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?
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.
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.
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.
Here is why you should replace the nuts when you replace your aluminum rims ro steel . Assuming that the tapered part in both nuts are the same Most likely the nut used for the aluminum wheel has a smaller tapered contact surface , that means there is lesser contact with the nut and the material Off the steel rim . It could be that the threat length of the aluminum nut is to shallow and will bottom out when tightened . So you think my wheel is tight because the nut does not turn any more but the tapered part will not make contact with the steel rim (dangerous) It has an other problem also the nuts used for aluminum wheels have a cylinder part the fits snuck in the aluminum rim and the rotating washer behind it for better tightening if these cylinder and washer are exposed to road salt ( winter ) it will oxidize and damage the hole in your aluminum rim, when you put your summer rims back on and start to have a problem again for safety reason replace your nuts