Which anti-seize for the wheel nuts?


#1

Hello folks,

Working on the wheels for the first time. I would like to put anti-seize on when I put the wheels back.

I searched about this and there is a thread in the past with mixed feelings, put it or not put it. I live in NY, which puts ton and tons of salt on the road in winter. I am sure that has affected nuts/studs. So I am hoping that after putting anti-seize and right amount of torque, I should not have issues taking them off in future.

Amazon lists a ton of different type, aluminium/Nickel/Copper based. Some folks recommend non-metallic anti-seize. Which ones do you folks use (those who use)? Will be great if you could just post the link to the product so I order the right on. Don’t want to screw this up.

Thanks in advance.


#2

Apparently Tire Rack says no to anti-seize on lug nuts because it gives false torque reading. That’s good enough for me.


#3

I use the copper based stuff but the aluminum will work just fine.

You only need a little, not gobs. Smear a little inside the center hole of the wheel. That is a spot that really grabs a rusty hub on some cars.

Put a little on the stud thread themselves, out towards the ends. When the lug nut spins on, it will distribute down the stud. DON’T get any on the wide tapered portion of the lug that contacts the wheel. That provides resistance to keep them from loosening and actually creates most of the resistance torque you use to tighten. Use factory torque specs.

I’ve done this for over 30 years with no ill effect whatsoever on differnet models of cars with studs and wheel bolts. No broken studs, frozen lugs or loose lug nuts while living in a rust belt state.

Take my experience with a grain of salt (double meaning intended!). Opinions vary as you can already tell.


#4

I vote against this. If you’re worried about getting the lug nuts loose in the future, just break and retorque them every two months or so, which should take maybe five minutes of your time.


#5

Lug nuts/studs are DRY-TORQUE-FASTENERS.

Ever see a new vehicle come from the factory with anything on the lug nuts/studs?

Tester


#6

I have been a mechanic for around thirty five years now, and I read a LOT of procedures because I’m interested in doing the job right. Nowhere in any instructions have I ever read to use anti-seize on the lug nuts. To me it’s more a matter of liability than anything else. If a wheel that I just installed comes off, who knows the outcome? Not me, crystal ball’s in the shop and I’m not interested in a new career. Not to mention, I have zero desire to injure anyone.


#7

Ever see a vehicle come from the factory with a wheel rusted to the hub?
:wink:
I can understand why professional mechanics/shops wouldn’t do it for liability reasons.


#8

Because the wheels are removed for various services.

If there’s a lubricant on the lug studs/nuts, it causes over-torquing of the lug nuts.

Over time with the constant removal/installation of the tires for different services, this over-torquing of the lug nuts can cause the lug studs to stretch to the point of failure. And it usually doesn’t happen at the shop. It usually happens as the vehicle is being driven.

That’s why if anyone brings a vehicle to my shop for service where it requires that I remove the tires and reinstall them, and there’s any kind of lubricant on the lug nuts/studs, I tell them to bring the vehicle back to the shop where the idiots put that crap on the lug nuts/studs, and have them deal with it.

Because I don’t how long that crap has been on there, and how long the lug nuts have been over-toqued.

Tester


#9

not living in NY myself, I can’t speak from experience, but it seems that proper tire rotation, or even the twice a year switch to/from winter tires (if needed,) would be enough to keep the lug nuts from seizing.


#10

I have a number of cars that see limited use. They sit for long periods and that is really tough on them. They may see one wheel removal a year, sometimes longer.

And then, once they get older and start rusting, it’s an accelerated process. It doesn’t take long for a wheel bathed in salt brine and then sits for a month or two for it to become an issue.

So there are situations where corrosion can be an issue and that is easily addressed by a judicious use of anti-seize. Apparently, I am the luckiest person on the planet because it hasn’t ever resulted in a wheel falling off or even one compromised stud. Then again, I do all my own work so not much significant over torquing going on :wink:


#11

I read all the comments. I am a very bad man. :smiling_imp: I have been slathering anti-seize compound on my wheel lugs for over 50 years and driven hundreds and hundreds of thousands of miles on them. :scream_cat:

I still use the same 1/2 pint can of Snap-On Anti-Seize that I got at a car dealer where I worked in the 1960s. It’s gray stuff that I must stir up before I use it. :beer:

I’m not sure it matters which kind/color you use. I always torque my lugs to factory specs (95 ft. lbs. in my case). I’ve never had a problem. :smile:

I’m sure this won’t be controversial, either, :smirk: but I put it on hubs (very thinly and evenly) when installing brake rotors and on the backs of wheel mounting surfaces. :imp:

I know this is very, very naughty, :anguished: but I’ve never had an issue removing any of these items.

I have always enjoyed living on the edge! :tongue:
CSA


#12

Well?

I guess this proves who the pros are on this board!

Tester


#13

I read the article after I finally got it to expand. There were no revelations there that I could detect. It seems the author doesn’t like lubing the threads, except sometimes when he does.

I basically agree with all the rest, too. As I said, I always have used a torque wrench on lugs.

Anyhow, @Tester you sir are a pro mechanic in my book. I am definitely an amateur DIYer. I don’t need to read anything to figure that out, for sure. :smile:

I’ve got years and years of doing things my way with great success. No offense, but I do a terrific job of not using professionals to maintain and repair my cars. I often use unconventional methods, some I’m actually proud of!

I have saved thousands and thousands of dollars with a relatively minor investment in tools and band-aids. :wink:
CSA


#14

I’ve been lubing lug bolts for nearly a half-century and never had a single problem with it.


#15

Edited out-just can’t seem to respond today without making a smart aleck comment but I caught myself. I don’t normally use anti-seize on lug nuts for the reasons mentioned but I have used it on the trailer wheels. It sits out in the weather most of the time so the lug nuts can rust pretty good. If you are on the road and need to swap tires, its hard to get them off because of the wheel spin on a light trailer. In the garage is not a problem with an air wrench.


#16

The only problem I ever had with lugnuts was on an old Chrysler van, 1993 era I think. It was missing a hubcap, and that tire went flat, broke a stud, called AAA, they broke 2 more then towed us for repair. I don’t think antiseize would have helped as the studs were rusted so badly after where the bolt was. PB Blaster probably would have been a good thing, but was not aware of it at the time.


#17

From what I can tell pros usually don’t apply anything to prevent the lug nut from rusting to the stud and making it hard to remove, b/c of the torque measurement problem mentioned above. They recommend to just clean the stud and nut the best you can using a wire brush or whatever, might have to replace the stud or the nut if it is hopeless, and that’s that.

Me, I’m not a pro, and you did ask what we folks here did, right? I’ve always applied just a tiny dab of moly lube to the threads, just barely enough to coat them w/a very thin layer. Molybdenum based grease. I use that for repacking cv joints too. If I used it only for wheel studs I’d only need an ounce to last a lifetime … lol … I’m not saying I’d recommend you do this, but I’ve never had a wheel nut that rusted to the stud and became difficult to remove.


#18

I live in a suburb if Buffalo. the road salt capitol of the world. If you don’t use antiseze here, in 6 months you are going to need a sledge to get them off. In a year you may need a torch. With a brand new car you have a couple of years before it becomes a big problem. I saw a 10 year old Pontiac in a local repair shop while I was waiting for a set of tires to come. They were trying to take the snow tires off the rear. They had beat on it for a while and used penetrating oil to no avail. They finally had to heat the center of the wheel cherry red to get it off.

Yes I know that lubricant increases the bolt stretch but the rusty studs more than counteract that.


#19

Hmm, that article specifically describes what those of us non-professional mechanics do when we add anti-seize to our studs. :grinning:

From the article;

If you do apply lubricant, make sure to do so carefully and only to the threads. Never allow any lubricant on the mating surfaces of the nut or the lughole of the wheel.

Much of the “stickiness” brought about by proper torque comes not from the threads but from the contact between mating surfaces


#20

I don’t understand the high drama involved with supporting either position. I have used anti seize for decades on thousands of vehicles with several hundred belonging to fleets that no one worked on but me for hundreds of thousands of miles each with great success. And it’s hard to beat 100% success year after year. But for those who have been just as successful without it more power to you.