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If you fear that the nut or bolt are seized, and you don't want to damage the part it's attached to with excessive force, you would use a torque wrench to warn you that you are exceeding the torque which might result in breaking the bolt/stud or otherwise damaging the fastener. It's also useful if you know the fastener will take the force, but for whatever ...
Another consideration is because a torque wrench looks/acts like a breaker bar, it's tempting to use it to loosen nuts/bolts
Another, somewhat different consideration, is that "clockwise only" torque wrenches are not suitable for left-hand threads – in case that matters to you. Of course tightening a left-hand thread is the same as loosening a right-hand one. Beam type (scale and pointer) torque wrenches are reliable and inexpensive and all of the ones I've seen will work in ...
Sometimes you want to measure breakaway torque. This can tell you if a fastener has started to loosen due to vibration, or was over-torqued and the bolt/stud may have stretched or weakened, or the fastener was cross-threaded and need to be replaced. Note that breakaway torque values will often be higher than the stated torque spec, as the breakaway torque ...
Would I be right an assuming your car is equipped with alloy wheels? Also, have the wheel bolts been fitted with a small smear of grease? It sound like the wheel bolts are reacting in a "springy" way to the forces of the impact wrench. It may be that they're butted up tightly against the softer metal of an alloy wheel or they're in the threads with a ...
If that would be possible, every 3-year old could fasten the bolt. He just has to try 100 times with 0.5lb-ft. You have to apply the full 50lb-ft, regardless of the torque applied before!
If the application allows, you could use something like a V band clamp with an anti tamper nut. Although it wouldn't 'lock', using a fastener with an obscure head would essentially require a 'key'. There are also V band clamps that use a male fastener, which would give you even more options for fasteners that require obscure tools to remove.
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