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Old 05-23-2005, 03:39 AM
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check those lugnuts!

A reminder that not everyone pays attention to details on a car.

One night last fall, my son (full-grown) rotated his tires at my insistence. He was still in college, with the goal of being a football coach, and began telling football tales as he put the last wheel back on his 1985 Caprice. As he attached the wire spoke wheel covers, I asked if he got those lugnuts tight and he assured me he had.

He drove to a football game about 30 miles away the next night. On the way home, the left front wheel came off and he made a fine spark show running down the road on the rotor. He was eerily lucky. The road was flat, straight and almost empty. He was only driving about 45 mph. He brought it to a halt at the entrance to a wide driveway with only the corner of the rear bumper sticking out. The only other car on the road at the time was a man just getting off his 2nd shift at a brake plant. He saw the show and gave my son a ride home, adding at least 45 minutes to his commute home. It shames me to admit I didn't get his name.

We went right back out to search for the wheel. I searched one side of the road and my son searched the other. I finally decided to jack the car up and see if it could limp home on the "space-saver" spare. By the time I got it jacked, he found the wheel. It had travelled about 100 yards farther down the road, climbed an embankment about 15 feet high, jumped a fence and stopped in some woods. The wheel cover was still on it and all 5 lug nuts were inside.

None of the bolts were stripped; the nuts had to have just spun off from not being torqued. The holes in the wheel were barely "wallowed". I bent the brake shield back out of the way from where it had folded over and decided to try to get it home on that wheel. There were no unusual noises or vibration at 20 mph for a couple of miles and the steering felt fine, so we bumped it up to 45 and brought it home.

The brake rotor was replaced and the nuts torqued this time.

Don't count on luck like that. Check those things that people who aren't car nuts take for granted.

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Old 05-23-2005, 08:13 AM
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lucky him.
its easy to forget stupid stuff like that, i've done it to, once. didn't lose the wheel, called home when i noticed mass vibes' then realised 2 lugs had vanished.
check, check again, then get a buddy to check if your not positive you got everything.
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Old 05-23-2005, 04:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mj_lover
lucky him.
While I was walking around his crippled car on the side of the road at about 1 AM, I asked him, "You know the saying is that God takes care of drunks, idiots and little children. Where do you fit?" He replied without hesitation, "I'm one of the idiots."

That kind of luck deserves to have Twilight Zone music playing in the background. I told him that he better not depend on luck or divine intervention; statistics will show that drunks, idiots and little children die every day from their mistakes.
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Old 05-23-2005, 05:08 PM
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I'm one of those idiots too.
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Old 05-23-2005, 05:28 PM
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Very good point and good warning. I have a story like that too.
A few years back I had an old pick up truck and the tread had worn down on the tires after all of my fun.
We took the truck to get the tires changed at the place that my dad has gone since he was a little kid with his dad.
Got there got my new tires and cahnged them to my rims. We got talking with the guy while his hired help did the tires.
Afterwards me and my dad go for a drive get about 20 miles away and we hear clunk noise.
At the same time my dad gets cell phone call from the owner telling him to double check the lug nuts.
We stop along an old country road and get out and sure enough all on the right back tire where loose.
Got out my star and tightened them back up but it made me learn the good lesson to always watch and double check all work because EVERYONE makes mistakes!

Chris
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