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Old 05-04-2015, 09:41 AM   #1
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Suburban loose lug nuts

I have a 2010 Chevy Suburban tow vehicle and just discovered several loose lug nuts or the caps that go over them, I'm not sure. They can move around but are not falling off. I tried to tighten them but they don't grip anything as I turn them. Anyone know what's going on with that? Thanks, John K
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Old 05-04-2015, 09:48 AM   #2
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Do you have the black, plastic caps over the lugs? Pull them off and make sure your actual lugs are tight before you loose a wheel. Also, pull the lug nuts off and see if the wheel stud is stripped. Maybe someone with an impact wrench cross-threaded the lugs when they put the tires on. The plastic caps don't really go on very tight. If you tighten them up too much they will strip and always appear to be loose.
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Old 05-04-2015, 09:49 AM   #3
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Sounds like the cheesy caps they put over the lugs. Take a pliers and just turn it counter clockwise until it comes off. You'll know if its just the lug cap. If it doesn't come off just try tugging on one to see if you can pull it off.

That said there isn't really much you can do about it, except perhaps buy different lugs without caps.
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Old 05-04-2015, 10:37 AM   #4
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The black caps are plastic and quite cheapy; I used pliers, as you suggested, and pulled off 2. Underneath is what I assume are the wheel studs; I don't see anything that looks like a nut. The studs are in a round opening in a metal piece; the studs don't protrude beyond the metal piece. Those openings are too small to fit a nut into and screw onto the studs anyway. I don't know why these 2, plus a few other caps on other wheels, decided to come loose. They're not broken. The last time the wheels were worked on was when the dealer installed new brakes, back in August 2014. We've had no problems with the wheels since then. Unless there are other suggestions, I guess I'll try to put the caps back on, as that problem appears to be minor, and take the car to our mechanic after I return from a 3-hour one way trip with the travel trailer on Thursday, returning Tuesday. Again, thanks for the assistance. John K.
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Old 05-04-2015, 10:52 AM   #5
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A picture is worth a thousand words, so if possible post a picture.

To me it sounds like you are talking about cheap plastic nuts that hold the center cap on the wheel. I assume you have 6 lug wheels, if you removed all 6 plastic caps the entire center cap will com off showing the actual lugs.
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Old 05-04-2015, 11:21 AM   #6
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I think you're correct, that the plastic pieces hold the center cap on the wheel. If that's the case, I believe all I need to do is put the pieces back on and I'm set and safe. Thanks again for everyone's help. John K
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Old 05-05-2015, 06:23 AM   #7
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I have those on my truck .. they are a pain.. just take them off and carefully reinstall them
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Old 05-05-2015, 08:51 AM   #8
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Seann: I've tried to put them back on so they aren't loose; I've tried screwing them on clockwise, pushing and turning, using pliers...but they won't go on tightly; they're still loose. Is there a secret? Thanks.
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Old 05-05-2015, 08:57 AM   #9
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All the fake black plastic lug nuts do is hold the center hubcap on. They screw onto the wheel lugs that extend beyond the actual steel lugnuts. As long as half of them are tight, you shouldn't lose the hubcap. If you unscrew all of the black plastic lugnuts, you can remove the hubcap to get at the actual wheel lugnuts. Just did this on my Silverado to replace the front brake pads.

While you have the hubcaps off, check the wheel lugnut torque. They should be torqued to 150 ft/lbs. (Maybe 120 ft/lbs for a 1500 Suburban. Check the specs section of your owners manual.)
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Old 05-06-2015, 05:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John K. View Post
Seann: I've tried to put them back on so they aren't loose; I've tried screwing them on clockwise, pushing and turning, using pliers...but they won't go on tightly; they're still loose. Is there a secret? Thanks.
Sounds like someone has stripped them out at one time.. They are only plastic and an impact gun should never be used on them
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