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Here in the northern part of North America, we're about to start winter, so off come the mags with the summer tires, and on go the steel wheels with the winter tires.

Do I need to use steel lug nuts with the steel wheels?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

The material of the lugs are not the import thing. Lugs come in various materials such as steel, forged aluminum, or even titanium. The important thing is to make sure you get lugs with the correct thread pitch, thread size, and seat. The seat is very important so the lugs sit properly against the wheel and don't come loose. There are 3 different types of seats: acorn, mag, or ball.

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Usually, yes. It depends on the shape of the seat (i.e. the bit of the wheel the nut grips against). Steel wheels will always have a tapered nut seat, wheras alloys often have a squared-off one. You might be lucky and find your alloys have the same angle of taper, obviously it depends on the design of the wheel.

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Most aluminum wheels these days have the same seat taper as steel wheels. It's just the older (way older) aluminum wheels that use the shank lug nuts. The thickness of the wheel may be different as well. For steel wheels I would just use the open end tapered variety.

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