So what do you find when you check on your garage?

28 Jan

Compressed air powered tools in a garage are a real benefit. It speeds up the job, eases your workload and can provide for accurate torque settings when bolting up safety essential components. Like wheel nuts. Have you ever watched those Russian Dash Cam videos on YouTube? Have you noticed how they seem to still be losing far too many wheels from vehicles ? Are their standards not up to ours?

It is critical to torque up wheel nuts to the correct level. My alloy wheels require quite different settings to the standard steel wheels for example.

Under tighten and risk a wheel coming loose. Chafing of a loose wheel then quickly, very quickly, shears the stud and the wheel parts company from the vehicle.

Over tighten and risk shearing a wheel stud or damaging the threads. The end result will be the same, loss of a wheel in motion. Not big, not clever.

Today I swapped the Cooper/Avons from the front to the rear to put the newest tyres up front where they belong.The first thing I found was that the special adaptor socket for the anti-theft nuts was chewed up. It looked as if the wrong size drive socket had been used. It is a twin size which will take a 19mm and a smaller drive socket. It was still usable but chewed up nonetheless.Also all the nuts were overtightened on the nearside and I needed an extended caravan wrench to loosen them.

Then I found on the offside front that the anti theft nut was not tightened ! I spun it off by hand ! The other three nuts were fully tightened, thank goodness and had prevented any wheel to hub movement. I carefully inspected the stud and anti theft nut and the threads were undamaged.

I am SO glad that I decided to do this work myself. These errors can and do occur but double-checking that all nuts are tight is essential. Using the correct torque settings is EXPECTED from your garage staff. We got away with it this time but I  am not giving these people any more benefit of doubt.

Be warned. Check for yourself or get a competent person to check for you. In these circumstances it is my word against that of the last fitter to work on a wheel. Further investigation is taking place before any finger pointing.

To be fair THERE IS A CHANCE THAT SOMEONE OTHER THAN MY USUAL TYRE SUPPLIER MAY HAVE WORKED ON THE OFFSIDE FRONT WHEEL

But it needs to be resolved before somebody DOES LOSE A WHEEL at speed with obvious, tragic results.

 

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3 Responses to “So what do you find when you check on your garage?”

  1. neilirving February 9, 2018 at 8:41 am #

    Every workshop I’ve ran I have always endorsed no power tools for tightening wheel bolts and nuts and use a torque wrench, some brands insist on it as workshop best practice

    • Dinkum February 9, 2018 at 10:52 am #

      Absolutely Neil ! The correct Engineering way to ensure safe wheel fitment. I wish your workshop was closer to my home.

      • neilirving February 9, 2018 at 8:04 pm #

        Never forget you are the paying customer, just request the good old fashioned hand method

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