Every year at this time I have my 4 snow tires ,.98 E320, mounted,Without
fail ,every year, the tire shops( all reputable) have trouble loosening the
.All shops claim that their impact wrench torque was set properly when
they mounted. them.
Today they snapped of one bolt off after having to use a extension
bar after their impact wrench failed. to budge them I inquired about using
an antisieze compound,but was told that it is not recommended because cases
of loosening can occur. Is this a common occurrence ?\
I have an appointment with a dealer that claims they "may "be able to
remove the broken bolt if they are lucky?
Using an impact wrench to mount wheels seems fundamentally wrong to me.
Sure, to pull the nuts or bolts off, but to put 'em on? Egad.
Is it feasible to twice a year do this yourself? Even with the factory
jack you could probably do the job in the same time it takes to go to
the tire store, wait for them to get around to then do it, and then go
home. A quickie trip to Sears for a 24" to 30", 1/2"-drive breaker bar
and the right-sized socket would probably set you back only $20 or so.
I have always used antisieze for mounting wheels (almost 20 years now?
yeah I'm a yung'un) and never had a lost nut or other problem. Of
course, if you were mounting wheels with antisieze and using an impact
wrench, I'd expect you to break things relatively regularly.
(Whenever I get new tires, I always take the wheels off my car, throw
them into the van, and haul them down to Costco to get mounted. I don't
want those jokers mounting wheels for me, that's a recipe for disaster
IMO. Not sure what I'm gonna do when I need tires on my new Mercedes
since I don't need snow tires where I live.)
Right, I mean that I buy tires from Costco, but carry the wheels in that
need to get the tires mounted. Not only do I not want them to use
impact tools while mounting the wheels, but they usually mount at least
one of the tires wrong (when you get directional tires, anyway!).
Why do let these morons use an impact wrench?
What if YOU had to change a flat tire - you'd never get the lugs off.
Always tell - not ask - that the lugs be torqued to say 80+ ft lbs -
that's when they squawk. Tire shops object to 80 but I insist as I'd not
get them off otherwise and, you know what? The lugs have never come loose.
Where I live, tires need to be changed twice a year on every car. It is a
relatively common problem that tire shops tighten lugs too much, however, at
the shop I use, they don't use an impact wrench (if I am present when they
do the job).
I would leave the decision about anti-seize (or similar stuff) for each
individual but would emphasise that MB on their car manuals normally tells
you not to use any of that. Despite of this I always do use some oil or
grease (a small amount) and all local tire shops do that too. My experience
is that otherwise bolts do not tighten properly in the first place and you
increase the likelihood of lugs getting lose!
I also always do the tire job myself, except when getting new tires from the
shop (not always even in that case) and use a torque wrench to tighten the
I've had a couple of broken or lose bolts but only after a car dealer tire
job (some service on the car where they've had to remove the wheel) or a
tire shop visit, never a broken bolt or lose tire after "self service".
In the FWIW category, I just change the tires and wheels on my 300 SDL
by hand. Had new tires mounted on wheels at local tire shop. First tire
to come off of the car had apparently been mounted by a gorilla. 81
ft/lbs mearse! The rest of the wheels were addressed with a 60+cm
cheater bar on the socket wrench. My torque wrench only accomodates a
maximum of 75 ft/lbs, so it gets a wee extra "tug".
An even torqing of the bolts often eliminates a threat of loosening
whether or not you use anti-seize.
I haven't found a source of inexpensive 1/2 drive torque wrenches
locally. Local tire shop has a nice 60 cm 1/2 drive wrench that I'd
Whoever came up with the powered impact lug wrench should be consigned
to loosen over torqued nuts and bolts with his teeth. I've actually put
a french twist in a couple of four-way lug wrenches over the years as
well as destroying a few lug bolts/studs on American made vehicles.
Tires shop won't assume liability for using anti-sieze on the bolts.
I personally put a dab of wheel bearing grease... I smear about 1" of the
thread and cleanly... not a big clump or anything... just the thread coated.
Once this is done, you will never have to reapply. That is all you need.
Impact with torque bar nut driver is a joke. I always find it tighter than
Even if you do tighten it to spec, you will often find it harder to remove
later in the year. The reason is corrosion effect on the contact spot
between the bolt and the wheel. That is what locks your lugbolts in place.
Still, if you torque it properly at about 70 to 80 ft/lb. You should never
have problem removing them.
Don't know where you guys are located, but here in NJ/NYC, it's very
common to see impact wrenchs used. Every tire/repair shop I've been to
where you could see what they were doing used them. The impact wrench
is used in conjunction with a torque stick, which is an extension
device that is designed to apply a specific pre-determined torque.
I too have had bolts that were overtightened and far too difficult to
remove. My guess is those were done either using the incorrect torque
stick, or else none at all.
Hi, I also have my snows on a separate set of wheels and change them
myself. I use a calibrated torque wrench to change my wheels on this
and on my Corvette. I use this one:
http://www.griotsgarage.com/catalog.jsp?&SKU 902. It aint cheap, but
it's best to have good tools. Comes with calibration report.
Despite all the popular beliefs, all car enthusiasts know proper torque
on wheels is important. On my E320 it's 80 ft-lbs, on the vette it's
100 if memory serves me (I have notes in the car, don't have them handy
However, on my 2000 E320, I still broke a lug bolt a few years ago.
When I took the car to the dealer, they replaced all of them with a new
type of bolt. Makes me suspect this was a problem.
Do not use anti-seize on the lug bolts. I do use it on the surface
between the wheel and the plate it bolts onto, makes removing the wheel
much easier. The minute a bolt cannot be removed without an extension
(if torqued correctly) you know you have a problem.
Here here Papagene
I always use anti-seize compound, and in fact get the guys at the tyre
shop to use the lug wrench that came with the car to tighten the wheel
bolts, so I see it done and I know that I can get the damn things off
in an emergency.
Never had a problem since I started doing that, and I've never had a
bolt come loose either.
As to using anti-seize on the face of the wheel, where it fits onto
the hub, this is a good idea if you have alloy wheels. They can
corrode and effectively grab onto the hub such that a large guy (and
by this time at the side of the road, usually the AAA or AA guy) is
hitting the wheel from behind with a large block of wood to get the
thing off. Not a good idea on a car jack with half of you under the
car and the rest of you in the traffic.
Never had this sort of problem with steelies, but seen it a few times
Just a thought... Rob.
Thank you all for great advise. For 60 years I followed advise suggested but
at age 83 I sort of passed this work along to those I thought could be
trusted.I'll be more observant in the future .
I have seen a few post about "Torque Sticks". When I put my wheels on I
always use one. I have done a lot of test using a torque stick and then a
torque wrench and have found the sticks to be very accurate. The one I use
on my MBs has been checked often and has worked for several years. The
17mm, 80ft/pounds torque wrenches are usually red in color, so if your shop
uses one of these, you are OK as long as they still use the correct sequence
of tightening. I personally believe that using the correct sequence is more
important than tightness as long as a mortal human can still get them off.
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