A couple of months ago I had the rear struts replaced by a mechanic since I didn't have the tools to do the job myself. Today I rotated the tires and found that the lug nuts had been torqued down so tight it took a breaker bar and a cheater pipe to break them loose! For those who don't know, a breaker bar is a solid bar, about 18 inches long, that attaches to sockets when you need the extra leverage a ratchet wrench won't give you. If you really need extra leverage, you "cheat" and put a piece of pipe on the bar to lengthen it for even more leverage.
Woman using an air impact wrench
Air impact wrench
The problem is that when you have a flat or blowout on the highway, very few people have more than the lug wrench that came with the car. For most people, the only time they ever change a tire themselves is when they have a flat. So unless they have a good mechanic who torques the lug nuts properly, anyone who has a flat finds that the tire is impossible or nearly impossible to remove. I've been reduced to standing on the lug wrench and jumping up and down on it to loosen overly tightened lug nuts before. This is nonsense! When mechanics take those high powered air impact wrenches and hammer those lug nuts as tight as they'll go, it shows how ignorant and stupid they are.
Woman using a torque wrench
I think from now on I'm going to tell them I want a torque wrench used on them and have them torqued to factory specifications so I can be sure it's done right. You can tighten them properly with an air impact wrench if you're careful. I do it. If you stop almost as soon as the impact wrench starts to chatter, they're tight enough. Simple!
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