The only parts of vehicle that touches the road are the wheels or tyres. Those are held to the vehicle snugly by some little guys called wheel studs and the lug nuts that hold them in place. Unfortunately, too many people do not give any attention to these lovely and supportive guys. In fact, many don’t even have the studs or nuts in their consciousness.
Wheel studs are supposed to stand the test of time because they are made of strong metallic materials but like every other thing, they also wear out. They are coated away from rust too but their coat also wears off with time. Some vehicles are sold after they must have been left on a spot where the elements like air, moisture, rain et al would have eaten into them. This weakens them. Many buy pre-owned car called ‘Tokunbo’ and inspect the cars for neatness but most never remember the wheel studs or lug nuts.
Vehicles are given various number of wheel studs depending on their sizes, weight and the kind of work they are designed for. You may have as little as three on some vehicles and have as much as twenty on some others. The idea is that they are supposed to share the weight and stress that gets to the car to be able to support it safely. If one of those studs should break off, the others have to share the weight it is supposed to carry among them. The unfortunate thing is that they would not be able to last as they should have been able to. The immediate two studs to the sides of the broken stud are most likely to break off next.
If you have seen or experienced tyres rolling off vehicles on motion, this is one major reason such dangerous occurrences occur.
Replacing studs are actually cheap and it doesn’t really take time but if not sorted, wheel hubs and bearings can get the pressure. If the hubs get affected, they wobble. This will be expensive to replace.
- If your wheel shakes or vibrates, your studs and nuts require attention.
- If wheel are not properly installed, they could mess up the thread on the stud or nut which means that they won’t hold. If your wheel nut doesn’t hold firmly, check them both.
- Over tightening or under tightening your nuts can destroy the threads on the studs and nuts. Don’t let your overzealous vulcanizer tighten it to the point of breaking. It doesn’t have to make any creaky noise before you stop tightening.
- If you just got a fairly used or ‘tokunbo’ car especially if the car is older than five years, there are possibilities that the studs and nuts have been exposed to the elements, possibly at a spot. Inspect them all replace where necessary.
- If your pre-owned car has rusty hubs, wash them and if possible, spray them with paint or acrylic. It makes the wheel and vehicle look better while protecting the hub from rust.
- If your over tightened nut breaks off, get a mechanic to replace it for you sharply before you get expensive parts damaged.
- Do not use wheel spanners that wash over your nut or do not hold your lug nuts firmly, it will mess up the edges of your nuts and eventually make it hard to remove. You need a technician who knows what they are doing to remove those.
Now you know about your wheel studs and wheel nuts or lug nuts, care for them and they will care for you and we will all be fine on the roads. CHEERS!