Lug Nut Lubrication: Ensuring Wheel Assembly Safety and Reliability

Feb 5, 2024 | Technical, Trucking Industry

It’s important to follow recommended procedures for installing and torquing lug nuts and studs to ensure the safety and reliability of the wheel assembly. Lubrication of lug nuts and studs can indeed affect the torque applied and the clamping force achieved. However, it’s crucial to use the right type and amount of lubricant to avoid over-torquing and compromising the integrity of the fasteners. 

The Tire Industry Association (TIA) recommends using two drops of motor oil, which is a common practice to reduce friction during torque application. Proper lubrication can help achieve more accurate torque values and prevent galling or seizing of the fasteners. Over-lubrication or using the wrong type of lubricant, such as an SAE 30 aerosol can, can lead to inaccurate torque readings and potentially cause issues with the wheel assembly. 

The reduction in torque caused by lubrication, as shown in Figure 1 from the engineering toolbox, is an important consideration. 

It’s essential for mechanics and technicians to be aware of and follow industry recommendations and guidelines when it comes to installing and torquing lug nuts and studs. Using the right lubricant in the recommended amount is key to maintaining the safety and performance of the wheel assembly. If there are specific guidelines or updates from authoritative sources like TIA, they should be followed to ensure proper practices in the industry. 

Figure 1.







The Engineering ToolBox (2010). Reduced Torque with Lubricated Bolts. [online] Available at: [Accessed Day Month Year].

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