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While prepping for a drive tomorrow I noticed the far side front wheel of my car has one stud out of five that is somehow loose. All other four studs are secured and tightened. By "somehow" I mean that the stud seems to be turning along with its lug nut, although it requires some force to be turned (can't turn it with fingers, but with a cross it does turns easily). I'm not trying to tighten it more as I don't want the thread to possibly give in.

The car is a 2007 Civic Type-R Euro (FN2) with stock alloys (5x114.3).

Since I'll have to drive a couple thousand kms tomorrow at highway speeds, I'd like to know if I'll be safe driving at 110~130kph for an extended duration. Additionally, is there any precaution I should take to be more safe?

  • Nice car! When you say the stud seems to be turning with the lug nut, do you mean the stud is rotating with the nut, so no matter how much you spin the lug, it will never get tighter? If you remove the nut, does the stud come out with it? – MooseLucifer May 24 '16 at 20:26
  • The nut doesn't get tighter. I'm not trying to spin it more either inward to outward because I don't want to damage the threading more, especially since it seems to still be helping to hold the wheel somehow. – Lloeki May 24 '16 at 20:30
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    I would remove the lug - if the stud is spinning free like you say, you'll need to replace it anyways, so removing it won't do any additional damage. You can definitely drive with short distances with 4 of 5 lug nuts, but I would fix this problem before your trip. – MooseLucifer May 24 '16 at 20:35
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    Right, if the lug won't tighten, its not really doing anything (or can't be counted on anyway). Try to remove it before it removes itself into someone's windshield. – JPhi1618 May 24 '16 at 20:39
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    If it's just a damaged stud, it's a five minute cheap job to replace it. If the thread in the wheel hub had been damaged, that's a bigger job, but you need to get it fixed anyway. The answer to your question depends how confident you are about stopping safely when (not "if"!!!) one front wheel falls off while you are driving. (Hint: if a rear wheel falls off, you have a reasonable chance of being OK. But a front wheel - not so much!) – alephzero May 25 '16 at 0:26
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No one is going to tell that driving with a missing lug nut for huge distances at highway speeds is a good idea. If the question was "can I drive to the shop like this", you might get some people to capitulate, but you're talking about a cross-country journey. I doubt you car would pass a safety inspection without all the lugs, so you shouldn't take a huge trip like that.

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It'll be good enough to drive to the nearest tire shop, and ask them to sort it. Shouldn't be expensive/time consuming

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I suggest you bring your vehicle to your local garage to double check your torque specs for your wheel lugs. They probably will not charge you for this; since it takes only five minutes. It is especially important to get this checked if your driving the car on a road trip.

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If it's tight'ish it'll probably be fine.. However make sure the other four nuts are torqued up properly! Also make sure that the looser nut &stud can NOT be undone, as you don't want one of those things flying through somebody else's windscreen I would advise that you get it replaced as soon as you can. If the nut just spins it's likely the splines that lock the stud into the hub have stripped. This is not dangerous or anything like that it will just give you the spinning wheel nut symptoms you describe.

It is a five minute job to replace the stud if it's in stock and the nut will come off, however it's NOT a five minute job to replace it if the nut has been cross-threaded onto the stud.

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