Four things can happen when you don't use a torque wrench; one of them is loosening lug nuts. If you are using any kind of anti-seize compound, get that crap off of there and wash the nuts and studs. Never ever use anti-seize compound. If you used any kind of regular grease on the threads, it will dissolve the protective anodized coating on the studs. If you use grease on non-coated studs, it is important to use very little, then turn the nuts on by hand before using any air tools. Spinning the nuts on with an air wrench causes the centrifugal force to make the grease build up on the friction surface that holds the nuts tight to the wheels. Those contact points must remain dry.
If you have cast wheels, once the nuts have come loose the wheel must be replaced. The metal is soft and will deform and wear away when the nuts are loose. After that, the contact surface won't match the nuts and the wheel will come loose again.
There are published charts that list the torque values for every car and model. I can suggest that a typical value for front-wheel-drive cars is 95 foot pounds for steel wheels and 80 foot pounds for the same car with cast wheels. Anodized studs, which are commonly found on imports, require a lower torque than standard steel studs because that coating acts as a lubricant. Any tire shop will be able to quickly tell you the correct lug nut torque for your car.
Friday, December 10th, 2010 AT 9:33 PM