. What a nutty system…

Sorry. But this vehicle is being marketed to young people, the majority of who have never changed a flat. The friend in question is a young person, a good friend’s grandson. If we hadn’t been there, he’d have been stumped. Frankly, I’ll bet most auto club guys will only figure it out after some frustration… and that’s in GOOD weather!!! This kind of pathetic engineering drives me nuts. It’s an embarrassment to the profession.

Euro cars have used lug bolts instead of studs and nuts for many years. It can certainly be awkward, and aggravating, trying to hold everything in place while a couple of bolts are started.
It’s bad enough in daytime. At night on the side of the road can lead to a whole new vocabulary of curse words.
That’s one thing I hated about my SAABs; wrestling wheels into place and trying to stab lug bolts into a hub that was wallowing around.

The Dart must be adopting the Euro method…thanks Fiat. :slight_smile:

As to reverse threaded lugs many Oldsmobiles had that feature and the old VW Bugs and Beetles also had left hand thread wheel bearing retainer nuts on the left side of the car.

Whoever designed that is probably patting himself on the back

And everybody else would like to strangle him


They’ll have to wait their turns. I’ve got dibs.

My old 70’s VW Rabbit had that kind of lug bolt. It had small relatively light weight wheels so aligning the holes to the hub was manageable, if a little awkward. No bolt involvement with the hubcaps though. I guess Dodge has set out a corporate objective to protect their hubcaps from falling off. Hopefully it’s designed so if the owner has to do this in a rainstorm they can put the hubcap in the trunk and just worry about the wheel.

The bolts would hold the wheel safely without the hubcap. Well, safe from becoming loose… but perhaps not safe from the frustrated owner deciding to drive it off the nearest cliff…

I wonder what other new and innovative features will be discovered on that Dart in the future…

My attitude towards Fiat is pretty bad anyway. The best, and best paying, mechanic gig I ever had in my life was brought to an end by Fiat after the dealer took on a Fiat franchise.
Fiat essentially hammered the coffin lid down solid and screwed the dealer over in every facet of the operation from new cars to parts to service support and warranty operations.

If there is no spare, why bother removing the flat tire? Use the fix-a-flat or call for roadside assistance…Forget the hub cap until order has been restored…

When we were in Italy, 90% of all the cars on the road where those Fiat 500 type or whatever they are that have had the same body style since the 60’s. They all looked the same. Once in a while a Chev or a Ford or a VW but mostly Fiats. Of course you can’t buy Crest tooth paste there either so Fiat it is.

Here’s a picture of the ignorance…and even in the aftermarket.

Simple, caddyman. It was a slow leak (went flat overnight) and I have a compressor, tire plug materials, and soapy water in a bottle at home. We could easily have plugged the tire if we had found a nail, and the car’s owner considered that an acceptable option. Or, if the valve had been seeping, he could have filled the tire with air and taken the car to a tire store to have the valve replaced.

As it happens, we couldn’t find the leak - I don’t have a wheel tub - but that’s not relevant to my point.

I know the question of the integrity of a plug might ensue, but that’s a different question than the design of the wheel/lugs/hubcaps.

Yup, that’s the POS hubcap. You can see the clips in two of the holes, and you can see that the other three need to have the hubcap installed before installing the stud bolts.

BMWs, with two or four wheels, have used a similar system for decades.