My tire fell off

You should take a close look at that wheel, it may not be the correct wheel for the vehicle. Check the wheel center to see if it fits the hub center correctly. The wheel center should fit around the hub center, not over lap it.

when you say wheel do you mean the rim?

I agree with Nevada, that rim needs to be looked at. The tire size is not relevant, at least not comparing a new 205 to a partly worn 215. But if the tire was the wrong size, maybe the rim is wrong too. Rims can be hub centric or lug centric. Hub centric is the norm in factory rims. If the hub diameter of the rim is larger than the hub itself, then it is lug centric, you see this in off the shelf “custom” rims. It means that the lug nuts then have to carry the load, center the rim as well as hold it to the hub or rotor.

If the lugs were not tight enough, and the hub hole was too large, the tire would have slipped off center and once on the ground, you would not be able to tighten them enough.

Also, even if the rim is hub centric, it is still possible that the AAA guy had the rim slightly rotated so that all the applied torque was on one side of the lug nut. This can be done when someone is careless, especially with an impact wrench. The nut would easily loosen up, even if you applied the correct torque after the vehicle was set down. BTW, the supplied lug wrench is capable of providing sufficient torque by most people for a short drive to the repair shop except as described above.

Okay can a tire place tell me if the rim on the spare is the right type for my van or do I need to go to the dealer? My plan is to replace another aging tire on my car and have that tire become my spare, but don’t want to put it on a wrong sized rim.

Just asking on the ‘off chance’ it is this:
Could it be your wheel’s nuts were bottomed out with the spare?

Maybe thread them on with no wheel in place to see how much you have left under it.

Any good tire place should be able to tell you.

bottomed out with spare…not sure what that means?

Why did they replace the lugs? (those are the things the lug nuts screw in to that you said in your first post they replaced). If the lug nuts were just improperly tightened, you should only need to tighten them down, not replace other parts. There’s something we don’t know here.

About bottoming out:
A lugnut is a nut but the nice ones have a cap over one end (I take it your lugnuts are the nice decorative variety, where the top of it looks nice and shiny) so it will only thread in so far before the lug hits this cap. That’s called bottoming out. The nut simply cannot go any further, no matter how hard you try, because the top of the lug is threaded in all the way and then hits the top of the lugnut.

If the space from the hub to the bottom of the nut is too large, it won’t hold the wheel in place properly. If that space is three millimeter and the thickness of your wheel there is only two, well, you see the problem. Sure, they feel tight but the wheels really are not mounted well. You may not feel play but where it is supposed to be torqued down to, say, 75 foot-lbs they may in actuality be way less.

There’s a slim chance the nuts are bottoming out when you’re using your spare because it is a cheapie rim. It is worth checking, since they replaced the lugnuts.

The bolts and lugnuts were all striped and damaged and had to be replaced by the tire coming off.

Are the regular wheels steel with hubcaps or alloy?

the rim looks to be a regular rim but I will have it checked out.

Wheels are all steel I think, this is your very basic first version of the Kia Sedona mini van with your basic tires. The hubcap is plastic. the lug nuts do have caps though.

I don’t get it, I have tightened wheels for many years with a 4 way wrench and none have fallen off. Not even one lug has become loose. I am not a weight lifter either. What gives?

The tire didn’t come off, bertrand - the WHEEL came off.

I don’t think we can help you here, someone needs “eyes on” to figure this out. Unfortunately, the evidence has been removed, the original lug nuts and lugs. Something was done wrong, whether it was the tow truck guy or the previous tire installer, something was wrong. I do hope that the person who replaced the lugs and lug nuts put the correct ones on.

tire was flat in my driveway, AAA was called and put on spare which was a normal tire, not a donut but sized 205 not 215. AAA guy said tire being smaller was not real safe and that I needed to go straight to a tire place to have them torque down the lugnuts. He tightend them up but the van down tightened a little more and left. I then tightened some more with the lug wrench provided with the van and didn’t have them torqued. Drove about 35-40 miles when wheel came off. When the wheel came off the lugs had a crack and then and the threads on teh bolts on the car were stripped so the lugs could not go back on. Called and had a tow truck tow it to repair place which put on new bolts and had new lugs and spare was put on. They said nothing about the rim being wrong size and I told them I knew the tire was not the same size as other 3. Went next day to Tire Barn where I have had all my tires done, they removed spare, replaced tire on flat with new and put it on and put spare in back of van, never said spare wasn’t good.

I agree with Keith. Even “eyes-on”, the only thing that could be verified at this point is that the new studs and nuts are correct. Seeing as how the shop had the inteligence to replace the studs, rather than just the nuts, I think the odds are excellent that the job was done correctly.

I suspect the “root cause” is being “overthought”. I’d wager that someone just didn’t tighten the lug nuts properly and they came loose. An interesting property of lug nuts is that one one of the car’s sides an untightened lug nut will tend to be unscrewed as the wheel rotates. Chrysler tried to design in compensation for this many years ago by reverse-threading the wheel studs on one side of the car, but it created so many broken studs from inattentive mechanics with impact wrenches that they abandoned the idea.

Along with Mountainbike’s comment, you can’t protect yourself against idiots because they are just too ingenious in circumventing the design:

My old 52 Dodge truck had left and right nuts but whomever owned it before me had swapped the drums on the front, so the R nuts were on the left side and vice versa.