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2012 Mercedes - wheel bolts instead of studs

Posted By: Number_35

2012 Mercedes - wheel bolts instead of studs - 10/11/18 11:18 PM

Earlier today I installed the winter tires (mounted on alloys) on a friend's 2012 Mercedes C300. It was interesting to see that this car uses bolts into threaded holes in the hubs to hold the wheels on, rather than the much more common studs and lug nuts. I saw this on a few Mazdas back in the '70s, but had not seen it since. It makes installing the wheels a bit of a challenge.

Is this standard for Mercedes? Any other manufacturers? What are the advantages?
Posted By: JeffKeryk

Re: 2012 Mercedes - wheel bolts instead of studs - 10/11/18 11:24 PM

VW's used wheel bolts instead of studs.
Posted By: Quattro Pete

Re: 2012 Mercedes - wheel bolts instead of studs - 10/11/18 11:26 PM

It's standard for most of the German makes, AFAIK.
Posted By: hallstevenson

Re: 2012 Mercedes - wheel bolts instead of studs - 10/11/18 11:46 PM

A co-worker has a '17 VW Tiguan and it uses bolts too. It sucks compared to studs. At least with studs you can kinda hook/hang the wheel while lining things up.
Posted By: skyactiv

Re: 2012 Mercedes - wheel bolts instead of studs - 10/11/18 11:50 PM

Yes on it being a German thing. Both cars in my signature use wheel bolts. Mercedes Sprinter vans also use wheel bolts.

Using lug bolts also gives you more variation in terms of the wheels and offsets you can use. You can use longer bolts and spacers for different wheel offsets.
Posted By: Audios

Re: 2012 Mercedes - wheel bolts instead of studs - 10/11/18 11:51 PM

BMW has had it since the 80s, All european cars have had it since I started working on cars in 2001.
Posted By: fcjeep

Re: 2012 Mercedes - wheel bolts instead of studs - 10/11/18 11:54 PM


My wife's 2014 Jeep Cherokee had the same set up. Yes it's a little bit of a PITA to put the wheel back on.
I don't know yet about her 2016 Grand Cherokee as I haven't pulled a wheel yet.
Posted By: DB_Cooper

Re: 2012 Mercedes - wheel bolts instead of studs - 10/12/18 12:12 AM

In the tool kit on most German cars is supposed to the a threaded "Wheel Hanger", check you owners manual. Some are plastic and others steel. If you know the metric thread size you can order one from Amazon for about $10. Available in 12x1.5 14x1.25 etc. Makes the job much easier.

Steel wheel hanger $10

Posted By: fdcg27

Re: 2012 Mercedes - wheel bolts instead of studs - 10/12/18 12:15 AM

Originally Posted by Quattro Pete
It's standard for most of the German makes, AFAIK.


Like QP said. Every German car I've owned had lug bolts rather than studs and nuts.
Every car also had some sort of helper included in the original tool kit from which you could hang the wheel while threading in a couple of the bolts.
Not sure why this particular design was used, but I'm sure that Trav will be along to give us the reason.
Posted By: Trav

Re: 2012 Mercedes - wheel bolts instead of studs - 10/12/18 12:20 AM

Originally Posted by Number_35
Earlier today I installed the winter tires (mounted on alloys) on a friend's 2012 Mercedes C300. It was interesting to see that this car uses bolts into threaded holes in the hubs to hold the wheels on, rather than the much more common studs and lug nuts. I saw this on a few Mazdas back in the '70s, but had not seen it since. It makes installing the wheels a bit of a challenge.

Is this standard for Mercedes? Any other manufacturers? What are the advantages?


Just use a hanging stud, you can but one or just cut a bolt, its a non issue. One advantage is you don't need to remove the caliper bracket to swap the rotor just remove one caliper pin bolt and flip it up.
Another reason is in Europe most drivers have aluminum wheels for the summer and steel for the winter, they use different length bolts.

https://www.amazon.com/Steel-Wheel-Hanger-Automotive-Volkswagen/dp/B00MWAQGSQ
Posted By: dbias

Re: 2012 Mercedes - wheel bolts instead of studs - 10/12/18 12:21 AM

My VW and Audi have them and it just takes a little getting used to. There is a dowel type thing in my tire change kit that you can stick in a hole to help line up but I've never used it. Being hub centric the wheels fit snug to the hub so I just jam it up there and spin to line up the holes. On the audi wheels there is a slight indentation on the backside that makes a slight rust mark where water gets into the indentation and makes a distinctive mark on the rotor surface where the wheel snugs up to so once I have the wheel on the hub I just spin the wheel until the rust mark lines up with the indentation and presto bolts drop right in.
Posted By: 440Magnum

Re: 2012 Mercedes - wheel bolts instead of studs - 10/12/18 12:43 AM

The last car I had with lug bolts was my 1949 Plymouth. I've seen it more recently on light-duty trailer axles.
Posted By: Number_35

Re: 2012 Mercedes - wheel bolts instead of studs - 10/12/18 01:02 AM

Originally Posted by DB_Cooper
In the tool kit on most German cars is supposed to the a threaded "Wheel Hanger", check you owners manual. Some are plastic and others steel. If you know the metric thread size you can order one from Amazon for about $10. Available in 12x1.5 14x1.25 etc. Makes the job much easier.

Steel wheel hanger $10


Thanks all for the feedback. I bet there was something there, but I didn't think to look for it. (If you don't know a thing exists, you don't look for it.)

Another interesting thing was that the car came with one anti-theft bolt per wheel (plus four normal hex-head bolts per wheel). Each anti-theft bolt had a very complex pattern (which was the same for all four anti-theft bolts), and there was a matching male key. I was worried that I wouldn't get the anti-theft bolts off, but they weren't too bad. Some of the other bolts were on way too tight; I guess having to use a key prevented the last shop from torquing the anti-theft bolt down as hard as the others.
Posted By: Quattro Pete

Re: 2012 Mercedes - wheel bolts instead of studs - 10/12/18 01:34 AM

Originally Posted by hallstevenson
A co-worker has a '17 VW Tiguan and it uses bolts too. It sucks compared to studs.

When they corrode and rust away, what's cheaper and easier to replace: studs or bolts?
Posted By: Trav

Re: 2012 Mercedes - wheel bolts instead of studs - 10/12/18 01:37 AM

I wonder how many people remember left hand thread studs and lug nuts on one side of Chrysler and GM vehicles.
Posted By: VeryNoisyPoet

Re: 2012 Mercedes - wheel bolts instead of studs - 10/12/18 02:11 AM

90s and at least early to mid 2000s Volvos use lug bolts. Royal pain in the rear when tire shop cross threads one, claims it was broken before, and forces me to replace a whole front hub.
Posted By: Number_35

Re: 2012 Mercedes - wheel bolts instead of studs - 10/12/18 02:15 AM

Originally Posted by Trav
I wonder how many people remember left hand thread studs and lug nuts on one side of Chrysler and GM vehicles.

I remember Chryslers had them until, what, the mid-60s or so? Didn't realize that GM had ever done this!
Posted By: gregk24

Re: 2012 Mercedes - wheel bolts instead of studs - 10/12/18 02:21 AM

I know thats how VW is also.
Posted By: Trav

Re: 2012 Mercedes - wheel bolts instead of studs - 10/12/18 02:36 AM

Originally Posted by Number_35
Originally Posted by Trav
I wonder how many people remember left hand thread studs and lug nuts on one side of Chrysler and GM vehicles.

I remember Chryslers had them until, what, the mid-60s or so? Didn't realize that GM had ever done this!


I really don't know exactly when they were dropped but I did a 64 Belvedere that used them. GM used them on some of the smaller models in the late 50's through the early 60's.
The first time I ran into these the trade school teacher was laughing his arse off watching me trying to remove them.
Posted By: hallstevenson

Re: 2012 Mercedes - wheel bolts instead of studs - 10/12/18 02:38 AM

Originally Posted by Quattro Pete
When they corrode and rust away, what's cheaper and easier to replace: studs or bolts?

I don't want to jinx myself about wheel studs corroding or rusting, so....
Posted By: ECUpirate

Re: 2012 Mercedes - wheel bolts instead of studs - 10/12/18 04:54 AM

My 2001 Volvo S40 had the bolts. I kind of preferred it, although it would be terrible with a heavier wheel/tire combo like on a truck. Easy brake and rotor changes though.
Posted By: Silk

Re: 2012 Mercedes - wheel bolts instead of studs - 10/12/18 05:35 AM

Fiat (and Lada) use a pin on the drum or rotor locating bolt that you can hang the wheel on...Volvo also uses a pin, and the wheel only fits in one location.
Posted By: FordBroncoVWJeta

Re: 2012 Mercedes - wheel bolts instead of studs - 10/12/18 08:00 AM

I'm surprised no one talked about the new Jeeps that use them. Looking at you Fiat Renegade! Otherwise VWs, BMWs, and Mercedes are the main ones.
Posted By: Eddie

Re: 2012 Mercedes - wheel bolts instead of studs - 10/12/18 11:17 AM

If the wheel is centered buy using the machined center of the hub, then the bolts are used ONLY to hold the wheel to the hub. This is considered to be more precise that using studs with conical nuts. That I believe is the philosophy of using the machined hub and is what is used in race cars. Ed
Posted By: ragtoplvr

Re: 2012 Mercedes - wheel bolts instead of studs - 10/12/18 12:51 PM

When the untrained kid at the tire place cross treads one you have a very expensive repair ahead. Good luck getting your tire vendor to repair it correctly.

Knocking out a stud is usually pretty easy, of course I have seen that badly botched too. Still, I would take my chances..

Rod
Posted By: Kestas

Re: 2012 Mercedes - wheel bolts instead of studs - 10/12/18 02:14 PM

Originally Posted by Quattro Pete
When they corrode and rust away, what's cheaper and easier to replace: studs or bolts?

I've never seen that as a wholesale problem, not enough to be a deciding factor between the two designs.
Posted By: Vikas

Re: 2012 Mercedes - wheel bolts instead of studs - 10/12/18 02:51 PM

Looks like I will be the first one to say "The Emperor Has No Clothes" here!

Two pages of replies without ever questioning why and what are the advantages except "Weit zdo zlike zit"
Posted By: Eddie

Re: 2012 Mercedes - wheel bolts instead of studs - 10/12/18 03:27 PM

I thought I did. Ed
Posted By: Traction

Re: 2012 Mercedes - wheel bolts instead of studs - 10/12/18 11:29 PM

I've changed thousands of tires/wheels, and I hate all of the cars that come from across the pond, that all seem to use concentric lock lug bolts.. For one, even after you finally get everything lined up, there is no way to get the bolt started easily, unless you put it in a deep socket, just to get it started into the hole. Studs have their issues too.
Posted By: splinter

Re: 2012 Mercedes - wheel bolts instead of studs - 10/13/18 03:06 AM

Some German machines (e.g., Porsche) have ball seat wheel bolts.

afaik they serve to help avoid gouging pricey alloy wheels and ensure bolt torque generates actual clamping loads as opposed to mere friction 'torque.'

Attached picture 482002_x800.jpg
Posted By: Garak

Re: 2012 Mercedes - wheel bolts instead of studs - 10/13/18 05:03 AM

I remember when I first got the Audi. It was a bit of a surprise, and it didn't help much that the wheel had corroded itself to the hub slightly. wink
Posted By: Tornado Red

Re: 2012 Mercedes - wheel bolts instead of studs - 10/15/18 04:19 AM

Originally Posted by splinter
Some German machines (e.g., Porsche) have ball seat wheel bolts.

afaik they serve to help avoid gouging pricey alloy wheels and ensure bolt torque generates actual clamping loads as opposed to mere friction 'torque.'


Vikas asked for an actual advantage for bolts over lug nuts, and voilĂ  here it is.
Posted By: Kestas

Re: 2012 Mercedes - wheel bolts instead of studs - 10/16/18 11:20 PM

Lug nuts can also have a separate seat, but only washer type, not ball type.
Posted By: pezzy669

Re: 2012 Mercedes - wheel bolts instead of studs - 10/17/18 11:11 PM

Had them on 3 modern Volkswagens ('03, '06 and '15) and on 2 modern MB's. ('09 and now '11 in my sig). After a few flat changes, some tire rotations and removal and reinstall for general maintenance I don't find them an issue at all. Just hang them on the hub and rotate into position then hold the bottom with your knee and top with your hand while you thread a bolt or two. You get the hang of it after one go around.

When I first encountered these I looked the up and like someone above the tales you read online is that they are more precise in centering to the hub. I say a tale because I just can't image lug bolts vs nuts would make any drastic difference.

I don't mind them one bit, I've survived without a helper tool but next time I'm pulling wheels off my '11 I'll scrub the toolkit. Didn't know it was a thing and I'm sure all my prior cars had them.
Posted By: homeyclaus

Re: 2012 Mercedes - wheel bolts instead of studs - 10/19/18 02:13 PM

Po-tay-toh
Po-tah-toh

Both have some pros and cons; I for one still dislike lifting heavy truck wheels onto studs, even with leverage and stuff, but I haven't seen many medium and heavy duty trucks with lug bolts. Hub-centric wheels and bolts are/would be easier there. With cars it's moot, IMHO.
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