How to tighten your lug nuts
There are quite a few drivers out there that really do not know how or have any real experience taking a wheel off of a car. There is nothing bad about this as most people take their cars into a shop and have the tires rotated and balanced but there will come a day a person is going to be in the middle of nowhere and have a flat.
It is important that all drivers have some understanding on how to change a tire on a car or truck. There are these running theories on how to tighten your lug nuts and man are they off. You may hear that you have to tighten a lug nut with all your might and another idea is that you just snug them up. Both those theories are wrong, you kind of need to be in the middle of those.
When tightening the lug nuts on your wheel, you do not want to super tighten the first nut you put on and follow super tight on the remaining nuts. You want to put all the lug nuts on, then make them all evenly snug. Then its best to go around them all in the correct sequential pattern about 3 times, making them tighter on each pass.
If you do not have a torque wrench, then you will want to put yourself into a position where you are pulling up on your lug wrench to tighten them. Remember: “righty tighty – lefty loosey”. Pull up to where you can’t feel the nut turning anymore but at a point that you are not giving it your all. You don’t want to be pulling up like you are trying to lift the car, just enough that you are at a point you could go more but you don’t. That should put you around 70 to 80ft lbs.
If you are in doubt if they are really tight enough or over tight, take your car to a shop and let them put a torque wrench on it. There are 3 main reasons you want to get the lug nuts properly and evenly tightened…
(1) To prevent the wheel from coming off while driving
(2) To prevent the wheel from becoming warped
(3) To prevent the brake rotors from becoming warped.
The most common wheels for passenger vehicles have 4, 5, 6, 8 or 10 lug nuts. There is a specific tightening pattern you should tighten your lug nuts. Click HERE to see your wheel’s torque sequence…
Be sure to watch the video below as visual aid is sometimes more clear to understand.
If you want a PDF copy of these wheel torque specs or just want to view them, click on the link or button below.
Sears Craftsman Micro-Clicker Torque Wrench 1/2” Drive. Usually $72.79, keeps great calibration. Of course the all metal ones which are hard to find are the best but for the money, you won’t be sorry
See Illustration For Lug Nut Tightening Patterns