After setting the torque wrench to the specification in the owner’s manual or repair manual, there are three steps to tighten lug nuts properly:
1. Replace damaged studs or nuts.
2. Use a wire brush to clean the wheel stud and lug nut threads, and then dry them. Corrosion, thread damage and oil or grease can skew torque application and affect clamping force.
3. Clean the wheel, hub faces and the center hole with a wire brush as well, then dry them.
4. Apply a dab of anti-seize lubricant in the center hole if necessary, but do not apply to the wheel studs or lug nuts.
5. Run the lug nuts in with your favorite tool until snug, but no more.
6. Tighten the lug nuts in a star pattern twice, smoothly applying force until the wrench clicks, but no further.
Finally, you should check your lug nuts after driving for 50-100 miles because they will most likely loosen a bit, and you don’t want any unforeseen accidents.
When your wheels are tightened properly, your tires are going to stay in better shape for longer. Using the proper pattern will ensure that your wheels are evenly torqued down and will help your car drive better.