Mark (poisonkitty) wrote,


Today I spent some time working on cars. I started by looking into some problems that brindle was having with her brakes. The first wheel I took off was so heavily torqued on that my impact wrench wouldn't get the lug nuts off. I opted for a huge breaker bar instead. It turns out that all of the wheels were similarly over-tightened. The last place that touched her wheels was the Nissan service dept in Irving. I'm seriously impressed with how fucked up the car is after they serviced it. I'm tempted to call them and give somebody a serious bitching-out.

After removing the center cap on the second wheel, I noticed something strange:

Two of the lug nuts were on backwards. This is extremely dangerous, as the lug nuts are conical so as to center the wheel where it needs to be. With the flat side holding the wheel on, it would tend to move around a lot more.

As if it couldn't get any worse, the next wheel I took off had a lug that was cross threaded and forced on. It could be that it wasn't originally cross threaded, but by severely over-tightening it, it destroyed the lug threads and became cross threaded (gauled). Anyways, the lug broke when I was removing it:

I had to take all of the rear brake components apart to get the rotor off so that I could replace the lug:

The broken lug and nut:

Poorly installed wheels can cause your brake rotors to wear unevenly and even perform poorly. In a worst case scenario, the vibrations can break the wheel off of the car. Most likely, it'll just totally hork the brakes.

Alas, once I got that taken care of, I didn't really feel like doing much else. I took the Impala out for a spin and changed the oil/filter in it. I am still waiting on a car alarm to come in the mail so that I can keep it outside and start on the truck. It seems to run much better after replacing the ancient oil that was in it. Now, all I have to do is drive off the 15 gallons or so of 1+ year old gas that's in the tank right now. I've thinned it out with 6 gallons of fresh gas, but I need to kill this tank off completely and start with a fresh one.

Tomorrow, I plan on changing the oil in our other cars. I must say, however, that having a huge oil pan makes all of the difference. My last experience left a mess, but there was hardly a splatter with this one.
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