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Discussion Starter #1
All right, here's the story. Last night I installed my new winter tires on my car. The lug nuts were very tight, I had all I could do to break them with a breaker bar, and I am 230 pounds! The back wheels had to be beaten loose with my rubber sledge because they were stuck to the hubs.

Funny part is I just had my 30K service 3 weeks ago.

Question for all: Could the wheels have fused themselves to the hub in three weeks? And wouldn't the lug nuts be easier to loosen?

I think the dealer pulled a fast one for $394, how do we know they are doing what they say?

PS Is 68 - 87 ft-lbs the correct torque setting for the lug nuts? :(
 

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I don't know what is going on with the hubs, but it isn't unusual for lug nuts to be just about impossible to take off. Some dealers (and most tire shops that I have been to) use an impact wrench to remove and replace the lug nuts. I don't know if they are afraid of the possibility of law suits if a wheel comes off or if there is some other reason, but most shops have the wrenches set at a seriously high torque. If you ask the service manager to have the mechanic tighten the lugs with a torque wrench, they might actually do it, but even then they might ignore the request and use the trusty impact driver just because it's fast and easy. The only way I know to tell if they actually do the rotation at the dealership is to put a different mark on each wheel before you take the car in for service and see if the wheels are in the same positions when you pick it up.

Bob
 

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87ft-lbs correct. sounds like your dealer tightened them WAY too tight.

$394 is a rip-off. Especially when most things you can do yourself for cheap - lube hinges and locks, flush coolant, rotate tires, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
87ft-lbs correct. sounds like your dealer tightened them WAY too tight.

$394 is a rip-off. Especially when most things you can do yourself for cheap - lube hinges and locks, flush coolant, rotate tires, etc.
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I agree with it being a rip off, got suckered by the free oil changes as long as I do the 15K and 30K services...

I am done with that.
 

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The dealers btw can both use a impact and get the torque right at the same time. They make torque bars that are used for this reason. They flex at a given torque spec.

But that doesnt mean they didnt over tighten yours.

As for the wheel being stuck, mine did that too, I was pretty pissed as I was on the side of the road with a flat at the time. Luckly a guy with a sledge hammer stopped and gave me a hand.
 

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It seems to me that many techs don't know (or maybe it's that they don't care) that alloy rims are supposed to be tighted to a specified torque. They are probably used to working with steel rims, which aren't nearly as critical to lug torque.

I've had problems on previous cars where shops over tighted the lugs so much that the lugs fused to the rim. This would create a conditions where a propane torch, breaker bar, and length of pipe still couldn't free the lug.

This is another example of why I try to do all my maintenance myself. Taking a couple of minutes extra to use a torque wrench (or a torque stick) saves a lot of trouble down the road with wheel removal, and prevents damage to the alloy surface.

You should apply some anti-seize greese to the back of the wheel prevent getting stuck to the hub. I also like to put a little on the lug threads to ensure no removal problems. You should be able to find anti-seize lubricant at any auto parts store.
 

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I had a flat tire repaired on my Jetta once, and the guy tightened the lug bolt into the wheel hub crooked. I had to have them removed by the dealership, which ended up costing me $110. I was pissed to say the least.

I'm shocked the dealer doesn't torque the alloy wheels, because most cars nowadays have alloy rims. I usually get my tires rotated at Firestone, because my company has a contract with them so it's cheaper there and I know they won't screw up because they'll lose a million-dollar account if they do.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Best guess, could a wheel be that hard to remove three weeks after the dealer supposedly rotated them? Or did I get screwed?
 

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The wheels can get stuck to the hubs pretty good if no antiseize is used especially if they were overtorqued to much as it sounds like they were.
 
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