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CLK-Class (W209) 2003 on: CLK 270 CDI, CLK 200K, CLK 200 CGI, CLK 240, CLK 320, CLK 350, CLK 500, CLK 550 [Coupes & Cabriolets]

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Old 03-23-2012, 06:53 PM   #1
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Wheel fell off while driving (pictures included)

Just wanted to post up am experience I had. Wednesday of last week my trophy grade fiancé called me crying around 8AM. She told me that as she was pulling up to work one of her tires fell off. I went to meet her and had her send me a few pictures so I would know what I was getting into. Here are the pictures she sent:
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

As I was backing out of the driveway I noticed two of her lug nuts laying in the street which I picked up and took with me. At this point I was thinking either they weren't put in tight enough by the tire shop, someone tried to steal the wheels, or someone had purposely loosened the nuts with malicious intent.

When I arrive I jacked the car up and decided that I would remove one lug nut from two other wheels and take the car to the dealership with three wheels being short one lug nut. When I pulled the lug nuts from my pocket I noticed that they were short; maybe only enough room to get 4-5 turns. I checked out the hub, and sure enough all five had snapped off inside the hub.

Of course we had to call a tow truck and have it taken to our Indy. Ended up costing about $700. The bill isn't itemized, but I'm sure it includes towing, new lug nuts, a new hub, an alignment, and of course labor. If anyone wants to weigh in on this I would appreciate it.

A few more pictures:
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

So I have been in Vegas the last week so this is my first chance to post. The mechanic told my fiancé that this was not her fault and is not out of the ordinary for this car.; I can't imagine that is true. He said that another girl was in the shop with the same issue a few weeks back.

My thoughts; the tires shop either over or under tightened the lug nuts when they put the tires on a few months back, or my fiancé does a little too much feeling with her wheels when she is parking (see second picture) and the added stress broke the lug nuts.

My questions:
1. Is this common?
2. Why do you think this happened?

As always I appreciate anyone who took the time to read this or offer a response.
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Last edited by C-A-T-S; 03-23-2012 at 06:56 PM.
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Old 03-23-2012, 07:01 PM   #2
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Might want to check you nuts occasionally.

I've seen this one time and it was operator error.... my friend was just finished doing a brake job.... and he lost a wheel...... he did not tighten his nuts.
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Old 03-23-2012, 07:25 PM   #3
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Did you have the nuts retorqued a hundred or so miles after installation?
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Old 03-23-2012, 07:39 PM   #4
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post pics of said "trophy grade" fiance....
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Old 03-23-2012, 07:39 PM   #5
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I now talk to the techs doing any work on my wheels to request/remind them that the torque value for the bolts is 95 ft lbs; and 190 ft lbs isn't twice as good. I used to change my wheels often (2-3 times a year) and a few times I have stood on the 4 socket lug wrench used and was still not able to break them loose. Had to used a floor jack and wooden blocks on several of the bolts once. If you have had work done on the wheels within the last 6 months, over-tightening could be the cause. If so, I would replace all the bolts on all the wheels.
If the bolts are sheared off, given that the hubs are wheel centering (hub centric), I would guess that your incident was due to over-tightening. Unless 3 or more of the bolts were loose, I doubt that your wheel would even wobble under normal driving. And, if they were loose, they would have to be loose by an amount equal to or greater than the depth of the hub ridge the wheels ride on.

I'm not sure of todays wheels but bolts used to be designed to thermally expand under use, thereby tightening them.

Very good that no one was hurt........ glad of that for you.
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Old 03-23-2012, 09:02 PM   #6
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Holy crap!
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Old 03-23-2012, 10:48 PM   #7
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Wow glad no one was hurt... That's a serious issue.... Especially if it happened on the highway!

" is not out of the ordinary for this car"

Um... yes it is lol.
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Old 03-24-2012, 12:09 AM   #8
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Nonsense. A wheel going astray is not “ordinary for this car.”
No trophy awarded in this instance.
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Old 03-24-2012, 12:43 AM   #9
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Actually, this is a common occurrence (i.e. broken lug bolts) when they are loose! They wiggle themselves partially out of the hub allowing the wheel to wobble and the lateral forces break the bolts. This can happen when they are over-torqued and one or two bolts break, then the others aren't strong enough to handle the force of cornering. I'd look to who last torqued those bolts. Chain tires stores (NTB) are notorious for doing it incorrectly. I swore off of NTB years ago when they couldn't get new tires on my ML properly balanced and broke two lugs bolts, and then refused to fix it.
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Old 03-24-2012, 02:22 AM   #10
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...my trophy grade fiancé...
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Old 03-24-2012, 12:38 PM   #11
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Going out to the garage now to check the lugs with a torque wrench...

Glad no one was hurt!

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Old 03-24-2012, 03:48 PM   #12
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post pics of said "trophy grade" fiance....
LOL
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Old 03-24-2012, 04:46 PM   #13
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Happened to me on two separate times, Lug nuts were not on tight enough and vibrations snapped them, Unless all 5 lugs snapped at once, no way driver could have missed the vibrations. Not to be mean, but you gotta be pretty simple to not notice the shaking when you are driving. Unless of course, all 5 lugs snapped at once. Glad your trophy was fine. TC
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Old 03-24-2012, 07:16 PM   #14
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I'll give the trophy wife the benefit of the doubt - my cabriolet rides so rough (end-of-life tires and worn control arm bushings) and the roads I drive on are in such bad condition (hence the bad bushings), I have just learned to ignore the vibration and suspension noises.
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Old 03-24-2012, 07:57 PM   #15
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I would check with a dealer to verify if your bolts are correct length as the thread engagement you state suggests wrong parts.good luck.
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Old 03-24-2012, 09:01 PM   #16
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Actually, installing new studs is pretty easy. They only cost a couple bucks each, and could even be done on the side of the road. I would've fixed it myself for $20, but to each their own.

And no, this is not normal.
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Old 03-25-2012, 11:04 AM   #17
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Thanks to everyone for the replies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by boschk View Post
Did you have the nuts retorqued a hundred or so miles after installation?
No I did not. I cant believe I forgot to do this after all the times I have changed the wheels on my 750. The tire store did not mention this to us, either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fatz View Post
I now talk to the techs doing any work on my wheels to request/remind them that the torque value for the bolts is 95 ft lbs; and 190 ft lbs isn't twice as good. I used to change my wheels often (2-3 times a year) and a few times I have stood on the 4 socket lug wrench used and was still not able to break them loose. Had to used a floor jack and wooden blocks on several of the bolts once. If you have had work done on the wheels within the last 6 months, over-tightening could be the cause. If so, I would replace all the bolts on all the wheels.
If the bolts are sheared off, given that the hubs are wheel centering (hub centric), I would guess that your incident was due to over-tightening. Unless 3 or more of the bolts were loose, I doubt that your wheel would even wobble under normal driving. And, if they were loose, they would have to be loose by an amount equal to or greater than the depth of the hub ridge the wheels ride on.

I'm not sure of todays wheels but bolts used to be designed to thermally expand under use, thereby tightening them.

Very good that no one was hurt........ glad of that for you.
Great advice, thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudeney View Post
Actually, this is a common occurrence (i.e. broken lug bolts) when they are loose! They wiggle themselves partially out of the hub allowing the wheel to wobble and the lateral forces break the bolts. This can happen when they are over-torqued and one or two bolts break, then the others aren't strong enough to handle the force of cornering. I'd look to who last torqued those bolts. Chain tires stores (NTB) are notorious for doing it incorrectly. I swore off of NTB years ago when they couldn't get new tires on my ML properly balanced and broke two lugs bolts, and then refused to fix it.
The tires were installed at S&S Tire, so this is most likely what happened. I usually take my cars to S&S as the owners are a family friend, however the location we used this time was different as my trophy had a blowout several months back in almost the exact same location and this was the closest shop to have it towed to.

Quote:
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Happened to me on two separate times, Lug nuts were not on tight enough and vibrations snapped them, Unless all 5 lugs snapped at once, no way driver could have missed the vibrations. Not to be mean, but you gotta be pretty simple to not notice the shaking when you are driving. Unless of course, all 5 lugs snapped at once. Glad your trophy was fine. TC
Two of the lug nut a were in the street in front of our house. Only one was actually on the scene where the wheel broke off. I'm sure she was too busy texting, putting on makeup, or fumbling around looking for her Britney Spears or Lady Gaga CDs to notice the vibrations.
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Old 03-25-2012, 11:07 AM   #18
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post pics of said "trophy grade" fiance....
Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by togaclk55 View Post
LOL
Calm down, guys. I don't think my "Trophy Grade" fiancé would appreciate me posting her pictures on an online car forum full of randy men. You will just have to trust me on this one; she is absolutely stunning.
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Old 03-25-2012, 12:28 PM   #19
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Actually, installing new studs is pretty easy. They only cost a couple bucks each, and could even be done on the side of the road. I would've fixed it myself for $20, but to each their own.

And no, this is not normal.
No studs on this car
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Old 03-25-2012, 03:59 PM   #20
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No studs on this car
Right - it was a soon to be "trophy wife" driving, not a "stud".

Seriously, yes, MBZ uses lug bolts instead of lug nuts, therefore there are no studs that have to be removed from the hub - just unscrew the remnants of the broken bolt from the hub, and use a new bolt to reattach the wheel.
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Old 03-25-2012, 07:39 PM   #21
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post pics of said "trophy grade" fiance....
shut the hell up!
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Old 03-25-2012, 07:45 PM   #22
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shut the hell up!
Or what clown?

Relax buddy it was a joke.
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:31 AM   #23
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Nonsense. A wheel going astray is not “ordinary for this car.”
No trophy awarded in this instance.
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Old 03-29-2012, 06:24 PM   #24
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post pics of said "trophy grade" fiance....
Click the image to open in full size.

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Old 03-29-2012, 08:39 PM   #25
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