Luckily, you notice one of the wheel studs in your car is broken before you drive. But what should you do now? Is driving with broken wheel stud safe?
It’s a no here. The wheel stud is important to the wheel assembly as it secures the wheel to the hub. So you can imagine how it affects the system when broken.
You will have a terrible experience when driving with a broken stud. Please read to find out the reasons and learn some tips to deal with this situation!
Is Driving With Broken Wheel Stud Safe?
No. The broken wheel stud will reduce the stability of your car, particularly at high speeds. Moreover, the loosened wheel will affect other components. There is a high risk of an accident if you don’t repair it soon.
The wheel stud is a metal shaft that secures the wheel to the hub. It withstands the weight of your car and forces produced when acceleration, turning, and braking.
The wheel stud may get loosened or damaged over time or because of the physical impact. If you notice a broken stud, stop driving. Otherwise, you will experience these consequences:
Can a broken wheel stud cause vibration? Yes. It affects your car’s stability because the wheel doesn’t securely attach to the frame. Then, it may wobble and even detach from your car.
As a result, you will lose control, especially at high speeds or sudden turns. All these issues will lead to an accident.
When the wheel stud gets damaged, the wheel will become loose and wobble when rotating. The vibration will cause the tire to wear out unevenly, giving you a rough drive.
Damage To Other Parts
When the wheel stud breaks, it will affect other parts of your vehicle, such as the wheel, brake, and suspension. The faulty wheel assembly may also compromise the brake rotor’s effectiveness. And everything related to those components will make your car unsafe to drive. The mechanic will suggest keeping your car to fix it.
What Causes A Broken Wheel Stud?
Although the steel used to make the wheel studs is durable and has a high bearing capacity, you can’t avoid the rivet break. The causes for this issue are:
The lug nuts must be adequately fastened. If not, they will fall off easily while driving. Hence, you’d better take your car to a qualified mechanic to maintain your car and replace the lug studs if needed.
Cross-threading is another installation issue. It occurs when the mechanic screws the lug to the stud at the wrong angle.
Overtightening can cause it to break, too. When tightened excessively, the wheel stud stretches beyond its elastic limit and becomes weaker.
A wheel stud’s exposure to moisture may result in rust, weakening the metal. The stud will break easier.
This problem is particularly common on snowy and icy roads treated with road salt. The salt may get stuck in the crevices around the stud, making it rusty quicker. Even if you have a Honda Civic with powerful winter gear, the risks can still occur.
Broken Wheel Stud Symptoms
Checking for the broken wheel stud is necessary. However, because of the tiny size, you may overlook it and not check it regularly.
When malfunctioning or broken, the wheel stud will show some symptoms, such as:
- Vibration: You will experience unusual shaking while driving, especially at high speeds and sharp turns.
- Wobbling: The wheel with the broken stud will wobble.
- Poor braking system: The stud affects the brake’s performance, too. Specifically, it will be less responsive.
- Uneven tire wear: The broken stud doesn’t secure the wheel properly, causing it to wear unevenly.
Can You Drive With A Wheel Stud Missing?
Most cars have four to five wheel studs to secure each wheel. Bigger vehicles, like SUVs and trucks, have six or more studs to ensure a proper wheel assembly.
Although each wheel may have four studs, lacking any of them will cause big trouble. As a result, do not drive with a wheel stud missing.
Without enough wheel studs, your car will wobble. The wheel can even detach from the hub while driving, resulting in a dangerous scenario.
Moreover, the four wheel studs share the workload. If one is missing, the others must endure more stress. They will fail soon. As a result, avoid driving with broken wheel stud or one missing at all costs.
How Much Does It Cost To Repair A Broken Wheel Stud?
Wheel studs are cheap, costing about $4 to $12 per unit. However, the labor cost is much higher. Generally, you pay around $70 to $100 to have the broken stud fixed.
Removing and replacing the wheel stud are complex tasks. It takes up to 30 minutes to complete. Hence, the overall broken lug nut stud repair cost is relatively high.
How To Replace The Broken Wheel Stud?
If the high repair cost annoys you, consider replacing the wheel stud yourself. Yet, only do it if you are confident about your mechanical skills and knowledge. Here are some steps to replace the broken wheel stud:
Step 1: Remove The Old Wheel Stud
Use a wrench to loosen the lug bolts with your car remaining on the ground. Then, raise your car with a jack and secure it with jack stands.
Detach the brake caliper. Each caliper pin requires specific driver bits, like star-drive or hex bits. You need to check the owner’s manual to use the right tool to remove the caliper.
Then, remove the rotor. Remember to keep it safe and away from oil.
Now you can use a metal hammer to knock the broken wheel stud out of the hub. Once it loosens, pull it out using your fingers. Be careful while performing this step because you may accidentally damage the threads of the adjacent studs.
Step 2: Install The New Wheel Stud
Corrosion can cause the wheel stud to wear quickly. Hence, you need to clear the rust on the rotor, wheel, and fastener system using a solvent and a brush.
After that, install the new stud into the hole. Don’t forget to lubricate the hole and the fastener before inserting the stud.
After covering the stud with a few washers, attach a lug nut and twist it until it is securely fastened.
Finally, reverse the steps above to reassemble the wheel.
Step 3: Check Your Installation
Use a torque wrench to fasten the lug nuts to the optimum torque level specified by the manufacturer. After that, lower your car back to the ground using the jack.
Recheck the lug nuts to ensure they are firmly secured once the car gets back on the ground.
Those steps sound simple. However, you need specialized tools and knowledge to deal with it. So, we highly recommend having a professional mechanic do it for you. Otherwise, you will risk ruining the wheel assembly and face dangers while driving.
Are All Wheel Studs The Same?
No. Wheel studs come in different sizes. Depending on the kind of vehicle, the thread pattern changes, too.
You need the correct type and size of wheel stud for your vehicle. The manufacturer claims it in detail to ensure a proper function and fit.
If you go for the wrong size, the wheel stud will cause damage to your vehicle’s brakes, wheels, and suspension system. You will also encounter safety hazards if the wheels come loose while driving.
Driving with broken wheel stud is a terrible idea because it will lead to unstable driving, wheel failure, and damage to certain parts of your car.
The wheel stud may break for some reasons, including improper installation and corrosion. If you notice any problem in the stud, fix it immediately.
The wheel studs are tiny components, but they affect your driving significantly. Hopefully, you can learn more about it after checking this article.
Thank you for reading!