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Wade Lippman
07-01-2015, 1:41 PM
I got new tires today. They sent me an email "reminding" me that I had to bring it back after 25 miles to have the the bolts retorqued. I have bought plenty of tires and no one had ever said that before.

Are they being conscientious, were the other dealers negligent, or is it something new?

(no one there told me about it, it was simply on the email follow up)

Jerome Stanek
07-01-2015, 2:02 PM
the new alloy rims need to be torqued to the proper specs one is to protect the rims and also to keep the rotors from warping.

Brian Elfert
07-01-2015, 2:07 PM
Shops have been saying this for years on a lot of wheels. When I got new tires for my trailer they noted to check torque after 50 miles. If the shop ever takes the wheels off my converted bus they put a note on the repair order to check the torque after a certain number of miles.

Phil Thien
07-01-2015, 2:41 PM
I think they've learned that to make the lug nuts truly unremovable, they need two chances with the impact wrench.

Mike Ontko
07-01-2015, 2:58 PM
I get the same thing where I buy tires (Costco). I don't return after exactly 25 miles, but I do eventually get back to at least have the (nitrogen) pressure checked. I think the torque check is a safety thing or more specifically an insurance thing, required as a means of preventing any potential litigations in our lawsuit-happy society. Whatever the case, it seems like good customer service.

Chris Padilla
07-01-2015, 3:07 PM
Usually if it is new wheels/rims (and typically tires), getting the torque checked after rolling for a few miles is recommended. The new wheel/rim can move a tiny bit under the new stress of being put into use. I've never heard it from any places I've bought tires from however and I've not purchases new wheels/rims in a very long time. However, it certainly doesn't sound like a bad idea but I would just do my own rather than the hassle of taking it back for a simple torque check. :)

Chris Padilla
07-01-2015, 3:11 PM
...and also to keep the rotors from warping.

http://www.stoptech.com/technical-support/technical-white-papers/-warped-brake-disc-and-other-myths

Steve Peterson
07-01-2015, 3:46 PM
I get the same thing where I buy tires (Costco). I don't return after exactly 25 miles, but I do eventually get back to at least have the (nitrogen) pressure checked. I think the torque check is a safety thing or more specifically an insurance thing, required as a means of preventing any potential litigations in our lawsuit-happy society. Whatever the case, it seems like good customer service.

I usually buy my tires at Costco and they have never asked my to bring them back for re-checking. Maybe it is something new.

They have a law in California where they have to offer to check your tire pressure. Every oil change or smog check place will ask. You can decline by saying that you just checked them yourself. Otherwise, they can charge you $7 or $8 to check.

Steve

Jerry Thompson
07-01-2015, 3:53 PM
Phil, now that is a good one. I will use it as my own and give you no credit.

Jerry Thompson
07-01-2015, 3:54 PM
That is why I have my own torque wrench. I trust no one in most shops.

Erik Loza
07-01-2015, 4:09 PM
I think they've learned that to make the lug nuts truly unremovable, they need two chances with the impact wrench.

I often remove the wheels for a detail cleaning and then apply anti-seize paste to the studs while they're off. That way, even if Cleetus gets crazy with the impact, you can still crack the lugs yourself.


That is why I have my own torque wrench. I trust no one in most shops.

This... ^^^ That being said, my local Discount Tire always seems to use one as I am watching through the bay windows.

Erik

Mike Cutler
07-01-2015, 4:32 PM
I just torque my own.
I have two Mini Coopers with performance wheels and tires. I do my own brakes and wheels. They get rotated every 5-7K miles.
Buy a quality torque wrench and do it your self.

Erik
Adding the anti-sieze compound now gives you a "wet torque". If this is your 'Cooper, keep it at the low end of the wheel torque spec.
Mine, " dry torqued", are set to 110ft/lbs.

When I become emperor. Impact wrenches will only turn in the CCW direction for lug nuts!

Mel Fulks
07-01-2015, 4:52 PM
My guess is it's simply to make sure it was done properly the first time. Few places insist on good work habits anymore. Guy could easily step away for a moment and forget what he was doing. I have seen guys put knives in a shaper head NOT TIGHTEN THEM ,walk away for bathroom or cigarette, come back and turn on machine. Should have been fired immediately. As jobs get easier to do it gets harder to develop good habits. I have been accused of screwing up jobs based only on angry call from customer. Always deny it and always right. Boss: how do you know you didn't make that mistake!? ME:because I have good work habits and it would be IMPOSSIBLE for me to make a mistake of that type. But back to tires. I had a flat ,took it off and put on spare, dropped tire off to be repaired. It was "fixed" five times before it was fixed. Yes ,I picked it up and put it back on five times only to have it go flat within 24 hours. Turned out the wheel rim was filthy. I had left a note saying " please, clean the rim thoroughly".

Erik Loza
07-01-2015, 5:03 PM
...Erik
Adding the anti-sieze compound now gives you a "wet torque". If this is your 'Cooper, keep it at the low end of the wheel torque spec.
Mine, " dry torqued", are set to 110ft/lbs.

When I become emperor. Impact wrenches will only turn in the CCW direction for lug nuts!

Thanks, Mike. I had heard of this before. Yeah, I actually check the torque on both the Mini and 4Runner after we get them back from any shop work. I'm with you: The impact (I use a 1/2" gun at home) is just for removal, never for threading.

Erik

Chuck Wintle
07-01-2015, 5:15 PM
I got new tires today. They sent me an email "reminding" me that I had to bring it back after 25 miles to have the the bolts retorqued. I have bought plenty of tires and no one had ever said that before.

Are they being conscientious, were the other dealers negligent, or is it something new?

(no one there told me about it, it was simply on the email follow up)
what kind of rims do you have? As was stated it may be a good idea to recheck torque on the wheel lugs. will they charge you for this service?

Wade Lippman
07-01-2015, 6:08 PM
what kind of rims do you have? As was stated it may be a good idea to recheck torque on the wheel lugs. will they charge you for this service?
Aluminum rims on a Subaru Impreza.
Excellent question. I just called; they say it is free and takes a few seconds. I guess we will see.

Mel...
A few years back I got an oil change. For no particular reason I opened the hood when I got home and found there was no oil cap. So I guess they could forget to tighten the nuts.
I probably had 100 oil changes and have never checked on the other 99; I have no idea why I looked on that particular one. Maybe it sounded different?

Jeff Monson
07-01-2015, 7:12 PM
I believe some shops say to re torque them for liability reasons. I own a repair shop (20 years this fall) we have removed and replaced thousands of wheels. We use only torque sticks or manually torque them (technician preference)...anyways I have had one wheel come loose in those thousands that have been done. We DO NOT require or suggest a customer to return to get the nuts retightened. Makes no sense to me other than liability, given the job was done correctly to start with.

Mike Henderson
07-01-2015, 8:16 PM
I think they've learned that to make the lug nuts truly unremovable, they need two chances with the impact wrench.
True, true. I had a flat on the road and it was impossible to get the lug nuts off with the wrench that came with the car. A cop stopped to help - young, strong, big shoulders - he couldn't get them off either. AAA guy came with a cordless impact wrench to get the nuts off.

Mike

mike mcilroy
07-01-2015, 8:20 PM
I believe some shops say to re torque them for liability reasons. I own a repair shop (20 years this fall) we have removed and replaced thousands of wheels. We use only torque sticks or manually torque them (technician preference)...anyways I have had one wheel come loose in those thousands that have been done. We DO NOT require or suggest a customer to return to get the nuts retightened. Makes no sense to me other than liability, given the job was done correctly to start with..

You're right. I was told this by a Walmart employee. I always do it anyway at home.

I'm sure a big company with thousands of employees like Walmart has to assume that it won't be done correctly 100% of the time.

George Bokros
07-01-2015, 8:29 PM
I do not like them to use torque sticks. Every time they do I cannot get the wheels of to rotate my tires. Just think what I would have to do if I had a flat. I torque mine home to the low end of the spec.

I know many mfg of aftermarket aluminum wheels recommend to re-torque after 50 miles.

Chris Parks
07-01-2015, 9:18 PM
It is standard practise with trucks to always check the torque after a specified distance. Nowadays they fit indicators to wheel nuts so the driver can check visually them during his pre-trip check and yes I have seen them move.

Lee Schierer
07-01-2015, 11:24 PM
Aluminum wheels can relax a little after torquing, effectively loosening the lug nuts. Steel wheels don't have that problem. It is a wise thing to have them checked after the wheels have been off between 25-50 miles. Aluminum wire has the same problem in electrical boxes which is why the screws in a panel should be check periodically. It has nothing to do with rotors warping as the wheel does not connect to the rotor.

Mike Lassiter
07-02-2015, 11:13 AM
It has nothing to do with rotors warping as the wheel does not connect to the rotor.

That's incorrect. in older vehicles the front hubs where the rotor and hub assembly while most now days have a hub with a separate rotor that is sandwiched between the wheel (rim) and hub. When I worked on automobiles (moved on the semi trucks and so forth) if you EVER called Bendix or Wagner brake helpline for tech assistance one of if not the first question they always ask was "did you TORQUE the wheel nuts?" Argument for uniform clamping between the wheel (rim) and hub minimizes warping of the rotor.

Another point regarding impact usage is most reputable shops use what are called torque sticks that are varying sized and diameter sockets with built in extensions that will limit maximum torque from impact usage. If you take a smaller diameter and/or longer length shaft it will absorb a good deal of the impact hammering force and you get these in different torque limits. If you have ever tried removing a tight bolt or nut with a extension and couldn't but could remove the extension or use a shorter one and then could you will understand how they work. Back in those days when I installed wheels back after doing brake work or tire replacement I used a TORQUE WRENCH to tighten the wheel nuts.

This is common place even with big trucks now - torqueing the wheel nuts, and ever TA truck stop also prints out on the invoice and tells the driver/ customer that the wheel nuts MUST BE retorqed within a specific amount of time. This is largely due to liability on their part. Or anyone who installs wheels actually. If a wheel runs off - especially a steer tire and causes a accident or injury/death the legal liability is HUGH.

Steel wheels are just as likely as the "mag" wheels to do this. There are established guidelines for installing wheels back on semi trucks that have the tech use a special wire brush on a power drill/driver that will clean the threads of any debris and rust. The brake drum is also cleaned on the area the wheels contact and the wheel(s) and also cleaned in the contact area to ensure there is a clean surface with no rust or dirt/mud or peeling paint etc. that will prevent all mating surfaces from DIRECT contact. Then a couple of drops of oil are sprayed on the wheel nut washer and they are installed in a cress-cross pattern that has the nuts tightened opposite the one just tightened to give even clamping around the wheels. They are torqued using a torque wrench that is designed specifically for tightening truck wheel nuts, in that the handle breaks away in the middle (not depending on a audible "click" as background noise in a truck shop likely would be too loud to hear that). I understand I am speaking about trucks here as that is what I have worked on over 20 years, but wheels run off cars from improper installation. Everyone that works on them for a living is technically a "pro" yet, many will run the nuts up with a impact with no torque stick and swear to you they are so good that they can "feel" the right torque and everything will be good. I have removed tires and wheels from cars that the previous "pro" tightened so tight the studs were stretched and the threads no longer matched. Some twisted the studs off - trying to REMOVE the nuts. Some work to a higher standard than others, yet both are "pro's". The time to torque them is when they are installed. Torque sticks are industry accepted way to do it without the extra time to have someone physically use a torque wrench on every nut.

I worked at Waste Management for 8 years as a tech, then supervisor and I can tell you we had wheels run off occasionally even when we did everything right. We also used plastic pointers on the wheel nuts called wheel checks that where installed on the nuts after torqueing them that gave a visual indicator a nut had worked loose. We also were required to bring every unit back in the shop the next day and retorque ANY/ALL wheels that had been disturbed the previous day. Brake work or tire replacement and so on. Yet there were still wheels that came off. I saw pictures of dual wheels that came loose and came off trucks that hit cars traveling down the road, that hit houses and went through walls.

Things are much more complicated now a day than they use to be in years gone by. More vehicles on the roads, more lawyers, more "professionals" working on everything that are not properly trained often enough, or they are properly trained and for whatever reason don't do the work properly. A great deal of this is CYA, but if you have saw ONE time the consequences of failure it is the best preventative measure left that everyone can do.

Sorry about long post

Art Mann
07-02-2015, 11:30 AM
Here is one real world experience. I bought a travel trailer 2 years ago. It has aluminum wheels. The technician who set up the trailer for towing told me he torqued the nuts to spec. but advised me to check them again when i got home (125 miles). I did check them and a few of them required maybe 1/12 turn to snug them to trip the clicker. Apparently, he was aware of other instances where the wheels loosened themselves. I have checked them just recently and they are fine.

David Ragan
07-02-2015, 12:03 PM
All this talk about torquing reminds me....I met a fellow who is a superb engineer. Does aftermarket work and analysis of top notch NASCAR engines here. Puts the engine up on a stand in the lab, runs tests, looks @ the oil filter under a microscope, etc, Really cool stuff.

We were talking, and he tells me that when you get down into such fine tuned area as the engines he analyzes, that for torquing, since you also have the lubricants to consider, and the force/friction of the flange/bolt head against the block/whatever, that what they actually measure is the amount that the bolt stretches. I had no idea.

Mike Lassiter
07-02-2015, 12:14 PM
All this talk about torquing reminds me....I met a fellow who is a superb engineer. Does aftermarket work and analysis of top notch NASCAR engines here. Puts the engine up on a stand in the lab, runs tests, looks @ the oil filter under a microscope, etc, Really cool stuff.

We were talking, and he tells me that when you get down into such fine tuned area as the engines he analyzes, that for torquing, since you also have the lubricants to consider, and the force/friction of the flange/bolt head against the block/whatever, that what they actually measure is the amount that the bolt stretches. I had no idea.

yea, they've done that for years. Automobiles use torque to yield head bolts (have for decades) as they claim more even torque based on stretching the bolts slightly (designed that way) and they are used once, when you replace the head gasket again you have to replace the bolts as well. Been a few years since I worked on anything automotive but you use to be able to buy a head gasket with bolts or without. It never made much sense to me to be able to get one without the bolts as they had to be replaced as the old ones would no longer provide the correct clamping force again. Perhaps it was a way to get repeat sales from people that didn't know or couldn't afford the bolts. The chances of failure without replacing the bolts was very high.

Ole Anderson
07-02-2015, 12:26 PM
I use the rattle gun to run the nuts down, then a torque wrench to finish it off. It is very enlightening how easy it is to over torque with a gun. Just a couple of bangs after they are seated can over torque them. Before the torque wrench, I used to use the gun until it seemed they were tight. Explains why they were so hard to get the nuts off without the gun. Wow, 110 on a Mini, yet 94 on my large SUV.

If you can use a hand saw in the shop you can use a torque wrench. Much easier than making a trip back to have them checked. Get a digital clicker. No need to spend several hundred on a Snap-On, even the ones from HF are very accurate, within a few percent. I have a 3/8" and a 1/2" Digi-Torque Craftsman. And when you are done, release the pressure on the wrench.

Andrew Jordan
07-02-2015, 12:50 PM
My cousin had a wheel fall off...his dad (a mechanic) had changed the wheels two months prior...he didn't use a torque wrench.

I always retorque my wheels. Torque specs are set by the manufacturer - so if it's hard to remove, it's supposed to be.

Jeff Monson
07-02-2015, 1:40 PM
When I worked on automobiles (moved on the semi trucks and so forth) if you EVER called Bendix or Wagner brake helpline for tech assistance one of if not the first question they always ask was "did you TORQUE the wheel nuts?" Argument for uniform clamping between the wheel (rim) and hub minimizes warping of the rotor.




I agree Mike, a floating rotor will be affected by the torque of the wheel nut. An improperly torqued wheel can cause rotor warp age. It can also cause a wheel to come loose. A properly torqued wheel in the passenger car and truck world should not come loose. If you see technicians in a shop putting wheels on without the PROPER torque stick or manually torqueing the wheel nuts....then you can expect a problem. One wheel nut at 175lbs, one nut at 90lbs one nut at 125lbs, yes that is a recipe for a loose wheel or a warped rotor. Just my .02

Mike Lassiter
07-02-2015, 2:05 PM
I agree Mike, a floating rotor will be affected by the torque of the wheel nut. An improperly torqued wheel can cause rotor warp age. It can also cause a wheel to come loose. A properly torqued wheel in the passenger car and truck world should not come loose. If you see technicians in a shop putting wheels on without the PROPER torque stick or manually torqueing the wheel nuts....then you can expect a problem. One wheel nut at 175lbs, one nut at 90lbs one nut at 125lbs, yes that is a recipe for a loose wheel or a warped rotor. Just my .02

While at Waste Management there where some studies done on putting truck wheels on with a 1 inch impact wrench. As you stated the torque was all over the place. We were told in a class that the BEST variation was 200 foot pounds difference between the nuts (recommended torque of 450 ft. lbs.) using a impact that can do 1600 - 2000 ft. lbs. We had a torque stick for the truck wheels, but you already have a extended anvil on the impact and then add another maybe 18 inches to that it would make the gun very nose heavy - and often the torque stick would fall off when you removed it from a nut because the impact would wear the female square drive and be loose enough that the gun would pull out of the stick. So we zipped them up snug with the impact and then torqued them by hand.

It was really aggravating doing the next day retorque because we used the plastic wheel checks on the nuts - you had to pull them off to check the torque. 10 on every wheel! If you put brakes on (what we called a 4 wheel brake job was the 4 drive axle brakes on the rear axles) so you had to remove 40 wheel checks then go thru the process of torqueing 40 wheel nuts and then put the plastic wheel checks back on the nuts. I was rare to actually see any of the 40 nuts that would tighten ANY, but every now and then you would and at least on that truck it didn't feel like a lot of work for nothing.

Jerome Stanek
07-02-2015, 3:19 PM
My buddy has a semi with aluminum rims and the maker won't stand behind them if you don't use a special impact torque socket.

Larry Edgerton
07-03-2015, 8:19 AM
All this talk about torquing reminds me....I met a fellow who is a superb engineer. Does aftermarket work and analysis of top notch NASCAR engines here. Puts the engine up on a stand in the lab, runs tests, looks @ the oil filter under a microscope, etc, Really cool stuff.

We were talking, and he tells me that when you get down into such fine tuned area as the engines he analyzes, that for torquing, since you also have the lubricants to consider, and the force/friction of the flange/bolt head against the block/whatever, that what they actually measure is the amount that the bolt stretches. I had no idea.

You are correct. If you think of a bolt as a spring you are thinking correctly. On a high dollar engine that costs more than a new car each bolt should be measured for bolt stretch before it goes together and any that do not fall within parameters tossed. ARP built their business on the inaccuracy of normal bolts.

Torque sticks work, but they are not science. They are over torquing the wheel to a somewhat controlled number, so no failures and no snapped lugs. Most shops do it this way, and for most cars/trucks this is just fine. On high performance vehicles I will stick with the torque wrench. Retorquing only takes a couple of minutes.

Wade Lippman
07-03-2015, 10:44 AM
Although these are my first new tires on my car, they have had the tires rotated maybe 8 times at several different garages, and no one wanted them checked. Presumably there is no difference between getting new tires and having the old tires rotated. This guy is just showing a bit more caution (or maybe he knows from experience his employees can't be trusted). Is that about it?

In event it is the latter, I suppose I would be negligent not getting them checked.

Mike Lassiter
07-03-2015, 11:02 AM
If something bad should happen:
1. if you did NOT have them retorqued that would be their reason for the failure. YOU failed to follow their professional recommendation to have them retorqued. The neglegence is yours and therefore you caused the issue.

2. if you DID follow the "required" retorque, you or another party are now the last hands to touch them and therefore you failed to do it properly. They cannot be held accountable for what others do coming after them.

in the automobile world I don't believe the issue is the cause for concern that some would have people to belief. It was most likely developed by lawyers like all the other standard disclaimers of responsibility.

Mike Henderson
07-03-2015, 11:09 AM
You are correct. If you think of a bolt as a spring you are thinking correctly. On a high dollar engine that costs more than a new car each bolt should be measured for bolt stretch before it goes together and any that do not fall within parameters tossed. ARP built their business on the inaccuracy of normal bolts.

I used Larry's message for this question but the question is to anyone who knows. How do you measure bolt stretch when you're torquing a bolt? On something like an engine head, the bolt is fully buried in the engine - that is, you don't have access to the end of the bolt. So how do you measure stretch?

Or am I missing something?

Mike

Mike Lassiter
07-03-2015, 11:15 AM
rod bolts often are tightened with a special tool that allows measuring the stretch while tightening using a dial indicator. Those you mention would be torqued to a value or angle torqued which is tightening to a specific torque, then turning an additional number of degrees to give the stretch like the head bolts. torque to yeild or angle torque are the same thing just different wording.

Larry Edgerton
07-03-2015, 12:31 PM
I used Larry's message for this question but the question is to anyone who knows. How do you measure bolt stretch when you're torquing a bolt? On something like an engine head, the bolt is fully buried in the engine - that is, you don't have access to the end of the bolt. So how do you measure stretch?

Or am I missing something?



Mike

The bolt is measured before and after it is torqued in a fixture before the engine is assembled.

Ole Anderson
07-03-2015, 5:48 PM
Working on my son's Saturn Astra (Opel) some of the rear suspension's bolt torque spec said 87 ft-lbs + 45 degrees + 15 degrees. Never ran across that before.

Larry Edgerton
07-03-2015, 7:15 PM
Working on my son's Saturn Astra (Opel) some of the rear suspension's bolt torque spec said 87 ft-lbs + 45 degrees + 15 degrees. Never ran across that before..


Its becoming fairly common on production cars and has been used on race engines for years. The 87 pounds is to the theoretical point that will start to stretch, and the 45 degrees is the amount of stretch that they want. It is supposed to be a more accurate way