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Old 18th September 2016, 11:36   #1
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Default Wheel nut stuck! Tyre shop messes up threaded bolt

Hello Everyone,

I wanted to share a terrible experience that I had last week with careless and dishonest mechanics and tyre centres. Hope it helps all users out there to ensure that no one gets cheated and the work gets done carefully and correctly.

Back in February, I took my Figo for a wheel rotation considering it had just reached the 20,000km mark. There was a tyre change centre in Guindy, Chennai close to my house and seemed to be quite professional with all the alignment pits and tools.

The attendants seemed to be very young and very eager to do the work. The moment I gave the OK to start the job, they pounced on the car like an F1 pit crew. Four guys, four tyres and within minutes they were done with the rotation. The reason they finished the job so fast was because they had used the pneumatic guns to remove and install the nuts. I knew that they were doing something wrong with the way they were rushing. This place turned to be a huge mistake, as I discovered later.

Last week I had gone to do wheel balancing and alignment considering my 30,000km milestone had come up. I had taken my car to a different centre this time near my in-laws place. This place seemed to much better than the previous one; the attendant was also very knowledge and seemed to be much more skilled and careful.

He managed to remove three tyres from the car and finish the balancing for them. When it came to the rear right, things started to go horribly wrong. One of the lug nuts had jammed on the bolt. It turns out the retards at the previous rotation centre mis-aligned the threads on the nut and the bolt but still tightened the wheel. They couldn't realise that something was wrong because they used the pneumatic gun! And this carelessness would cause so much frustration.

The attendant now had no choice but to break the nut and bolt to remove the wheel. He tried at least for 5 to 6 minutes to break it using a hammer and chisel but nothing worked. The poor guy was exhausted and recommended that I get it removed at a mechanic and bring the car back for the balancing and the alignment.

Wheel nut stuck! Tyre shop messes up threaded bolt-img_20160912_191145.jpg

Yesterday I drove around looking for a mechanic to get this fixed having bought the bolt and but from Ford during the week. I enquired in what looked to be a decent shop in Besant Nagar whether it could be done. The owner approached my car and gave me his 'professional advice' on the repair that's needed:

"Sir, I will need to blow torch/melt the nut (My thoughts: OK possible)
Then remove the tyre and the drum to access the bolt (yes, correct)
I will have to install the new bolt and tack weld it onto the drum (WHAT???!!)
And then re-install the wheel. Total cost: 800rupees and I will take one day" (I wish I could punch you right now)

I knew this guy was yanking my chain because cars don't EVER need welding for mechanical parts, having worked on them for a very long time, unless its a major repair. I told thank you very much and drove off.

I then found another mechanic just down the street in a small alley-way. I showed the elderly gentleman owner the problem; he immediately called over his, also elderly, mechanic and told him to fix it. What followed was a thing of beauty.

With three knocks of a hammer and chisel, the nut broke off. He then swiftly removed the wheel, removed the centre locking nut and bearing, removed the drum, popped out the old bolt and slammed the new one into the drum. Easy peasy. That's the difference experience and skill makes in car repair.

Wheel nut stuck! Tyre shop messes up threaded bolt-img_20160917_105459264.jpg

Wheel nut stuck! Tyre shop messes up threaded bolt-img_20160917_105512184.jpg

Wheel nut stuck! Tyre shop messes up threaded bolt-img_20160917_110243602.jpg

The entire process took roughly 15 minutes and I was totally satisfied and impressed with how skillfully and methodically it was accomplished. The owner was also very humble in requesting Rs 200 for the repair; I gave him 300!!

To summarise for all the readers out there, here are the key things that I recommend in wheel servicing, especially if you don't want to be stranded with a puncture:

1. Never EVER tighten a lug nut using a power/pneumatic tool. The threads might not align properly and/or nuts will tighten so hard that you might not be able to unscrew them.
2. Never EVER use a pipe attachment on your wrench to tighten nuts. It will be extremely difficult or impossible to unscrew them.
3. Never EVER stand on a wheel wrench to tighten the nuts. You'll face the same difficulty as above and possibly also break the bolt.
4. As a general rule, always take a second opinion before getting anything serviced. Even YouTube videos will help to identify what is correct.

I hope my experience will help members out there and prevent people from fooling them or being careless with their vehicles.

Happy and Safe Driving People!
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Old 18th September 2016, 12:33   #2
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Default re: Wheel nut stuck! Tyre shop messes up threaded bolt

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Originally Posted by qr20de View Post
. Never EVER tighten a lug nut using a power/pneumatic tool. The threads might not align properly and/or nuts will tighten so hard that you might not be able to unscrew them.
Power/pneumatic tools are not the problem here, fools using them are. Shop where I get my alignment and balancing done services more then 200 cars everyday, it would be very difficult to handle so much cars without pneumatic tools, and I haven't had any complaint or heard anyone having any complaint like this in all my years at this shop.

These tools are also used in most of the company workshops to reduce job times and ease of doing itself. Right way of using these tools is to leave the screws little loose and then hand tight them as per required torque setting.
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Old 18th September 2016, 12:42   #3
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Default re: Wheel nut stuck! Tyre shop messes up threaded bolt

@amit_snk: True that! I just felt it's better to be extremely safe and use hand tools. Time is one thing, doing it properly is another which as you said, those idiots forget in a rush
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Old 18th September 2016, 17:45   #4
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Default re: Wheel nut stuck! Tyre shop messes up threaded bolt

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Originally Posted by qr20de View Post
will have to install the new bolt and tack weld it onto the drum (WHAT???!!)
And then re-install the wheel. Total cost: 800rupees and I will take one day" (I wish I could punch you right now)

I knew this guy was yanking my chain because cars don't EVER need welding for mechanical parts, having worked on them for a very long time, unless its a major repair. I told thank you very much and drove off.
..
Sorry, but, sometimes the procedure which the mechanic said is right sometimes. If the bolt has made the hole in the drum oval over a perioid of time, there is no other way, than to weld a spot after hammering the new bolt. Otherwise, you need to change the drum.
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Old 18th September 2016, 20:44   #5
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Default re: Wheel nut stuck! Tyre shop messes up threaded bolt

Quote:
Originally Posted by amit_snk View Post
Power/pneumatic tools are not the problem here, fools using them are. These tools are also used in most of the company workshops to reduce job times and ease of doing itself. Right way of using these tools is to leave the screws little loose and then hand tight them as per required torque setting.
I agree, it's the idiots manning the pneumatic wrench to blame.

My cars have always gone to the ASC/workshop which use pneumatic and they barely leave a mark on the lug nut.

The correct way is to thread it manually first and then use the wrench to torque it to its final setting.

Most importantly my wheel nuts are torqued correctly AND equally. One needs to be skilled/trained to use these tools and use the correct box spanner fitting on the wrench.

I am absolutely wary of the roadside idiots who use the cross spanner/wrench to tighten the lug nuts. Most of them cross thread the nuts and over torque them.
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Old 18th September 2016, 21:03   #6
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Power and or pneumatic tools are fine and a very efficient way of getting nuts on or off. But you have to know what you are doing. Also, wheel nuts really need to be torqued properly. So you can use the pneumatic tool to get the nuts on quickly. But tightening must be done with a proper torque wrench
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Old 18th September 2016, 21:51   #7
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Default re: Wheel nut stuck! Tyre shop messes up threaded bolt

Good to see that you got a quick fix and good solution. Worst case, one can use an iron cutter blade and cut this nut. The rest of the things are not impacted and replace it with a new nut.
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Old 19th September 2016, 08:23   #8
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Default re: Wheel nut stuck! Tyre shop messes up threaded bolt

Quote:
Originally Posted by qr20de View Post
1. Never EVER tighten a lug nut using a power/pneumatic tool. The threads might not align properly and/or nuts will tighten so hard that you might not be able to unscrew them.
2. Never EVER use a pipe attachment on your wrench to tighten nuts. It will be extremely difficult or impossible to unscrew them.
3. Never EVER stand on a wheel wrench to tighten the nuts. You'll face the same difficulty as above and possibly also break the bolt.
4. As a general rule, always take a second opinion before getting anything serviced. Even YouTube videos will help to identify what is correct.
1. Its quite ok to tighten a lug nut using pneumatic tool, every time I had the balancing done they had used it. Experience is key here.. the first few turns should be done by hand and seen if the nut is freely entering, the rest depends on torqueing as Mr.Jeroen has mentioned, once the tool detects resistance it should give up tightening. Without torqueing if one just goes on trying to screw in the lug nuts then that's a mistake of behemoth proportions.

2. Again that depends, one has to go by the feel.. the end goal is to lock the lug nuts in their place, firmly, since the tyres will not wobble only if all 4 of the nuts are in place to their fullest position in a straight manner. If one goes on inordinately tightening it yes that's a mistake.

3. I've changed flat tyres 2 times, both the times it was during a situation where I had to get it done quick as it had to be driven immediately after. I used the foot to wrench method for getting it off quickly and then for getting it on. The thing is again I go by feel, when I tightened I didn't put my full body weight on the bar.. just enough so that the nut is set in place fully. An identical pressure put the other way should easily bring it loose as long as the nut went in straight and I ensure that by doing it by hand the first several turns.

4. I agree with this one, not only that, one must also go to places which are reviewed as good or excellent. A wrong mechanic or service station will multiply the problem more than ever before.
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Old 19th September 2016, 12:14   #9
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Default re: Wheel nut stuck! Tyre shop messes up threaded bolt

I make it a point to eyeball the tech who puts the wheels back on to ensure the hand tightening is done calmly, and only then tightened with the tool. I tell them to specifically not hurry this step. Theses guys work to pretty tight timelines (pun not intended) and it takes 2 seconds of carelessness to jam a wheel-nut in!

Going by Murphy's Law, I will find out his error with the car full of family + unlit muddy street + midnight + in the rain :-(
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Old 19th September 2016, 21:41   #10
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Default Re: Wheel nut stuck! Tyre shop messes up threaded bolt

Quote:
Originally Posted by dark.knight View Post
the first few turns should be done by hand and seen if the nut is freely entering, the rest depends on torqueing as Mr.Jeroen has mentioned, once the tool detects resistance it should give up tightening.
Spot on. That's the only thing that went wrong here. I use power tool for swapping wheels myself between stock and performance ones. It's much more convenient and faster as long as you take care of those smaller things. In any application, the nut should be manually applied the first few threads to ensure it doesn't get cross threaded. Final tightening is best done with torque wrench. Most tyre shops over tighten it as far as I've seen. It's not required. Here's a link which gives you a guideline for the required tightening torque for various cars and wheel types - http://www.continental.hu/www/downlo...ettings-en.pdf

Last edited by ajaypjayaraj : 19th September 2016 at 21:43.
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Old 20th September 2016, 09:39   #11
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Default Re: Wheel nut stuck! Tyre shop messes up threaded bolt

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Originally Posted by qr20de View Post
Hello Everyone,

I wanted to share a terrible experience that I had last week with careless and dishonest mechanics and tyre centres. Hope it helps all users out there to ensure that no one gets cheated and the work gets done carefully and correctly.
Sorry to know about your bad experience.
Could you mind sharing the name and exact location of these workshops, so that others avoid going there?
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Old 20th September 2016, 10:04   #12
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Originally Posted by qr20de View Post
I wanted to share a terrible experience that I had ...
Lucky for you, you figured out their "screw-up" job at a wheel balancing shop!
Imagine you having figured it out with a punctured tyre, in the middle of nowhere, with family in tow!
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Old 20th September 2016, 11:12   #13
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Originally Posted by Makin Rulesz View Post
Sorry to know about your bad experience.
Could you mind sharing the name and exact location of these workshops, so that others avoid going there?
So the place that screwed it up the first time is a tyre centre on Velachery Road, just before Nilgiri's on the left when you come from Velachery to Guindy.

The workshop that sorted this issue out with no hassles is a small set up in Adyar, on the same road as Bombay Kulfi, in an alley way.

If you need directions, I'll be happy to help. Just DM me!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geo_Ipe View Post
Lucky for you, you figured out their "screw-up" job at a wheel balancing shop!
Imagine you having figured it out with a punctured tyre, in the middle of nowhere, with family in tow!
Yeah seriously dude. You won't believe my luck that we had driven to Kumbakonam and back, for the weekend, a day before I found out about this issue. The universe was on my side in this instance.

Last edited by bblost : 22nd September 2016 at 14:16. Reason: Please use the multi quote feature. Thanks.
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Old 20th September 2016, 11:38   #14
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Default Re: Wheel nut stuck! Tyre shop messes up threaded bolt

Quote:
Originally Posted by qr20de View Post
...

1. Never EVER tighten a lug nut using a power/pneumatic tool. The threads might not align properly and/or nuts will tighten so hard that you might not be able to unscrew them.
2. Never EVER use a pipe attachment on your wrench to tighten nuts. It will be extremely difficult or impossible to unscrew them.
3. Never EVER stand on a wheel wrench to tighten the nuts. You'll face the same difficulty as above and possibly also break the bolt.
4. As a general rule, always take a second opinion before getting anything serviced. Even YouTube videos will help to identify what is correct.

I hope my experience will help members out there and prevent people from fooling them or being careless with their vehicles.

Happy and Safe Driving People!
I would also add, based a recent bad experience with an Ecosport, use good quality tools to do the job. Ford supplies a cheap, low quality tube spanner for the wheel nuts. This deforms after a few uses and when you use it on the wheel nuts, it also damages the corners. The result is that you end up with rounded nuts.

I strongly suggest buying a forged steel socket from a good brand (Taparia, Everest, etc.) with the appropriate handle. The combined cost is only in hundreds but will save you a lot of heartburn if ever you need to change the wheel.
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Old 20th September 2016, 11:57   #15
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Originally Posted by Motard_Blr View Post
I would also add, based a recent bad experience with an Ecosport, use good quality tools to do the job. Ford supplies a cheap, low quality tube spanner for the wheel nuts. This deforms after a few uses and when you use it on the wheel nuts, it also damages the corners. The result is that you end up with rounded nuts.

I strongly suggest buying a forged steel socket from a good brand (Taparia, Everest, etc.) with the appropriate handle. The combined cost is only in hundreds but will save you a lot of heartburn if ever you need to change the wheel.
Oh man, I can't agree with you more. I don't know how it is with the Ecosport, but the Figo has this absolutely ridiculous, stupid and inconvenient vehicle jack that is a 'half' design of the normal scissor ones.

I've used that twice and it is so frustrating to position correctly to lift the car. Luckily for me it wasn't raining, otherwise I would have probably driven home on a flat. I really don't understand why they would design something like that.

I really need to change the entire spare wheel kit asap to a 'normal' scissor jack and better wheel spanner. Thanks for reminding me!
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