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Wheel stud replacement cost
Wheel stud replacement
If you have been driving for a while then you may well have driven past the following scene while on your travels - a person at the side of the road, hands on the hips and head shaking, gazing at their car that is missing a wheel. That missing wheel is lying on its side some 100m further up the road.
This is what can happen if the wheel studs - the threaded fasteners that keep the wheels attached to a car - break off. It would have to be a really bad day for all the wheel studs to fail at once, but it can happen.
Wheel studs can fail when they are put under undue stress. This will happen if the lug nuts (that are used to secure the wheel to the studs) are overtightened, the thread of the studs are stripped, or the car is driven with loose lug nuts. Also, if the wheel is subjected to a hard blow, such as can happen in an accident, or hits a curb or a pothole, the wheel studs can be damaged. It’s certainly a good idea to have the wheel studs checked after a hard whack to the wheels.
If a wheel stud breaks or is damaged it will need to be replaced, and soon. Booking with an AutoGuru expert mechanic will get you back on the road again, hassle-free.
The cost to replace a wheel stud will be around $60 to $300 depending on your vehicle make and model. This involves removing the broken wheel stud or studs and replacing them with new ones. The entire wheel hub may need to be replaced, which will be a higher expense.
What are wheel studs?
Wheel studs are threaded fasteners that are attached to the wheel hub of a vehicle and extend through the brake drum or rotor. Most cars have four or five wheel studs, and the wheel of the vehicle is secured to the vehicle by these studs and lug nuts.
Studs are useful when changing a tyre as the wheel can be placed directly onto them and it will rest there while the studs are tightened.
Wheel studs are either pressed in or screwed into the wheel hub and are designed for the demands of each vehicle. Not all wheel studs are the same size and pattern and there are distinct stud patterns needed to match certain wheels to specific vehicles. You can’t easily swap wheels between different cars due to this pattern.
Symptoms that a wheel stud needs replacing
- The stud is broken
- Vibration through the steering wheel
- Loud noise from the wheel area
- The stud has a crack through it
- Play in the wheel when the vehicle is raised in the air
- Ticking or clicking noise from the wheel area that increases with speed
How is a wheel stud replaced
- Undo lug nuts
- Remove wheel
- Remove brake caliper
- Remove brake rotor
- Push broken stud out
- Fit new wheel stud
- Refit brake disc rotor
- Refit brake caliper
- Fit wheel
- Tighten lug nuts in a staggered pattern with a torque wrench
Tips to remember
Try to use a torque wrench when tightening lug nuts. This way, the nuts are not being overtightened and causing undue stress on the studs.
Don’t continue to drive if you have a broken wheel stud. Have the stud replaced as soon as possible.
How important is replacing wheel studs?
A wheel falling off at 100km/h is not an experience anyone wants. True, we are talking worst-case scenario here but if symptoms are ignored that nightmare could happen.