Missing Lug Nuts

A quick question about lug nuts falling off. I just noticed that my wife’s accord was missing 3 of 5 of the lug nuts on the front right tire. It’s probably been like this for at most few weeks, but no more than a month. First, beyond replacing the missing lug nuts, is there any thing else that might be damaged? IE, would driving like that weaken the lug and require replacement. Second, is this more likely thievery or a mistake on my part? I had removed the tire in September to check the brake pads so it is plausible that I forgot or didn’t correctly tighten the lug nuts. But the only nut that was still fairly tight was the wheel lock lug nut. Additionally, I checked the tire pressure mid-december, so if I didn’t tighten them correctly, they took a long time to fall off.

Car info: 04 Accord EX, ~55,000m, current on all maintenance, last oil change in september.

If there is a problem with any of the lugs, then it would be on the lugs that is still tight. It is the one that had to handle all the stress. Was the fourth one loose? If so, I’d suspect that you didn’t do the final torque on them for some reason. Probably the only person that that hasn’t happened to is someone who has never changed a tire.

It does take a while for the lug nuts to fall off. The wheel, if OEM, rides on the center hub, the lug nuts just hold the wheel to the hub. If even one is tights, then it doesn’t put stress against the other lug nuts so they aren’t being forced off.

If the tire was still on tight then I doubt there would be any problem.

I’ve NEVER seen lug-nuts fall off on their own. There’s usually some external force at work.

I remember the Chrysler products of the late 1940s and early 1950s that had left handed threads on the left side of the car. The theory was that the lug nuts would stay tight as one drove the car. I don’t think that the Chrysler engineers ever thought about the fact that other makes with regular right hand threads on the lugs for the left side of the car didn’t lose wheels.

The Chryco left handed threads were used into the 70’s.

That is interesting. The only Chrysler products on which I have ever had occasion to change tires were a 1940 Chrysler, 1947 DeSoto, 1948 Dodge and a 1952 Dodge. You have taught me something about modern cars.

While I can’t claim any knowledge about left-hand lug nuts on Chrysler products made after 1959, I do recall that my father’s '59 Plymouth did have this strange feature.

While I was a Mopar fan back in those days, it does seem like some of Chrysler’s ideas were different just for the sake of being different–not because they were better. Case in point–those rear-view mirrors mounted on the dashboard instead of being suspended from the windshield or the windshield frame. As soon as a passenger sat in the center of the front seat, those Chrysler rear-view mirrors were useless.

The Studebakers made from 1947 through the early 1950s had dash mounted rear view mirrors.

My 66 Dodge coronet wagon and my brothers 69 Charger had left hand threads on the drivers side.

Dag–I had forgotten about the Studes!
Even though I am a big Stude fan, this concept was no better when it was a Studebaker idea than it was later when Chrysler co-opted it.

I can still remember my father cursing about having no rear vision in our '59 Belvedere whenever we had 3 people in the front seat. And, even though in these days of front bucket seats, it seems strange to have 3 abreast in the front, we did seem to have that situation a lot back in those days.

As I remember, the reason (excuse) for mounting the rear view mirror on the dashboard is that the high mounted rear view mirrors caused a blind spot in the driver’s line of vision.

My 56 Studebaker had left hand lug nuts on the left side and my 59 Lark had all right hand threads until I had to replace the drivers side rear brake drum with the one from the 56 and then I had a Studebaker with 3 right hand thread wheels and one left hand ones. Never thought to mention it when I traded in the car and I wonder what the next owner thought
I had a 61 Dodge Dart Phoenix with left hand lugs and an emergency brake between the driveshaft and transmission. It still had the double leading shoe brake setup with two wheel cylinders per wheel. Always thought it was a better design than the Bendix but power brakes minimized the advantage.

School buses and other equipment used the left-hand threads on the left side the last time I had a chance to notice. I will look around to see if they still use them. The studs had an L on the ends and they still might. It makes it easier to NOT put them on the right side of the vehicle.