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Torque specs for wheel nuts

If you are installing the wheels on any vehicle, you must follow the manufacturer-recommended wheel nut torque specifications. Torquing the wheel nuts accurately to these specifications will ensure that you attach the wheels properly.

Definition of Wheel Nut Torque

The torque on a wheel nut describes how tightly you fasten the nut to the wheel. Torque is measured in foot-lbs.

Why Torque Matters

Knowing the torque of the wheel nuts on your vehicle plays an important role during installation because improperly torqued nuts can jeopardise the vehicle's safety and cause significant damage. Nuts torqued too loosely do not fasten the wheel securely to the vehicle. Nuts torqued too tightly can "stretch" under the pressure, causing them to crack, shear, loosen or break.

Where to Find Torque Specifications

Every vehicle has manufacturer-recommended wheel nut torque specifications. Look for them in your vehicle's owner's manual. If you do not have access to the manual, you can also obtain them from your vehicle make's dealership or from most mechanics.

How to Torque Wheel Lug Nuts Properly

When torquing the lug nuts on your wheels, attach them in a crisscross pattern across the wheel to ensure uniformity. Check to ensure that the threads on the nuts are clean and dry so you get an accurate measurement. Tighten the nuts using a torque wrench, measuring torque to the manufacturer-recommended specifications; re-torque the nuts after driving between 50 and 100 miles to make any adjustments after the wheels and nuts break in --- particularly if you have just installed new wheels.

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About the Author

Gina Poirier has a professional background in nonprofit administration and management, primarily with youth development organizations. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in international studies from the University of Washington and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Alaska Anchorage.