Selling Services: Anti-Seize & Studs

Selling Services: Anti-Seize & Studs

Last month I received a great letter from one of our readers. He was absolutely livid about the story “Double Hit” in our February issue. Ed from the Cherokee Garage in Beckwourth, CA, pointed out several incorrect items in the article.

In the article, it was advised that a light coating of anti-seize could be applied to the wheel studs. We were wrong. I admit it. But, admitting that you are wrong is just the first step in making it up to the reader.

The next step is to learn from the mistake. This learning process not only helped me to solve the problem, but it also uncovered other, more serious problems.

If you apply any friction modifying substance, like oil or anti-seize, to the wheel stud threads, it is going to change the measured torque values. With less friction on the threads, the torque values increase. So, when you tighten a wheel to 85 ft/lbs, it may actually be torqued at 95 ft/lbs (this includes torque wrenches and sticks). The increase in force will mean that the studs will stretch under the increased torque. This stretching can lead to metal fatigue, changes in thread geometry and the possible failure.

This can be a very significant problem, and I apologize for letting it slip. But, in doing some research, I encountered another aspect of anti-seize on wheel studs that can be an even greater problem.

The Bigger Problem
I ran across a “penny pincher” consumer website for misers, cheapskates and skinflints. Aside from the tip about keeping a phone book in your car so you can check prices for the best tow truck rate, the website had a tip about anti-seize and lug nuts. The tip was written by a non-credited source and it advised drivers to “spend an afternoon” applying anti-seize to all the studs to make it easier to remove the lug nuts.

If you encounter one of these vehicles with anti-seize on the wheel studs, be very careful. Take time to explain to the driver why anti-seize is bad and how it can cause problems. Also, advise them that there is a potential for failure during normal service. You should also put it on the repair order.

Is there a right way to use lubricants around the wheel? Yes, but it has to be a high-temperature lubricant used only in a very light coating. First, a high-temperature lubricant can be used where the hub goes through the center of the wheel. Many vehicles use the hub to center the wheel. These “hub-centric” designs can benefit from a very light coating.

On some conical lug nuts, you can put a light coating on the seating surfaces of the cone, while avoiding any contamination with the threads. This coating can prevent corrosion. Thank you Ed, for setting me straight.

You May Also Like

ADAS Suspension Alignments

Look at the “big picture” and really consider how the vehicle will operate if things aren’t done correctly.

This month, I had an opportunity to ride along in a brand-new F150 Lightning Platinum. This thing was loaded to the gills – power everything, massaging front seats, blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, the works! We were driving down the interstate with the truck in “self-driving mode” and it was really something to experience. The truck was using a number of ADAS sensors to monitor the vehicles around it, the curvature of the road, and everything in between. It tracked straight and kept us in the center of the lane, even as the road curved back and forth.

Active Ride Control Diagnostics

The key to servicing these systems is proper information and understanding precisely how these systems operate.

How To Answer Customer Ride Control Questions

Presenting your customer with inspection results and benefits of replacement will help sell the job.

Broken Springs

What is the cause for the failure? Why does it occur with specific vehicles? The answers might surprise you.

ADAS Module Programming

Reflashing and reprogramming is a necessary service for repairing vehicles.

Other Posts

GRI Receives US DOT Certification For Safety

GRI tires will now incorporate the DOT code emboss on its side walls.

Brake Pad Errors and Mismatches

In order to make the right selection, you must do your homework while still remaining skeptical.

Axle Torque Procedures

Guessing the correct torque setting is a bad idea.

What Do The Marketing Messages Mean?

Certain messages mean certain things – or not. When selecting automotive components, do your homework.