• Ashley Bradish

If the Lug Nut Fits! - What an ill-fitting or Missing Lug Nut Will Cost You

Updated: 7 hours ago

Have you been paying attention to your lug nuts? Chances are, you haven't been looking for all the right things. All of your lug nuts may be there... but how many of them are the correct ones?


What would happen if I had a loose lug nut

A lug nut (also called a wheel nut) holds the wheel onto the car. Depending on the type of vehicle, you can have between four and six lug nuts per wheel. Some cars have loose wheel nut indicators, so you know to fix the lug nut before it falls off. Others do not have this sensor, so it's good to inspect the lug nuts regularly to check for loose ones. If you notice a loose lug nut, you should have it tightened as soon as possible.


Lug Nuts in a Bag, Quality Automotive, Blairstown, NJ, 07825

What would happen if I was missing a lug nut?

A car with a missing lug nut is "okay" to drive for a bit, but it will become dangerous. If you lost a lug nut, extra pressure is being put on the remaining lug nuts, causing them to wear out faster.


If this happens, you may also notice a wobbly ride. That uneven distribution of pressure will make your car shake while you drive.


A missing lug nut on a wheel means the wheel bearings must hold more pressure, which can cause them to wear early. Repairing wheel bearings is more troublesome than replacing a lug nut. So if you notice one missing, replace it as soon as possible.


What would happen if my lug nuts were the wrong size?

Not all lug nuts are the same!


Damaged Wheel Hub, Quality Automotive, Blairstown, NJ, 07825

See those inner oval-shaped holes in this wheel hub? At one point, those ovals were perfect circles. Using the wrong-shaped lug nuts warped this hub to irreversible condition.


If you are using the wrong kind of lug nut, it will damage your wheels and/or axles and put you in danger.


Damaged Stripped Lug Nut, Quality Automotive, Blairstown, NJ, 07825

The lug nuts will also start to strip and smooth out like the one in this photo. If ignored, they could fall out.


Over time, this can wear down the other lug nuts on the wheel.


As discussed above, a wheel that is missing a lug nut is not safe to drive.





Think you may have an issue with the lug nuts on your car? Make a reservation with Quality Automotive and have an experienced technician check. Call 908-362-9555 or request an appointment online.



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