Missing a lug nut, is it still safe to drive? - S2KI Honda S2000 Forums



Missing a lug nut, is it still safe to drive?

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Old 09-01-2009, 08:55 AM   #1
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Default Missing a lug nut, is it still safe to drive?

I found that one of the lug nuts on one of the front wheels is cross threaded, and so I had to leave it out. Now there is only 3 of 4 lug nuts installed on that wheel (FWD car). I wonder if it is safe to drive the car on the freeway up to 55 MPH. I'd feel much better if the wheel had five lugs and missing one, but since this wheel only has four lugs, I don't feel as confident if it is missing one lug nut. I will get the lug stud replaced soon, but meanwhile, should I use the car? What do you guys think?
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Old 09-01-2009, 09:56 AM   #2
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Get a die or thread chaser and clean the stud up. Buy a new lug nut. Install new nut on cleaned up stud. All that should take about an hour including the trip to sears to buy the tools if you don't have them.
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Old 09-01-2009, 10:24 AM   #3
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^
Make sure you buy the right size metric thread chaser for the stud.
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Old 09-01-2009, 10:29 AM   #4
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^Yes. If you have another car, jack up the one with the bad stud and take off the wheel on the bad corner. Bring one of the lug nuts with you and tell the sales guy you need a thread chaser to clean up the matching stud. Do not let him sell you a tap. Clean up the thread with the die or chaser with the wheel off. Then remove the chaser and reinstall the wheel with a new lug nut on the cleaned up stud. Do not try to use the lug that corss threaded the stud. Toss that out and get a new one.
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Old 09-01-2009, 11:22 AM   #5
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Thanks for all the inputs. I've not heard of a "chaser" before. Actually I also thought the lug nut was bad also, so I swapped it with another one and hand threaded the "bad" lug nut onto another stud and everything went smooth. No binding or anything. I then tried the swapped out lug nut on the "bad" stud (by hand) and again, it would not go very far before it stopped. I my conclusion is that the lug nut(s) are all good and it was the stud that was bad. So will a "thread chaser" clean up the bad stud or would I need to install a new stud?

Meanwhile, do you think it is safe to drive the car (up to 55 MPH) with one missing lug nut? Thanks.
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Old 09-01-2009, 12:00 PM   #6
 
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^^ I would not drive with any lug nuts missing. It seems to be a fairly simple repair, so I'd get the repair done before getting on the highway. The balance may be off causing further damage to other lug nuts. Just sayin'.
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Old 09-01-2009, 12:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteS2k,Sep 1 2009, 02:22 PM

Meanwhile, do you think it is safe to drive the car (up to 55 MPH) with one missing lug nut? Thanks.
I often operate with a loose screw, but I prefer to drive a car with all lug nuts specified.
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Old 09-01-2009, 01:14 PM   #8
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Since the harder stud usually survives, I'd install one of the lug nuts from the rear wheel, and then drive reasonably until I could get another one.
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Old 09-01-2009, 01:20 PM   #9
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On a 4 stud wheel, I would be nervous about driving with three. that said, if I needed to use the car to get to sears to buy the tools, i would probably risk it and drive very carefully.
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Old 09-01-2009, 03:24 PM   #10
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it all depends, what's your life worth?

it would seem the downside potential is much higher than the short term benefit of risking it.
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