Automotive Column 15 Wheel Torque
Syndicated Newspaper Column
This is a serious subject! If you have any service work done where the wheels are removed and they hand you a card or otherwise make you aware of retorquing don't skip it!
CAR QUESTIONS TAKEN FROM
OUR WEEKLY TALK RADIO SHOW
Dear Motor Medics,
I have a question about my car wheels. I had my tires replaced this weekend and had no problems with the experience but when all was done they handed me a card to sign making me aware that I had to come back between 50 and 100 miles to have the wheels re-torqued or they would not be responsible if one of my wheels were to fall off, yes fall off. This seems crazy to me. I have had several other sets of tires installed before on this car and no shop has ever given me a card to sign or even made me aware of such a thing. They said the service is free of charge but it seems like a hassle to me. By the way my car is a 2002 Cadillac STS Please help me with some advice.
Sharon in Madison Wisconsin
It’s good that this shop is looking out for you. Each year we see a couple vehicles that have to come in due to a loose wheel after a recent tire replacement or other wheel removal. Sometimes the wheel has even fallen off. The one thing they all have in common is that the wheel had not been re-torqued. Many vehicles now have aluminum wheels and with age corrosion builds up behind the wheel and when it’s removed the corrosion shifts leaving an unstable mounting surface. Re-torqueing the wheels will prevent them from coming off.
Take care, the Motor Medics
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Advice given by the Motor Medics is for entertainment only. Each problem is different and requires different approaches and answers given here are opinions and just one possibility. In order to make an accurate diagnosis a qualified technician should make a hands-on diagnosis. Always follow all recommended safety procedures and consult with your own qualified technician before attempting repairs of any kind.