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Old 05-15-2010, 10:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default rear lug-nuts loose!

thanks everyone for earlier replies about IMA and other corrections for my2001 !
new question:

has anyone had their wheel lugs become loose while driving? is this an aluminum rim issue?

2 days ago i was returning from work and noticed an increasingly loud ratteling noise coming from one of the tires, amplified while turning. i pulled over several times hoping it would just go away (i actually attempted to look at the tires, the skirt blocked full view). on the 3rd pull-over i was going to just call AAA for lift to Honda dealer. i instead figured how to remove skirt and lug nut cover after noticing the right rear tire seemed loose. after finding and using the jack, i was able to tighten the lug-nuts and was almost ready to go the rest of the way to the dealer to find out what had happened when another Honda driver stopped. it was actually one of the service mechanics from the Honda dealer, on his day off! he jacked the car up, checked the wheel for damage, and re-attached it, showed some aluminum dust from driving it loose and suggested to bring it in for further analysis.

the thing that is carma-weird is that i had met him while paying Honda dealer $100 after picking this car up from an eBay auction in February. they said "all was ok" exept some filters that have been replaced.

Question: is it common for these aluminum rims to become loose? do we need to check them often? how often? besides IMA malfunction, this car has been great, averaging 64 - 65 mpg and mostly reliable!

thanks again,
tomg
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Old 05-16-2010, 09:49 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Conventional wisdom is you re-torque lug nuts on alloy wheels ~100mi or so after tightening them down. Aluminium is flexible enough that this step is sometimes required.

When I retorqued a few days after installing my summer wheels to 80ft-lbs, one or two of the nuts took a fraction of a turn to get back to 80ft-lbs, so I'd say make it part of your service procedure.

Many people don't actually appreciate how threaded fasteners work: "Bolt, one of the most widely used fasteners in the industry, is usually tightened by applying torque to the head and/or nut. As the bolt is tightened, it is stretched (preloaded). Preload tension is necessary to keep the bolt tight, increase join strength, create friction between parts, and improve fatigue resistance. [source]"

As you can imagine, it only takes a miniscule change in the length of the bolt to spell the difference between adequate and inadequate preload tension (nuts loose / tight). That difference could be caused by crumbs of rust between your rotors and wheels, so keep 'em clean.
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Old 05-16-2010, 11:22 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Yes, always do that - although most do not. Sometimes it's OK, sometimes it ends in tragedy.

I actually had the same problem on steel wheels. You should have seen how much of the steel had turned into powder. Needless to say, I had to replace some wheel studs. I believe that I may have had the wrong seat of lug nuts on there because the steelies were on there for temporary use.

Are your lugs that are on there stock or aftermarket? If the latter, check to make sure they're the right seat.
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Old 05-18-2010, 01:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertSmalls View Post
...That difference could be caused by crumbs of rust between your rotors and wheels, so keep 'em clean...
When I take front rotors off the car for example, a flat file is used to make sure that the mating surfaces are flat and true to each other.

The use of a file gets all the excess rust/contamination off the surfaces.

This includes the back side of the aluminum wheel were the studs go through.

I even use a very thin coating of grease between the disk and mounting flange to keep the two from rusting together over the long Wisconsin winters.

A drop of oil is used on the lug nuts when reassembling.

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Old 05-18-2010, 02:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I always apply never seize grease between hub and rotors, and between rotors and wheels.
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Old 05-18-2010, 06:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3-Wheeler View Post
When I take front rotors off the car for example, a flat file is used to make sure that the mating surfaces are flat and true to each other.

The use of a file gets all the excess rust/contamination off the surfaces.

This includes the back side of the aluminum wheel were the studs go through.

I even use a very thin coating of grease between the disk and mounting flange to keep the two from rusting together over the long Wisconsin winters.

A drop of oil is used on the lug nuts when reassembling.

Jim.
SAE calls for lubricated threads when tightening to torque limits. I suggest a high temperature lube to make sure it stays that way.
More often than not loose wheel nuts are the result of sing powered wrenches. They should always be checked with a manual torque wrench.
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Old 05-18-2010, 10:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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i checked the other lug-nuts today and found the driver side rear were slightly loose so i tightened most could do with lug tool supplied. the front driver and passenger side lugs were even less loose. i could barely tighten at all.
i'm going to get it to the shop for routeen 60,000.0 mile service/oil change and will ask for the passenger rear wheel area to be checked from original looseness event discribed above.
i also plan now to check lug tightness every 30 days for safety! would brake grease (higher heat tolerance) be goon to apply to lug-nuts before tightening each month?
thx!
t
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Old 05-19-2010, 07:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mahout View Post
They should always be checked with a manual torque wrench.
+1... Wasn't aware lubed lug threads were recommended.
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