lug nuts corroded between nut and wheel (‘17 Tacoma)

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Feb 28, 2017
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17 Tacoma sat garaged for a year, so probably 14 months since wheels last came off… significant white crusty corrosion, mainly where the lug nut passes Thru the alloy wheel. Washer was fair. “Cone” was fine.

For many years I applied various amounts of anti-seize, but later learned this was no good as it effected the torque value (after sheering of a few on an old car of ours). So now what do I do? I try to wax the wheels 1x/yr. I used Fluid Film and most of the corrosion rubbed off. I want to use RIG (anti corrosion grease for guns) on the wheel, but fearful of messing up torque values.
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Not a lot to be done... you're dealing with dissimilar metals. Steel lug nuts against aluminum wheels. Never ever use any type of penetrant or anti-seize on lug studs or mating surfaces... as you said it WILL affect final torque.

I've seen this type of corrosion on many Toyota vehicles and it never seems to cause an issue. Your best bet, while spendy, is to change out all 20 lug nuts annually.
 
If you used regular anti-seize it can cause galvanic corrosion to the alu in a damp environment. Use only alu antiseize, not the regular kind containing copper. Better to install dry because yes it can affect torque readings, and you wind up too tight. I will put alu antiseize on the back side of an alloy rim so it doesn't corrode to the cast iron brake rotor or drum. On my salt water boat trailer, I make an excetion, I use marine grease on the back side of the galvanize wheel so it doesn't rust to the brake assembly and also grease the studs. Just don't go crazy torquing them. Salt water is brutal on running gear, so you gotta do what you gotta do.
 
I've given up on installing clean and dry. They always corrode, due to dissimilar metal issues. I use Mobil 1 grease.

I know it affects the torque, I never overtorque and don't have problems with broken studs or other issues.
Yeah, I put a few drops of oil on the cone of the nut and some gets on the threads too sometimes, but and I don't think it really changes the torque that much, on well used, slightly rusted and corroded studs, nuts, and wheels. If everything was brand new with smooth finishes maybe having some oil in the thread starts to really make a difference?
Anyways I've never had a loose nut or damaged the studs from over tightening, and no terrible corrosion so I'll keep doing what I'm doing.
 
Clean them good and put some never seize on the lug nut, don't worry about galvanic corrosion from copper anti seize, you can use aluminum, copper, nickel or ceramic with no issues. Some manufacturers have frozen lug issues actually require never seize (they call it high temp grease but in the text they say anti seize) on the lugs and for good reason.

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Put an appropriate anti-seize or lubricant on them, and torque them a little under the spec'd value. Don't overthink this. If you snapped some, it wasn't because of the anti-seize either.
 
Clean them off and use anti seize. Trust me it won’t hurt them. I don’t think they will overtorque either. The torque spec is only 76ft pounds set your torque wrench to 70 and you should be fine though personally I always do a little bit more because I feel 76 is a little low for lug nuts which in my opinion should be minimum 80. Also put some on the hub to wheel surface otherwise you’re going to need a large dead blow because that will be the next thing to seize.
 
If you used regular anti-seize it can cause galvanic corrosion to the alu in a damp environment. Use only alu antiseize, not the regular kind containing copper. Better to install dry because yes it can affect torque readings, and you wind up too tight. I will put alu antiseize on the back side of an alloy rim so it doesn't corrode to the cast iron brake rotor or drum. On my salt water boat trailer, I make an excetion, I use marine grease on the back side of the galvanize wheel so it doesn't rust to the brake assembly and also grease the studs. Just don't go crazy torquing them. Salt water is brutal on running gear, so you gotta do what you gotta do.
What exactly is alu anti seize? Most silver concoctions still contain Al and Cu. I think zinc petrolatum is the better option.
 
I'd be more concerned of them loosening and falling off. Every owners manual I've read says NOT to use anything on the threads.


Not going to happen. They take plenty of torque to loosen also. I drive far more than most too, sometimes over 10K miles per month. No issues what so ever. I tried anti-seize, but prefer the grease. No mess, and it stays in place better.
 
I use hi-temp copper slip on the mating surfaces of the hub and wheel but never on the threads. However, much as I try a bit always manages to reach the threads. Seems to do just enough to protect them without compromising torque. Never had loose lug nut bolts (touch wood). Before this practice, I found that wheel/hub interface corrosion made wheel removal difficult due to binding at this point. Also used between inner brake rotor surface and wheel hub when replacing/servicing rotors, NOT pad contact areas. After copper slip no further problems. I stress, just a light application with the provided brush applicator incorporated in the lid.
 
I'd be more concerned of them loosening and falling off. Every owners manual I've read says NOT to use anything on the threads.
No it's the clamping force that keeps the wheel on and the lug bolts/nuts installed. The use of nothing on the threads relates to the use of torque to set clamping force, so yes that should be reduced when using a lubricant on the threads.
 
If you're truly experiencing problems I can't see NOT using something to mitigate like grease or anti-seize.

Replacing every year seems like overkill and being THAT worried about EXACT torque feels like a condition best treated with some form of ignore-it-all medication and close supervision by a psychiatrist.

There's specs on paper, and there's real world.
 
Looks like a reaction between the steel nuts and the alloy wheels? I would clean them off with steel wool and apply a thin layer of grease to that surface only, where the lug contacts the inside of the hole. This should keep the surface from corroding and not affect torqueing of the nuts. Hope this helps you.
 
Looks like a reaction between the steel nuts and the alloy wheels? I would clean them off with steel wool and apply a thin layer of grease to that surface only, where the lug contacts the inside of the hole. This should keep the surface from corroding and not affect torqueing of the nuts. Hope this helps you.
Since this has turned into an academic discussion of by-the-book vs. real world practices: Torque is an approximate measure attempting to correlate to bolt stretch/clamping force. Final torque can easily vary about +/- 28 percent if using a torque wrench due to many variables (discussed here often). Friction on any of the mating surfaces can affect torque readings. So, putting grease on the angled mating surface of the nut and/or wheel can affect torque wrench use.

Nitpicking of course. One should simply be educated about torque/bolt stretch/clamping and proceed accordingly when deciding to clean and/or lube fasteners.
 
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