How To Torque a Vehicle's Lug Nuts

Lug nuts are nuts which may be rounded or shaped like a cone, and is mostly used on aluminum wheels or steel. Typically, they are made to fasten the wheel securely to the wheel studs so that it is attached to the wheel’s axles as well. Although torquing lug nuts is done basically to tighten them up, there is another reason to do it too. You will find the wheel’s torque ring on the outer side of lugholes located behind the wheel, which serves as a lock washer. In order for the torque ring to function properly, the lug nuts should be set to the exact torque. Lug nuts must always be tightened up to a precise torque, which is based on the wheel stud’s size. Loosening or tightening lug nuts are the basic steps when changing your tires. It is very important that it is done properly so that you are assured of safety while driving. Done incorrectly, you may either have extreme difficulty in removing the nuts and eventually ruin your rims if too tight, or risk your tires coming off when loosely attached. Here are the steps to follow.

  • Gather the appropriate tools. It is very important that you have the specific caliber wrench to do the job right. The torque wrench is an X-shaped device, which is used to apply an exact torque to a nut or a bolt. This is normally included in the trunk with the jack when you purchase your car. You will make use of these tools in the process.
  • Use your hydraulic jack to raise your car. In order for you to be able to get to your tire rig, you will need to elevate your car, making use of your hydraulic jack. Check out the number of lug nuts you have on your vehicle as it may vary depending on the type of car you own. Also make sure that you do not lose them as you go along.
  • Remove your hubcaps. Hubcaps may cover the lug nuts on your wheels so if you do have them, you will need to remove them first. Use a flat head screwdriver to open them up or check out your car’s tools to see what you can use to pry them open.
  • Attach your lug nuts. Lug nuts can be attached manually following a pattern in the shape of a star, crossways through your tire. Begin by placing in your top lug nut, followed by the bottom nut, before moving on to the left and the right nuts. To make sure that your wheels are balanced evenly, do not put too much pressure as you place them on. Once done, you can now begin to tighten up these nuts with your hands following the same pattern. That way, you are certain that both the weight and the pressure are equally dispersed.
  • Use your torque wrench. Bring your car down by releasing the pressure from your hydraulic jack. Following the same pattern, tighten up your bolts with your torque wrench. Apply a restrained amount of pressure initially so that equal force is exerted on all of the nuts. After this, you can now apply full pressure with your torque while following the same pattern.

If need be, you may add an extender to your torque wrench to be able to have more control on the amount of pressure you apply. Make sure that you test the tightness of the nuts as you drive your car so you can make adjustments when needed.


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