Proper installation requires that the wheel lug torque be set to the recommended specification for your vehicle. These torque specifications can be found in your vehicle's owner's manual, shop repair manual or obtained from your vehicle dealer.

Wheel lug torque specifications are for clean threads that are free of dirt, grit, etc. If applying an anti-seize lubricant, it is important to note it can be applied only on the threads of nuts or bolts. The lubricant must not be used on either seat of the hardware of the wheel. With the seat being the main point of friction where torque is measured, extreme caution must be used if an anti-seize lubricant is applied to the threads as excess can either drip or be pushed onto the lug seat resulting in inaccurate torque values.

A thread chaser or tap should be used to remove any burrs or obstructions of the threads allowing the lug hardware to be turned by hand until it meets the wheel's lug seat. Once lugs are snugged down, finish tightening them with an accurate torque wrench. Use the appropriate crisscross sequence (shown below) for the number of wheel lugs on your vehicle until all have reached their proper torque value. Be careful because if you over-torque a wheel, you can strip a lug nut or hub, stretch or break a stud or bolt, and cause the wheel, brake rotor and/or brake drum to distort.

Use the dry wheel lug torque values specified in the vehicle's owner's manual, shop manual or obtained from the vehicle dealer/service provider. The chart below lists typical torque values that should only be used temporarily until the vehicle's exact torque values can be confirmed.

Since the thickness of an alloy wheel can differ from Original Equipment wheels, also verify that the lug nuts or bolts will engage the threads. Refer to the chart below to determine the number of turns or the depth of engagement typical for your stud or bolt size.

Hardware Bolt or
Stud Size
Typical Torque Range
in Ft/Lbs
Minimum Number of Turns
of Hardware Engagement
12 x 1.5 mm 70 - 80 6.5
12 x 1.25 mm 70 - 80 8
14 x 1.5 mm 85 - 90 7.5
14 x 1.25 mm 85 - 90 9
7/16 in. 70 - 80 8
1/2 in. 75 - 85 8
9/16 in. 135 - 145 8

When installing new wheels you should re-torque the wheel lugs after driving the first 50 to 100 miles in case the clamping loads have changed following the initial installation. This is necessary due to the possibility of metal compression/elongation or thermal stresses affecting the wheels as they are breaking in, as well as to verify the accuracy of the original installation. When rechecking torque value, wait for the wheels to cool to ambient temperature (never torque a hot wheel). Loosen and retighten to value, in sequence. Simply repeat the same torque procedure listed above.


Source:  The Tire Rack