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HELP Lug Nuts On Truck Loose Won't Tighten
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  1. #1
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    Lug Nuts On Truck Loose Won't Tighten

    This old lady needs some help please. Lately I've been hearing a clunking noise when I drive my truck a GMC Sierra.
    I just checked out YouTube and then went out and checked the lug nuts. One was so loose it was about to fall off and the rest of them won't tighten, they just spin. What has caused this and what do I do? Thanks.

  2. #2
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    It's possible the wheel studs may have been damaged when the wheel was loose or someone used an air wrench incorrectly. A garage can easily replace them.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rabbit View Post
    This old lady needs some help please. Lately I've been hearing a clunking noise when I drive my truck a GMC Sierra.
    I just checked out YouTube and then went out and checked the lug nuts. One was so loose it was about to fall off and the rest of them won't tighten, they just spin. What has caused this and what do I do? Thanks.

    The lug nuts / studs may be broken off. Don't drive the truck fast or far if this is the case. Get them looked at right away.

  4. #4
    It sounds like the threads might be gone due to driving it while they were loose and got warn off. Someone else might know more but I wouldn't even drive it. I think it needs towed and they can replace the stubs/nuts with new ones if that's what it is. I don't think it'd be too expensive or maybe if you know someone??

    Dangerous to drive though I wouldn't drive it.

    By the way did you have new tires or anything a while back? Or rotated? It sounds like someone forgot to tighten them and this is a very serious mistake.

  5. #5
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    Yup. You'll need to replace the studs. And don't drive the car until you do.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Olson View Post
    Yup. You'll need to replace the studs. And don't drive the car until you do.
    Dennis is right on this.....

  7. #7
    All of the above .. Where/who took off the tires last time to replace or other work. If a shop did I'd be calling the manager about the problem may not cost you a thing if they stripped the treads on studs. Don't drive have it picked up
    The most important days in a persons life are the day they were born and the day they find out why!

  8. #8
    And while you're grumbling at this happening, you can also be very grateful for catching it before the wheel came off.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Olson View Post
    Yup. You'll need to replace the studs. And don't drive the car until you do.
    Studs AND nuts

  10. #10
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    Front or rear wheel?

    Definitely go back to the last person that had their hands on it...they own it.

    Do not pay for anything until you follow up on this. ^^^^
    Proud Infidel...............and Cracker

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bw View Post
    And while you're grumbling at this happening, you can also be very grateful for catching it before the wheel came off.
    Absolutely! A wheel coming off is going to ruin your day, of that you can be sure.

  12. #12
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    Procedure for dire emergency situations.


    OK...so you are bugging out, 90 miles from nowhere at 3 in the morning and find yourself with this problem.

    What to do?

    Find three studs on that wheel that have the most threads left on them. If you have as many threads as the bolt diameter, that is pretty good.

    Take one lug off of each of the other wheels and install backwards (pointy part out) over the boogered lugs. Jack up the offending wheel to help the trashed lugs center in their hole.

    Drive very, very slowly and carefully to a safe place.
    Proud Infidel...............and Cracker

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  13. #13
    Seems like there's lotsa loose nuts around here........


  14. #14
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    One time a wheel came off my horse trailer, flying down the road ahead of me and right into the front of a car coming at me...

    I lived at the time on a road where several times people messed with cars (letting air out of tires, smashing windshields, etc) so I'm guessing they loosened the lug nuts.

    The driver of the car was very nice and we settled it very easy, his wife- not so nice- but then the tire hit on her side. Had it bounced, it would have gone through the windshield and killed her. So you can't blame her, lol.

    Then years later a tire came off a trailer headed in my direction. Fortunately I had just enough room to move over so it missed me...

    If you know how to take the tire AND WHEEL off, you can replace studs and nuts yourself, but it's dirty work...
    Ring the bells that still can ring
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  15. #15
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    The 2016 Silverado has a spec of 140ft/lbs for lug nuts and need to be checked at regular intervals (7,500 mile) tire rotations at least, especially for alloy rims.

  16. #16
    sounds like some mechanic did a lousy job ... but if you have any reason to believe some numbnutz might be screwing with you - keep an eye out on your car .... screwing with the lug nuts is something the dipshits would do ....
    Illini Warrior

  17. #17
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    Depending on the particular set-up, it could be a major pain.

    This is the rear axle on my truck, I would have to remove the E-brake shoes and possibly slide the axle out a bit for enough clearance to knock the studs out.





    I was just looking at a front bearing set, it might have to be unbolted from the spindle for enough clearance.

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  18. #18
    Do check the other three wheels.

  19. #19
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    Does the stud turn? Or just the nut? If the stud is turning try prying or pulling out out as you tighten the nut. You may get the stud to grab. Temporary fix only.
    Was known as dairyfarmer but sold the cows.

  20. #20
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    Is the "nut" spinning free on the stud, or is the "stud" spinning free in the hub? THAT is the question that needs to be answered here. A stud that has stripped out in the hub can make it look like the nut is loose and not getting tight, and that will be another whole can of worms to take care of....
    Rusty in NC
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  21. #21
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    Yes - either the threads on the studs or the lug nuts are stripped, or the studs have come loose - many of them are pressed in.

    Either way a competent mechanic or tire shop needs to see it ASAP.
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  22. #22
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    I would venture a guess that the lugs were loose.

    As they backed off, the rim wobbled, wiping the threads off of the stud.


    Very, very unlikely that one...much less several studs came loose from their press fit.
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  23. #23
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    Once followed a pickup for miles on a single lane road. Right rear wheel was wobbling severely. It was like someone had put on a nut first, then the wheel and the other nuts, it was that bad. Could not get his attention, but have no idea why he didn't know something was wrong. Weird.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Profit of Doom View Post
    Once followed a pickup for miles on a single lane road. Right rear wheel was wobbling severely. It was like someone had put on a nut first, then the wheel and the other nuts, it was that bad. Could not get his attention, but have no idea why he didn't know something was wrong. Weird.
    Kinda like the person who ran over a mattress, thought it "sounded kinda strange" for a few days after.

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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mercury3 View Post
    It sounds like the threads might be gone due to driving it while they were loose and got warn off. Someone else might know more but I wouldn't even drive it. I think it needs towed and they can replace the stubs/nuts with new ones if that's what it is. I don't think it'd be too expensive or maybe if you know someone??

    Dangerous to drive though I wouldn't drive it.

    By the way did you have new tires or anything a while back? Or rotated? It sounds like someone forgot to tighten them and this is a very serious mistake.
    A couple of years ago I had new tires put on it. I'll call the company I bought the tires from and see what they say.

  26. #26
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    Don't drive it. Ask a neighbor or relative to look at it for you if you feel you are not sure what you are looking at.

    If a lug nut is loose, can you just turn it counter clockwise and it comes off in your hand?

    I agree very much on who worked on it last owns this problem, but usually all tire shops and stuff have something where they tell you to retorque your wheels every 500 miles or something. And if you say that is silly, they tell you to come see them so they can check it.

    I somewhat agree if this was bug out or die there might be options, but now is not the time to mess with it.

    To me it sounds like things worked loose and studs and lugnuts will need replaced. As things wore while lose the threads got damaged.
    working on unplugging.

  27. #27
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    Rabbit, please update us with what it was -- when you can, of course. I'm curious about this problem, as well.

  28. #28
    most likely your going to have to replace the rim as well, if the wheel has been loose,

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rabbit View Post
    A couple of years ago I had new tires put on it. I'll call the company I bought the tires from and see what they say.
    If it's been two years, they won't do anything for you. Have you had your tires rotated since then? If so, how long ago?

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Olson View Post
    Yup. You'll need to replace the studs. And don't drive the car until you do.
    Agree 1,000 % !!!! I would do that, like yesterday !!

  31. #31
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    Make sure that the person working on your tires properly torques each nut to the manufacturer's specs. Some places just run the nuts down with their impact wrench. On some rims, the nuts need to be checked after about a hundred miles to be sure they haven't loosened. I would think if that was the case you would have noticed before two years, though.
    "Freedom is not something to be secured in any one moment of time. We must struggle to preserve it every day. And freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction."
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  32. #32
    Once bought new tires. It was late in the day and a young guy (high school age?) was doing the job. Pulled out and went 20 feet and thought something is wrong. Went to check and the right front tire had no lug nuts on it!! He put a few lugs nuts on and drove it back in and put the tire on correctly. Guess he was in a hurry to get out for the day.

  33. #33
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    Well, I said I'd tell ya. I'm a little embarrassed and a whole lot relieved.
    What I thought were loose lug nuts are some kind of plastic lug nut covers. (I had no idea). Whew!
    The problem was a loose sideboard.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rabbit View Post
    Well, I said I'd tell ya. I'm a little embarrassed and a whole lot relieved.
    What I thought were loose lug nuts are some kind of plastic lug nut covers. (I had no idea). Whew!
    The problem was a loose sideboard.
    LOL... the thought crossed my mind that you had theft-proof lug nuts. Covers? Makes sense. This is much better than a loose wheel.

  35. #35
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    Glad you found the problem, and let us know. Strange noises coming from low on the vehicle are worrisome. But I thought everyone knew about those silly black plastic lug nut covers... that continually come loose and get lost. I went to the wrecking yard & got handful for my two trucks. A little silicone on the threads will help them stay on.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rabbit View Post
    Well, I said I'd tell ya. I'm a little embarrassed and a whole lot relieved.
    What I thought were loose lug nuts are some kind of plastic lug nut covers. (I had no idea). Whew!
    The problem was a loose sideboard.
    I don't always speak to Obama voters.
    But when I do, I ask for the large fries.

  36. #36
    In addition to the other comments that people have made. The holes in the tire rim have probably become egg shaped due to the loose lug nuts. The Rim/s have probably been destroyed and may need to be replaced.

    ****************Just saw your latest post. So never mind about the above.
    But not likely to die free

  37. #37
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    I have lug nut covers on my Jeep also, and a few have been lost. The problem is that the lug wrench that came with the vehicle won't fit the nuts with covers gone, so make sure you have a wrench (or wrenches) that fit both. I carry a 4-way.

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