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suspicious or not?....(loose and missing lug nuts)

07-12-2007, 07:20 PM
Malcious or Not?.....( loose or missing lug nuts)

I discovered one of the wheels on my 98 monte carlo was missing 4 of its 5 lug nuts after Taking a 11 mile 40 minute drive. i removed the hubcap of the front right wheel and 4 of its 5 lug nuts immediately Fell to the ground. Im trying to determine whether it was malicious or not.

i'm hoping the mechanic who replaced that tire in mid May simply didnt tighten the lug nuts
properly, ive driven over 1,500 miles since the day he replaced the tire

I left work on 7-9-07 at 500pm. After I had driven half way home from work, I noticed the car was vibrating, I thought a tire had low air. I pulled into a gas station thinking one of the tires had low air. But all the tires looked fine. as i approached my driveway at home at 540pm, the tires vibrated so much that i thought one of the tires was going to fall off. I removed each hubcap, and used a tire iron to check each lug nut, 3 wheels felt as if all the lug nuts were on tight except for the front passenger side wheel, I removed its hubcap, 4 of the 5 lug nuts fell to the ground --immediately--- The 5th lug nut was on its bolt but very loosely. my question is -
should i suspect sabotoge?

any knowledgeable person who could shed some light on this problem would be greatly appreciated


07-12-2007, 09:58 PM
welcome to AF!!! Was this your first trip to that particular mechanic? I don't know if I like the sound of that...I can't see any reason other than maliciousness for having loose lugs. Seems to me that tightening lug nuts would be one of the key things to remember when changing out a tire!!

I guess everyone makes mistakes in life, but when it's something someone does for a living like that, something doesn't add up. It's like when you go through a drive thru at a fast food restaurant, you expect to get a cup with a lid...I've never not gotten a lid...I'm just saying that there are certain IMPORTANT aspects of every job that you don't just "forget"

Did you say anything that might make the mechanic mad? Generally it's best to not anger anyone who has control over your food or your car, because they can do things...if you know what I mean.

07-12-2007, 10:36 PM
good evening gw84,
thanks for your imput. a good friend of mine thinks its suspicious too,

07-13-2007, 12:06 AM
I'd be tempted to speak to the manager about could've caused an accident and hurt somebody!!! I wouldn't go back to that place.

07-13-2007, 04:04 PM
If it was improper work of the mechanic, it would have happened a long time ago, within a week or so. Since it was May, I seriously doubt it was him. It sounds to me like someone was intentionally trying to injure you. That's why they left the center cap in place and 1 lug on, so you'd get a bit down the road before the wheels came off. If it were a thief, and they were caught in the act, they wouln't have bothered to put the caps back on.

07-18-2007, 06:53 PM
A few years back, I had the same problem, except I didn't have hubcaps so I was totally missing 3 lug nuts and the other 2 were loose. I had just had work done on my tires as well.

Its hard to say if someone did it on purpose or not. They say that if it is the person's job, they shouldn't forget, but also if it is a busy place, sometimes they are in a hurry and forget stuff. As far as taking this long to fall off...he might have tightened them enough that they gradually worked their way off and you might not have noticed until now because I doubt that they all fell off at the same time.

Either way it is unacceptable and you should probably go back and say something.

I know they always tell you to do this, and I'm as guilty as anyone for not doing it, but they say you are suppose to check your lug nuts after a couple hundred miles after having your wheels taken off. Sounds like something I'm going to start doing from now on.

07-30-2007, 11:48 PM
try having your oil changed at a shop, driving your car home feeling all good inside that it has a fresh change of oil, parking it and going on vacation for a couple weeks (w/ another car), only coming back to find that all the oil leaked out in the driveway because the drain plug was hand tightened. this was also the one and only time i was feeling lazy and didnt want to do it myself... thats luck
anyways, you never know what happens to your car at a shop. i was at a transmission shop a few weeks ago and watched them rig the wrong rear end onto a truck because they accidentally ordered the wrong one. i wonder if they told that person........

07-30-2007, 11:56 PM
Most of the time the shop will refund the money if you can give good enough evidence. I work in a shop and do tire rotations alot, they could have possibly stripped them or set them at the wrong torque. But either way go back and talk to the shop, but keep in mind there is a possibility it wasn't their fault.

08-13-2007, 10:59 AM
Look at the wheel in question closely. If the countersink on the bolt holes are egged out, the wheel may continue to loosen up. I would go back to the shop that did the work and try to get them to replace the wheel and lug nuts, have them take a close look at the studs too.

When I have tires done, the first thing I do when I get home is to jack up each wheel, loosen all the lug nuts and tighten them with my own lug wrench. They are supposed to use "torque sticks" in tire shops, but I find them to be ungodly tight and almost impossible to remove if I get a flat on the road.


02-15-2008, 08:08 PM
Not so Funny thing is that this happened to me too..... TWICE. Both times it was after I had worked on the car... not right after(like months down the road)and after the first time it happened i was like "Damn I wouldn't do that"......"Would I?" Then the last time I did work on my monte I absolutely positively made sure that every lug nut was tightened and torqued properly.

The first time it happened i pulled the center off and 1 lug nut had busted off, 3 were loosened almost all the way, and 1 was tight. I never replaced the busted stud and just drove it w/ 4..... Well this time 1 was busted off, 2 were loosened almost all the way, and 1 was tight i think.... theres gotta be an explanation for this....

Both times it happened on the driver's front.

Also, does anyone know the size of the nut that holds the (hub?) on? It is big as hell and I need to take that off so i can change the studs. I have a 96 monte

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