linkedin image
AAA World | Auto
Overtightened Lug Nuts? Here’s What to Do

HOW TO PREVENT YOUR VEHICLE’S LUG NUTS FROM BEING TIGHTENED TOO MUCH

Q: About a month after having snow tires installed on my vehicle for the winter, I got a flat. I was going to change the tire myself, but I ended up calling road service because I couldn't get the lug nuts to budge. The shop that did the winter tire changeover had tightened them too much. How can this problem be prevented?

mechanic changing tire

Have a question for AAA World’s Car Doctor? Email here

A: Next time, choose a shop that checks the vehicle specifications to see how tight the lug nuts should be and then uses a torque wrench to ensure proper tightening when installing the wheels on the vehicle. In shops that use an impact wrench, torque sticks, which limit the force applied to the lug nuts, should be used. Doing so will prevent overtightening. Not only are overtightened lug nuts often impossible to remove using the short lug nut wrench that comes with cars that still have a spare tire and jack, but they can also cause brake rotors to warp in some vehicles.

Likely, the lug nuts on the other three wheels of your vehicle were also overtightened. Be sure to have these lug nuts checked and tightened to the appropriate specifications if needed.