Wheel studs are designed to keep your tires and wheels safely secured to your car. In most cases, these hard steel components don’t go bad or wear out. However, because the wheel stud is exposed to the elements and takes on tremendous daily stress, there are other issues that can cause these parts to wear out or break. Improper installation, over torquing of lug nuts, or under tightening of lug nuts can all cause a wheel stud to fail.
There are many warning signs that alert you to the potential of a broken wheel stud. Listed below are a few symptoms to look out for:
Tires and wheels are attached to the vehicle by lug nuts that have a similar thread pattern as the wheel studs. Occasionally the threads of the wheel studs can be damaged due to:
This can occur if you live in areas where your vehicle is exposed to salt water, or to winter road salt. Most wheel studs are made from rust-resistant stainless steel, but this doesn’t totally prevent oxidation. If the studs start to rust, it becomes difficult to install or remove lug nuts without causing damage.
If you live in a place like New England, where your studs are frequently exposed to salt, you should have your them examined for signs of rust once every year.
Most everyone who has worked on their own wheels has tightened the lug nuts on their car without using the correct tools. But doing so can be a recipe for disaster. If worse comes to worse, you can break the wheel stud. The proper way to tighten a wheel stud is with a torque wrench. If you don’t have one or don’t know how to use it, it’s best to take your car in for service and ask your mechanic.
If you’re not using the proper tools and the stud does break, like the photo above, don’t try to fix it on your own. Most importantly, don’t try to hammer out a broken stud. Hammer blows can destroy your wheel bearings, giving you a much bigger repair bill.
If you think you have a problem with your wheel studs, it’s important to get it checked right away. At V&F, our expert mechanics use latest diagnostic equipment, and high-quality CARQUEST auto parts, to make sure we get the job done right. If you are worried something may be wrong with your exhaust system, call us today at (413) 314-2280 or schedule an appointment online.