View Full Version : Wheel bolts coming loose !!!!

Shadow CC
18-07-2010, 04:27 PM
Hi everyone.

So still loving the CC after almost a year now in almost every respect.

However just checking the tyre pressures this afternoon and I notice one of the front wheel bolts missing. So just thought i'd take the caps off and check the others and they were all loose i.e. I could undo them with my fingers. So checked the other wheels and the other front wheel bolts were all loose as well, but the back ones all nice and tight. I had noticed a slight vibration at speed in the weeks before but put this down to balancing and put it on my list of things to get round to. Thinking about it, it's quite scary as I'm up and down the motorway everyday and the thought of a wheel flying off is not a nice one.

The car did have it's first service 2 months (1,000 miles) ago at a VW garage and I did ask them to rotate the wheels so I'm beginning to think they just didn't tighten the front ones up? In fact I think the remaining bolts may have only stayed put due to the plastic caps encouraging them to stop working loose any further, but that's like holding back a dam with your thumb.

So, can anyone shed any light on the above (I've never had bolts come loose on any car in the last 20 years) and if there could be any other explanation other than forgeting to tighten them up?

If not, has anyone any views on what I should ask for when I call them on Tuesday to raise this issue? I obviously need a new bolt but am I reasonable asking for a discount/refund on the service or more?

Is it best to speak to the service dept or ask for the boss or even go straight to VW UK head office?

Many thanks for your thoughts.

Shadow CC

18-07-2010, 04:59 PM
I have never known wheel bolts to just come loose except on wheels that have been recently re-furbished where the paint can come off under the bolt and cause the bolt to come loose. What probably happened is that they put the wheels back on lightly with an air gun and then forgot to tighten them up with a torque wrench on the floor. It is so easy for a mechanic to do this, all that needs to happen is for him to be doing the job, get called away for something or for tea/dinner break to happen just then and thatís it, bolts left loose.

19-07-2010, 11:09 AM
Generally the bolts are designed to use centrefugal force to tighten up them up automatically, of course this doesn't always work, especially if it's been left loose enough to not bite the wheel and take the vibration factor out.

19-07-2010, 01:27 PM
Hmmm, always put the torque wrench on the wheel bolts again 50-100 miles after I've refitted them. Perhaps I'd better spread the net.

19-07-2010, 01:52 PM
Crasher's comment about paint under the head of the bolt is very valid . I remember many years ago at a VWdub "meet" that some people were saying that someone had gone around in the night and had loosened a lot of Beetle wheel nuts. At that time it was quite the "in thing" to paint steel wheels with Hematite paint . This paint is similar to a resin substance and when it cures it shrinks. It transpired that the cause of the problem was the paint under the bolt heads either shrinking or breaking up that caused the bolts to become loose.

Shadow CC
19-07-2010, 02:00 PM
I'm with crasher in that the likely cause is probably a tea break as my new ish CC has never and hopefully never will see a tin of hammerite.

Time for a call to VW to see their perspective on returning my car to me in a more dangerous state than I delivered it to them in.

Shadow CC
20-07-2010, 10:32 AM
Just to close the story, I called VW, the boss called me back in 2 mins. I took the car in this morning, they checked it over for any additional damage and refunded the cost of my service and said sorry.
These things happen and we all forget to do stuff (even dangerous stuff) but I can't fault the way VW dealt with it, with not a hint of defensivness and a genuine desire to sort it and quickly.
Fair enough. Matter closed. Faith in VW back to normal, although I will be checking the bolts after the next few services ;-)


20-07-2010, 01:21 PM
Nice result there shadow:beerchug:
Great news that VW stepped up to the plate and dealt with it:approve:. Too many dealerships these day are trying to run n hide when sumthin like this pops up

20-07-2010, 01:30 PM
Would they have "stepped up to the plate" if the car was a write-off because a wheel fell off ?

20-07-2010, 01:50 PM
you're probably right there vwcab. As you say, easy to step up when its not a major problem and relatively inexpensive to fix!

Having said that, I've had some major troubles with my A6 ( as posted in other threads ) and Audi have been great and really stepped up to the plate.....probably cost them ££££ to repair / maintain my car under a combo of warranty and goodwill.
A good friend of mine has an X3 ( not my cup of tea ) and has 41k on the clock 4 years old and BAM turbo blown ( turns out to be a common fault ) an gets it replaced at a cost of £3000 or so all in and has to stump up £700. Not too terrible, although you wouldn't expect a turbo to go with that low mileage with the car being loved n looked after.
Unfortunately though, he's his own worst enemy with the service peeps and when the problem re occurred he was shouting / screaming and name calling BIG TIME......The end result??
BMW told him to take his car away and go somewhere else, They had also told BMW UK not to make any more goodwill payments to his car.
The dealership had the last laugh.....Cost him quite a few pennies to have his say!

I always, always get the service personnel on my side and make it my business to get to know them and the parts people personally. Also drop a bottle of wine / case of beer in at Xmas etc etc and boy do they look after me!!
I've had warranty / goodwill where many others have not, discounted prices on parts, oil for free, always a couretsy car no matter when i go in and have had some crackers too, some with 300 miles on the clock.
It really does pay to get to know these guys and look after them:approve:

21-07-2010, 02:51 PM
I think this is outstanding that VW refunded you and didn't wiggle, although I suspect it's the dealer who did it off their own back tbh, which deserves a bit of a pat on the back these days, if you've not named them already, you should do, so others can know there is still a dealer with some morality in the VW network.

22-09-2011, 01:07 PM
What do you do when the wheel nuts keep coming loose each time you drive it, the thread looks fine.

22-09-2011, 01:19 PM
All wheels or one wheel?

22-09-2011, 01:22 PM
just one wheel

22-09-2011, 01:25 PM
Can you tell us a little more about the car and the wheels fitted?

22-09-2011, 01:40 PM
14inch standard 5 spoke vw alloys, mk4 golf sdi, 3 nuts loose

22-09-2011, 04:50 PM
It could be that the one alloy wheel has at some time been driven with loose wheel nuts . This would lead to the wheel bolt seatings being damaged. The shape of the wheel bolt seating is carefully designed to match that of the bolt and provide a "crush" zone to make sure that bolt is firmly seated. If the wheel is allowed to move slightly whilst it's driven then the hard steel wheel bolt will "fret" against the soft alloy and cause damage to the alloy seating.Or the wheel may been refurbed at some time with paint in the wheel bolt seatings as posted by Crasher.
Other possibilties are that the wrong wheel bolts have been used (too short/wrong profle etc. ) , the wheel has been replaced at some time with a different seating profile or that the wheel bolt threads in the drive flange or the bolt threads are damaged in some way. I assume the bolts were correctly tightened with a torque wrench ?
Only a close examination of these aspects will reveal where the problem is.

22-09-2011, 05:04 PM
well the thread is fine and the nut fits the wheel fine, I think the problem originates to a garage who helped take off a locking nut for me and then didn't tighten the nuts properly after, but it's strange because the guy at the garage said you should never tighten the nuts too much, which I thought was strange?? Anyway had them tightened again so hopefully should be ok now.