When it comes to tightening wheel nuts, incorrect torque and sequence of torque application can cause many problems including distorted rotors, out of balance wheels, broken or fractured wheel studs, increased tyre wear caused by misalignment, increased rotor and disc pad wear, fractured alloy wheels leading to total failure of the wheel, etc.
Firstly, it is essential that the operator tighten wheel nuts in the correct sequence, that is, in a star pattern, to evenly distribute the load and to ensure that the wheel is clamped flat and without distortion to the rotor.
Secondly, it is equally important to recognise that all car manufacturers have different torque specifications and tolerances on the loads applied to wheel nuts. These are generally calculated by taking into account the clamping load required to hold the wheel in place, the stud size, the material the wheel is made from and a variety of other aspects. Therefore, wheel nuts should be correctly torqued to the manufacturers specification.
Most workshops will use an impact driver to tighten wheel nuts and with this it is difficult to control the level of torque that is applied. A simple way to overcome this problem is to use colour coded wheel torque sockets or extensions on an impact gun. These tools are calibrated to specific levels of torque output and are colour coded to allow easy identification using the vehicle specified torque requirement. As long as the operator uses the correct colour coded socket or extension to suit the vehicle specification as identified by the manufacturer and tightens the nuts in the correct sequence, the chances of incorrectly torqueing wheel nuts with an impact gun is virtually eliminated.
Warren & Brown 31408 Wheel torque sockets and extensions are simple to use and help eliminate the problems associated with tightening wheel nuts and are ideal for any workshop. In addition, WB precision tools has an extensive range of other wheel torque solutions.
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