"We only recheck lug nut torque if you have over 100,000 miles"

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2,994
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The Northeast
Thread starter
I had my tires rotated at a local shop. The guy said to come back in the standard 100 miles to have the lugs retorqued. I always do my own torque check at home but I was driving by the shop a week later and thought I'd have them just do it. Another guy was at the counter and he said they only recheck torque on older cars over 100,000 miles (my Elantra only has 20k). He asked if the tech found a problem when I came in for the rotation, to which I replied no. I started getting tired of the guy's face, said thanks and left. I've never heard of torque rechecks only being applicable to 100k mile cars. I thought it was common practice on any car with alloy/aluminum rims. Anyone else ever come across such a thing before?
 
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1,449
Location
iowa
Usually assuming they were correctly torqued in the first place, I try not to worry about it, or even re-check my own. But, if the lug nuts/studs are in bad condition, and there is corrosion all over the mating surfaces of the wheel, and hub, then it is a really good idea to re-check them often, or fix the issues.
 
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5,989
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Connecticut
Originally Posted by JohnnyJohnson
Looking to upsell you some more service.
+1 I've never needed anything re-torqued. Usually I come back to yell at them because I couldn't get the lugs off by standing on a breaker bar.
 
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5,989
Location
Connecticut
Originally Posted by dareo
Re-torque is smart anytime a wheel comes off. Nothing at all to do with mileage on the car.
+1 And torqued to the recommended spec with a torque wrench.
 
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14,737
Location
Illinois
For many years I have re-torqued lug nuts with a torque wrench. Primary reasons are, 1) make sure all lug nuts are the same correct torque. 2) If they aren't all the same torque then brake wobble can occur as the rotors my develop run out, and cause the brakes to shutter especially at highway speeds.
 
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3,414
Location
St. Charles County, Missouri
I had one wheel almost drop off after tire service. Probably 35 years ago so I can't remember details, think it was on a mid-eighties Plymouth/Dodge Colt (in fact the car may have had both brand labels). I did ask someone at Costco when they were retorquing, whether or not they had loosened lugs and he said "never".
 
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92
Location
British Columbia
I have a tag hanging from my mirror right now saying re-torque after 100km because they were rotated yesterday. I've had 3 tires come loose after being rotated/switched over so I ALWAYS re-torque after 100km. Thankfully none of the tires actually fell off, but it's scary to think of what could happen if one let loose at highway speeds.
 
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553
Location
Vancouver, Canada
I do rotations myself and re torque next day or 2 days later but always do. Saw a jeep driving not long ago with what looked like last singe lug barely holding driver front wheel and tire was so violently wobbling I thought I'll see it fall off but he turned off to secondary road, dunno what happened next.
 
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8,109
Location
New England
I've never found any wheel that didn't pass the re-torque check. Each lug nut has always resulted in an instant click when I put a torque wrench back on it. I've actually recently only been spot-checking lug-nuts. If one ever fails the spot-check I'll check there rest.
Originally Posted by jeepman3071
Originally Posted by JohnnyJohnson
Looking to upsell you some more service.
+1 I've never needed anything re-torqued. Usually I come back to yell at them because I couldn't get the lugs off by standing on a breaker bar.
Before we were married, my then-GF had a brake issue that required immediate attention. She lived a couple of hours away, but I luckily had hand-tools in my car while visiting. I did not have a good breaker bar, though... I bounced and bounced my 180# on her OE tire iron and NOTHING! Her tires had very recently been replaced. I called and asked the counter guy how they verify the lug nuts are torqued correctly?" The guy replied over the phone that they use "torque sticks" on every install. We took a little trip over and just so happened to see some tech HAMMERING away at some lug-nuts with an air impact while installing a customer's wheels. I walked in and up to the counter guy I'd spoken with on the phone and couldn't contain myself, I was so mad. I raised my voice, so that the few people in the waiting area could hear me. I pointed to the tech installing the wheel and asked, "does that look like a torque stick to you!? How do you expect people to get their wheels off in an emergency if you guys are hammering away at the lug nuts like that!?" I may have blacked-out during my rant, but I do remember coming to after they immediately got us on a lift and loosened the lug nuts for us. crackmeup
 
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1,449
Location
iowa
Yes they won't come loose when they over torque them. They might just snap off instead though. But lubing them they get over torqued too, but they loosen up easily when removing. I've never bought a new car that they requested I come back for them to check them either. Installed correctly, they shouldn't need to be re-torqued. It shouldn't be called re-torque either, since that would involve loosening them all to get a torque check which only happens when the nut is moving. If you did that, then wouldn't you have to do it all over every 50 miles? No torque wrench needed, just make sure none have loosened with a normal lug wrench.
 
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3,649
Location
Worst Case, Ontario
Originally Posted by gathermewool
I've never found any wheel that didn't pass the re-torque check. Each lug nut has always resulted in an instant click when I put a torque wrench back on it. I've actually recently only been spot-checking lug-nuts. If one ever fails the spot-check I'll check there rest.
Originally Posted by jeepman3071
Originally Posted by JohnnyJohnson
Looking to upsell you some more service.
+1 I've never needed anything re-torqued. Usually I come back to yell at them because I couldn't get the lugs off by standing on a breaker bar.
Before we were married, my then-GF had a brake issue that required immediate attention. She lived a couple of hours away, but I luckily had hand-tools in my car while visiting. I did not have a good breaker bar, though... I bounced and bounced my 180# on her OE tire iron and NOTHING! Her tires had very recently been replaced. I called and asked the counter guy how they verify the lug nuts are torqued correctly?" The guy replied over the phone that they use "torque sticks" on every install. We took a little trip over and just so happened to see some tech HAMMERING away at some lug-nuts with an air impact while installing a customer's wheels. I walked in and up to the counter guy I'd spoken with on the phone and couldn't contain myself, I was so mad. I raised my voice, so that the few people in the waiting area could hear me. I pointed to the tech installing the wheel and asked, "does that look like a torque stick to you!? How do you expect people to get their wheels off in an emergency if you guys are hammering away at the lug nuts like that!?" I may have blacked-out during my rant, but I do remember coming to after they immediately got us on a lift and loosened the lug nuts for us. crackmeup
I bought this story until the part about wasting lift time for a re-torque. BS!
 

Astro14

Staff member
Messages
11,660
Location
Virginia Beach
Every car I've owned has recommended a re-torque after 1,000 miles if it has aluminum wheels. So, that's what I do. Takes all of 5 minutes, including finding the wrench, setting the torque, and wiping it off when I'm done.
 
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1,738
Location
Cincinnati, USA
There are two primary cases. 1) You let a shop full of idiots touch your wheels and it may not have been done correctly. Yeah, that needs double checked right away or if you forgot, later beats never. 2) Ill fitting lugs/nuts/wheels where they can back off if not tight enough which sort of leads back to #1 above and that they should notice and mention if something is wonky and unsafe, but you won't know if your wheels have this issue till you check it. Checking is in case everything didn't go "right" while everything should have been right (in a perfect world). Re-torque is more commonly necessary for things with spring in them (even gaskets on plastic components with low torque spec) that compress and deform to fit or may not have exact alignment when put on, like axle U-bolts may shift slightly during first few drives.
 
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Messages
1,410
Location
Western Canada
Originally Posted by Astro14
Every car I've owned has recommended a re-torque after 1,000 miles if it has aluminum wheels. So, that's what I do. Takes all of 5 minutes, including finding the wrench, setting the torque, and wiping it off when I'm done.
Aluminum wheels lug holes / inserts will often compress slightly after the first tightening, losing torque. After they are re-torqued, they should be good to go, as the metal won't compress any more. This doesn't seem to be a huge deal though, because most new cars with aluminum wheels don't seem to require a re-torque per the car maker.
 
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1,200
Location
Missouri
Last time I had the alloy wheels off the back of my 2000 Concorde, I noticed there were some metal filings on the studs on the last one I reinstalled. (didn't really look at the other one) Wiped off the studs, the nuts and the conical seats on that wheel. When I went to retorque after running about 20 miles, the wheel that I wiped was very close to the torque setting. The wheel I didn't wipe off the studs, nuts, and nut seats, was further out of torque spec than the one I did. I usually do the initial torque and then two retorques before I'm confident things have settled in on this car, after running 20-50 miles.
 
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3,811
Location
Somewhere in the US
Just my experience, but on my racecar, I would check the torque on the wheels before every on track session. Yes, EVERY one!! I increased the torque by 5 ft-lbs until, they no longer developed movement between sessions. I still checked between sessions - and I think the end result was 85 ft-lbs against a stock spec of 53 ft-lbs.
 
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