Broken wheel lug - should I be worried?
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Cadillac STS-V Series Forum Discussion, Broken wheel lug - should I be worried? in Cadillac V-Series Forums; At the tire place today, as they pulled off the old tires, one of the lug nuts came off way ...
  1. #1
    bobs-sts-v's Avatar
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    Broken wheel lug - should I be worried?

    At the tire place today, as they pulled off the old tires, one of the lug nuts came off way to easily. Turns out the bolt / lug holding the tire on the car was broken. The strange thing is that it was glued back on with hot glue! I am not making this up. I have the busted lug still inside the lugnut with glue on it. Since I have never had the need to have anyone pull the tire off, it must have come from the factory that way. Is this how GM builds cars?
    "I busted a major safety component off the car, boss."
    "Which one?"
    "The thingy that holds the wheel on the car."
    "Eh, just glue it back on. No one will notice. There's still five other ones holdin' it on, right? No big deal."
    "OK boss."

    What the f---? !
    I am going to have a serious conversation with the service department tomorrow. I can understand a defect in the bolt causing it to break. Or possibly being over-torqued at installation and breaking. But to just glue it back on the car? How many safety violations does this break? If they give me ANY grief about replacing this, the ---- is gonna hit the fan. Anyone else ever hear of anything like this?

    Bob

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    TSS's Avatar
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    Re: Broken wheel lug - should I be worried?

    That did not happen at the factory. They did not shut down the line to glue on a wheel lug.

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    LITTLEELVISDAN's Avatar
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    Re: Broken wheel lug - should I be worried?

    I'm guessing the dealer did it. BUT That sounds crazy. Are you sure its glue and not melted plastic? Or did the tire place break the lug nut and put glue all over it before they showed it to you. I have a hard time believing the glue would hold up with the heat generated by our breaks and you smoking the tires. The heat and g-forces would sling it right off.

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    Re: Broken wheel lug - should I be worried?

    unless they used some kind of super space glue that is impervious to heat and vibration. If they really glued it that good then it would be all over the rim where the lug nut seats against the rim. Was it?

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    Re: Broken wheel lug - should I be worried?

    Agree. Can't see a dealer doing this either. They would just warrantee it - even if they broke it.

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    Re: Broken wheel lug - should I be worried?

    I will take a picture of both tonight (at work right now) and post. Rust on both sides of the break in the lug. So it has been that way for a long time. It was a front wheel (drivers side), so smoking the tires has little or nothing to do with it. What I find interesting is that it never "flew off" as others have mentioned. My best guess is this: It is indeed a defect in the lug that has been there since it was manufactured. The "glue" is in fact a combination of brake dust, dirt and moisture from the environment. The reason it never came off before is that it still had some metal left intact holding it together. The combination of 18,000 miles and the hot - cold cycles of 2 winters and 2 summers had kept the wheel firmly in place. The torque needed to break it free from the wheel was more than the now rusted and cracked bolt could handle and it failed.

    Regardless, this is NOT a part that should fail. EVER. It should be replaced as a warranty item no matter what. Am I wrong on that count?

    Bob

    P.S. Car still rides perfectly straight and true - no shudder, shake or vibration. And the new Yokohama Advan S.4's are much quieter than the stock Pirelli's. Summer tires (Goodyear Eagle F1 GS-D3's) and rims will be in on Friday, so I will get them mounted up early next week.

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    Re: Broken wheel lug - should I be worried?

    Unless the technician at the dealership was a rookie or just plain stupid, they would NEVER let this happen because of liability. The damn lug is only a few bucks from parts and they could have internally charged it out. It just wouldn't make sense to do that.

    It's more likely that an independent shop that may have put tires on the car or rotated them or done brakes would have done this. It's just a guess though.

    Still, have the broken lug replaced.

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    Re: Broken wheel lug - should I be worried?

    Well, my mother worked in GM factory line before, and from talking to her, I wouldn't be surprized if it was just a bad lug(which can happen) and the person installing it broke it, and just glued it real quick to get it down the line, cause he or she didn't want to deal with it. Trust me, industrial glue would hold that lugnut on there forever if you didn't try to put an impact wrench to it. There is also a reason our car uses 6 lugs instead of the normal 5, for strength with such a heavy high performance vehicle. But the 5 lugs would hold forever and probably just fine, regardless of how you drive. From my experience offroading, I have busted a lug or 4 on the rocks, and still kept on climbing and trucking, just replacing the lugs when I found them busted. No big deal actually, I wouldn't worry to much about it, since it was just the one lug out of the whole car, and you have been driving this for a while with no other problems. S#^t happens! No matter who builds the car!

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    Re: Broken wheel lug - should I be worried?

    They don't just have glue hanging around on the line. There is no time either . I have been on the line, have many clients still on the line. Explanation by poster regarding dirt, dust, grease etc makes more sense. However , still most likely happened at a non-dealer working on the car. Regarless, it will likely be covered under warranty - it would be at my dealer.

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    Re: Broken wheel lug - should I be worried?

    Just to clarify a few points. The only service ever done was done at the dealer I bought it from. He claims they have never removed the left front tire - and I could see no reason for it either. You can't rotate the tires, and it never showed a shimmy or shake to warrant a rebalancing. So as far as I - and the dealer - know, that tire has been on the car since it arrived from the assembly line. Tire guy swears it broke off when REMOVING the tire, and he immediately brought it to my attention. This also precludes the idea that he over-torqued it when putting the tire back on and broke it. Also if he had broken it, there would be fresh metal exposed, and there is none. The lug, and what is left on the car, both are badly rusted, supporting the theory that it was this way for quite a long time - perhaps since it was originally installed on the line at the factory. No matter how it happened, the lug is busted and will be replaced on Friday. Service says that it is NOT a simple "pop out the old, in with the new" type of job, because there is very little clearance behind the axle and rotor. He estimates 90 minutes.

    Bob

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    z06bigbird is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Broken wheel lug - should I be worried?

    I would really start yelling at the dealer. They need to start watching TV and recognize that they should not use super glue on the lugs. J B Weld and maybe Gorilla glue would be the preferred product to hide a defect.

    GM needs to upgrade its quality control program. No superglue; yes-- J B Weld.

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    Re: Broken wheel lug - should I be worried?

    Ha, Ha, JB WELD, LOL! Yeah, that stuff is freakin great, but doubt it would still hold up to the torque wrench.

    By the way, how the heck is anyone gonna tell me that there is no way at the assembly line that someone could have the time to do that, or that they couldn't get there hands on some glue. I have taken a tour of one of the GM assembly plant lines, and there is a chit load of time to do whatever you want. I used to watch my mother install dashes on GM trucks, and she had about 3 minutes of down time per dash depending how fast she wanted to work. This is like telling me that there are not mechanics or shops out there that rip you off for work that you don't need, or they don't perform. I used to be a mechanic for Ford motor Co. for 3 years, and I was appalled at the lack of any integrity of half the mechanics I worked with! Don't claim that you know human experience more than me, or people are not like that. YOU and me and everyone doesn't have a clue what any one person will do. That is why there are tons of prisons with murders, child molesters, and petty thiefs!

    Like I said, chit happens! Everyone takes things too personal. I am not saying that all workers at the GM factory are scum bags, am I, NO!

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    Re: Broken wheel lug - should I be worried?

    Quote Originally Posted by LITTLEELVISDAN View Post
    unless they used some kind of super space glue that is impervious to heat and vibration. If they really glued it that good then it would be all over the rim where the lug nut seats against the rim. Was it?
    Super space glue, impervious to heat, vibration, etc. They use that all the time--on the space shuttle. Maybe GM ran that car down to Florida prior to selling it.

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    Re: Broken wheel lug - should I be worried?

    Quote Originally Posted by hodgeee1 View Post
    I have taken a tour of one of the GM assembly plant lines
    Ohhhhhhh, I apologize. I did not realize that you had taken a TOUR of a plant....how many years ago?

    P.S. If a vehicle has a problem it gets pulled from the line now and then re-inserted and there are no delays in production. The line keeps on moving and computers automatically reprogram so that the correct options get on the correct vehicles. There are no longer any incentives to pull out the glue stick, JB weld, or bubble gum. A decade or more ago, perhaps. And, everything is monitered by closed circuit now. If a worker attempted the fix described in here, and got caught, they would be reprimanded/fired, not praised for their ingenuity. Again, no incentive.

    Nonetheless, we can agree to disagree. It is all good (except for the broken lug). No need to

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    z06bigbird is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Broken wheel lug - should I be worried?

    Quote Originally Posted by TSS View Post
    Ohhhhhhh, I apologize. I did not realize that you had taken a TOUR of a plant....how many years ago?

    P.S. If a vehicle has a problem it gets pulled from the line now and then re-inserted and there are no delays in production. The line keeps on moving and computers automatically reprogram so that the correct options get on the correct vehicles. There are no longer any incentives to pull out the glue stick, JB weld, or bubble gum. A decade or more ago, perhaps. And, everything is monitered by closed circuit now. If a worker attempted the fix described in here, and got caught, they would be reprimanded/fired, not praised for their ingenuity. Again, no incentive.

    Nonetheless, we can agree to disagree. It is all good (except for the broken lug). No need to
    You are right. NO need to beat anyone up, but it surely is fun. For some of us, this might be the only fun we get all day.

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