Metal Fragments on Stud After Lug Nut Removal

I’m noticing that sometimes whenever I remove lug nuts with an impact wrench, there’s small metal fragments sticking to the stud after the nut is removed. They are pretty small and splinter size and almost dust like. I’m sure I’m using the right socket size. Should I be concerned and is there anyway to prevent this from happening? I never have this issue when I use a ratchet or breaker bar. I don’t have this issue when I remove regular (not lug) nuts or bolts, at least no metal fragments or splinters that are large enough to see with the naked eye.

It’s almost like removal magnetized the stud slightly and small splinters and metal dust sticks to the end of the stud, the flat part.

Nut sure that it matters but it’s an Acura who I believe doesn’t use chrome lug nuts.


I’ve never had that problem, but I don’t own an impact wrench/socket contraption either. Here’s my gentle lug nut treatment method, if interested

  • Keep track so can install the lug nut on the same stud it was removed from
  • Clean studs with wire brush after nut is removed
  • A very thin layer of moly-grease on stud before re-installing lug nut
  • Tighten in 3 rounds, crossing pattern

Not recommending, just saying.

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Do you use the impact wrench to tighten the lug nuts?


If you are concerned about the particles, don’t use your impact wrench. Simple solution.


How often do you remove wheels?

Multiple times a day,
all the valve stems need to be pointed in the same direction while car is parked.

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I was talking to OP.

Impact wrenches remove lug nuts very quickly causing a LOT of heat in a very short period of time. I think this creates the metal dust.

Not to often. Ok that’s what I was thinking, it’s normal and not to worry about it. I don’t use an impact when putting them on.

Only you, yoshi.

I didn’t look to see who it was. At any rate when loosening, I crack the nuts loose first with a ratchet, then use the impact to drive them off. Putting them back on I blurt them down with the impact then tighten them with the wrench. I’m not a tire shop.

I never just hit the trigger and let it do it’s thing, I will pop the trigger and let it loosen the lug nuts a little at a time, normally about 3 pops to loosen and then I zip them off, less heat build up, I can hold them no problem… And know your impact, I run them down easy with the impact also, not letting it hammer so not to over tighten the lugs… My impact has removed lugs off a big bucket truck so it is not a weak one either… lol
Never had a lug nut failure on any of my vehicles doing it that way…

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As @Tester asked…

My Honda and Toyota Dealership claim to use Torque Limiting Extension Bars when installing the lug nuts on the cars. I have never handled one and the photo is from the web. They are color coded and marked with their settings.

The problem with torque sticks is you have to turn your impact way down and don’t hammer them with the impact gun… They are basically like a torsion bar and will limit the torque amount that is driving them, but an 800 ft lb will drive it harder then a 250 ft lb impact gun…
But you always need to hand torque the lugs afterwards…

And by the way if the torque spec is 80 ft lbs and you run them down with an impact gun and then put a torque wrench on them to torque and the torque wrench clicks before the nut rotates any, they are over tight most likely…

So unless used correctly, torque sticks are useless…

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I use the sticks but I always use the next lowest torque value and then use a torque wrench to set the final torque. For 100 ft/lb lugs I use the 80 ft/lb stick and for 85 lb/ft lugs I use the 60 ft/lb stick. I’m always able to turn the lugs to the final torque value with my torque wrench (clicker style). Between tire rotations and winter tire mounting and removal, the typical car in my house has the wheels off at least 3 to 4 times a year, not including state inspections and brake work.

I never lube the threads since the torque values are based on dry threads, but will use never seize on the conical seats of lug nuts on my older cars since I have lots of older alloy wheels that love to fuse to the lug nuts if I don’t.

lol … reminds me of a friend in Colorado who sometimes parked his car on street longer than allowed, 3 days max by law. Enforcement method, police sketch valve stem orientation , then check again in 3 days. If different orientation, car must have been driven, no ticket. In order to avoid getting a parking ticket he’d jack the wheel up and hand-rotate the tire so the valve stem was pointing in different direction … lol … .

In the late '60s, in upstate New York (Albany Schenectady, and Troy), the traffic cops marked the left front tire and the pavement in the Two-hour Parking Zones. They used different colored “greasy crayon type chalk” so you could not claim that the tire mark was from another day. As for the mark on the pavement, you were required to park the same direction as the traffic flow, so all the pavement marks were in relatively the same place…

In the places that actually had parking meters, the meters would not accept an additional coin to extend the 2-hours. You had to be at the meter when it expired and hope the cop was not waiting too. If the cop was waiting, you had to move the car. They (in most cases) would not let you insert another coin. And since your car was in the spot when the meter expired, you had to wait for the cop to write you the ticket before moving it and even if they write you a ticket, you still had to move your car afterwards…

Or roll the car/back or forward a little. Used to have the parking police with the chalk sticks. People didn’t like getting chalk marks on their tires. I think the chalk police were eliminated back in the last budget shortfall. Better things to do like trick clerks into selling to underage kids. Heh heh, I used to ride my bike past a blind guy that ran a little store to try to buy cigs. Maybe he wasn’t so blind cause he seemed to know.

I’ve seen all of these used at various times to enforce parking rules

  • chalk/grease pencil marks on tires clearly extending to pavement (best & most fair method imo b/c it is easy for driver to see, so knows enforcement is taking place)
  • small white rocks placed on top of tires
  • small, nearly invisible chalk mark on outside wall of tires only, not extending to street
  • chalk mark on inside of tire
  • chalk on tire tread
  • small paper circle stuck on tire tread
  • inspect odometer through window

I’ve lived in big cities at times. Urban parking rules can be gamed if you are familiar with the area. There are usually some spots that look like they are illegal to park, but actually are legal. You’ll see a sign that says “2 hour parking, enforced from 8 am to 5 pm”. You can usually park there from 3 pm to 10 am the next day. And then there’s the scheme to erase the chalk marks … lol …didn’t work for me. I was visiting San Francisco and just as I was rubbing the mark off, one of those parking-enforcement mini-cars comes rolling out of a driveway and spots me … lol … officer must have been on break at home having lunch …

I have a huge antenna in my attic and I get about 65 digital TV stations and one of the stations is call DABL and they show an old Reality show called “Parking Wars”. It was filmed in Philadelphia from 2008 until 2012, and it followed parking enforcement officers of the Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA) as they engaged in ticketing, “booting”, towing and releasing vehicles back to their owners, as part of their parking violation enforcement duties.

It is fascinating to watch these folks, they are not paid anything and you get to dee their reaction paying hundreds of dollars after their cars are towed for unpaid or illegal parking…