Don’t be a Dork and Forget to Re-torque: The Importance of Re-torquing Your Wheels

Why all car owners should check their lug nuts often.

by Mary Wimmer

It’s free, it’s fast – and it’s important to keeping you and your loved ones safe. Re-torquing the lug nuts on your wheels after you’ve had new ones installed or seasonally replaced is a crucial part of car maintenance. But how many of us remember to do it?

According to CAA North & East Ontario’s resident expert Michael Schmidt, Operations Manager, Automotive Services, not enough motorists remember to do so. All car owners should have this done within 50-100 km after having their wheels changed to avoid a few scary scenarios.

“Lug nuts on freshly installed tires are exposed to new stresses and forces that include cycles of warming and cooling, gravity, and rotational forces caused by driving,” he says. “These stresses can cause them to shift slightly, increasing chances the risks of tightening or loosening.”

Too tight and the nuts can damage the bolt threads, break fasteners, or even warp new brake rotors. Too loose and your wheel could fall off when you’re driving.

However unlikely the last scenario may be, it’s best to take the time to have your car’s wheels “re-torqued” after you’ve had new ones installed or seasonally replaced.

CAA North & East Ontario advises all car owners to ensure that their lug nuts are checked often to keep them tightened to their car manufacturer’s recommended specifications. To find a CAA-Approved Auto Repair Services (AARS) provider, click here.

The AARS program takes the guesswork out of obtaining quality motor repair services at fair and reasonable prices. Only an Approved Auto Repair Outlet is entitled to display the CAA AARS sign.