I would certainly be concerned about the lug nuts falling off originally. However, I would not worry about the cap that had fallen off recently if the nut is still tight. Many times manufacturers will apply these chrome caps to the lug nuts to make them shiny. These are purely cosmetic and have no effect on the vehicle’s performance whatsoever.
How to Identify and Fix Common car Problems ?
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Loose wheel nuts / bolts can occur for a variety of reasons, including (but not limited to) under-torqueing, over-torqueing, differential thermal contraction, and improper mating surfaces. Many people use air impact wrenches to fit the wheels to trailers, cars and trucks.
Not if the lug nuts are installed correctly. A bad wheel bearing will start out making noise and generating a little heat. Eventually it will start roaring and making a vibration you can feel.
After you lose one lug nut, that pressure has to be distributed to the other lug nuts. Over time, this can wear down the other lug nuts on the wheel. If you are missing a lug nut on just one wheel, there will be uneven pressure on the wheel hub. This can have an effect on the wheel bearings.
Swollen lug nuts has been a common problem since the invention of the two-piece capped lug nut. The problem occurs when moisture infiltrates the space between the chrome decorative cap and the actual steel lug nut securing the wheel to the vehicle.
Try not to. If you have to use a lug wrench, do this as a temporary measure (i.e.: changing a flat on the side of the road). As soon as possible, you need to have those lug nuts correctly tightened!
Attach each lug nut by hand, and then use a manual torque wrench to tighten until you hear the `click` sound that indicates you`ve reached the right amount of torque. The number—usually in the 75-100 lb-ft range—should be easy to locate in your vehicle`s owner`s manual.
Loose lug nut
Does the rattling sound stop as you drive faster? It could be a loose lug nut inside a hub cap – meaning your wheel wasn`t tightened properly the last time it was removed and replaced. Take your car to a mechanic ASAP, or tighten it yourself if you know how.
You can drive, but I wouldn`t drive too far. You might find that having just 4 lug nuts generates lateral stress on the wheel which might cause the other nuts to come loose, so I`d check the nuts regularly on your journey until you can get a replacement lug nut.
Depending on the type of vehicle it is and the age, the lug nuts may need to be replaced anywhere between five and 15 years. The cost of lug nuts or lug bolts can range from $2 to $7 or $8 a piece on most vehicles.
Swollen lug nuts tend to look rusty, warped, or scuffed from being taken on and off.
Someone forgot to tighten your lug nuts or didn`t tighten them enough. And that`s exactly what will happen. Over time, they`ll slowly work their way loose. Every time you hit a pothole or a bump, they`ll get a little looser.
Tom: And it CAN take two months for loose lug nuts to come off. We`ve seen it happen before. At some point, one nut gets loose enough and comes off, and then things go downhill rapidly. And in many cases, a wheel bolt or two will break, just like yours did.
A sure sign that your bearing has failed is vibration. If the raceway surface of the bearing becomes damaged by abrasion, the rolling elements (the balls or rollers) will bounce around on the raceway surface during operation, causing high levels of vibration.
If the screws are not tight enough, they can come loose whilst driving. If the wheel bolts are too tight, the threads might get stripped or damaged. And this is where the torque wrench comes in. Using a torque wrench enables you to tighten up the wheel bolts to a specified torque.
Loose lug nuts, or possibly broken bolts, can cause shaking which will be constant from slow to fast speeds. The frequency will vary with your speed, of course.
To safely install your wheels, it`s important that the lug nut size matches your vehicle`s requirements. If your lug nuts or lug bolts don`t match your vehicle`s thread pitch, they won`t work on your ride. Lug nut sizes are given in two numbers. The first number is the diameter of the stud.
Wheels will be tightened in the air and torqued once the vehicle is on the ground. Proper storage of a torque wrench is key to ensuring it works properly. A star pattern is used when torquing your lug nuts in the correct order to ensure equal amounts of force on each side of the wheel.
Lug nuts must be torqued to the manufacturer`s recommended values, and they must be re-torqued to those values after driving approximately 50 to 100 miles on your new tires after the tire service. Both under and over tightening can be dangerous.