Car Mechanics (UK) - - Contents -

Is it safe to put Comma Cop­per Ease or sim­i­lar on wheel bolts to make the re­moval of a wheel eas­ier at the road­side? I ask this be­cause I re­cently had a punc­ture on my 2003 Ford Galaxy and found it a strug­gle to re­move the wheel bolts even though I have a de­cent pry bar. I have read on var­i­ous in­ter­net fo­rums that some peo­ple do put lu­bri­cant on the bolts, but oth­ers ad­vise against it be­cause it can af­fect the tight­ness of the bolts. R Broglia It is very tempt­ing to put a coat of cop­per grease lu­bri­cant on the threads of wheel bolts in an ef­fort to en­sure they will come un­done eas­ily. How­ever, such lu­bri­cant on the thread of the bolt will al­ter the fric­tion in the thread and greatly af­fect the tor­sional stress ap­plied to the road wheel. Thus the gen­eral ad­vice is that the thread of a wheel bolt should be clean and dry when fit­ted.

Ford ad­vises that lu­bri­cant should not be per­mit­ted to get on the cone sets of stud holes or on the cone an­gle of wheel nuts. If cor­ro­sion is slight, you should wire brush away the cor­ro­sion. If cor­ro­sion is ex­ces­sive, in­stall new wheel studs and nuts. If the con­di­tion per­sists, lu­bri­cate the first three threads of each wheel stud with a graphite-based lu­bri­cant.

From per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence, I find that if the wheels are re­moved dur­ing reg­u­lar ser­vic­ing and the threads are kept clean and dry, torque­ing the wheels up to the rec­om­mended set­ting is all that will be re­quired. From the data I have, the road wheels on your Galaxy should be torqued to 170Nm (125lb ft).

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