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  1. #1
    alfiejts's Avatar
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    Wheelnut tightening torque?

    Can anyone please advise what torque the A3 wheels should be tightened to? I always like to double check that they're not on too tight or too loose every now and then - and having just picked up a used TDi S-line DSG last week, it's be nice to know they're ok.

    I've searched high and low in the manual and on the internet but to no avail.

    Is there a PC service manual and/or parts CD I can obtain from somewhere for the Audi, like there was for my previous Alfa, or is this a specialist dealer product only?

    Thanks...

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  3. #2
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    I think the standard used by tyre fitters is 80. Now, don't ask whether that is Newton Metres or lb feet. I would think lb/ft. The last time I had tyres fitted I started to check whether I could remove the nuts before I left, and the guy said not to worry as by law their pneumatic / hydraulic wrench has to be set to 80.

  4. #3
    Karsci is correct. The figures are 80lbs/ft or 110Nm for the wheel bolts,

    For the manual and parts catalogue - these are often available for sale on eBay. Elsawin is the electronic workshop manual and Etka is the parts catalogue. Etka is also available to download for free from various sites using something like eMule. Mark sure that if you do buy on eBay the one for sale covers your model. Some are USA based which generally do not cover the A3.
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  5. #4
    Covenant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karcsi
    the guy said not to worry as by law their pneumatic / hydraulic wrench has to be set to 80.
    Cobblers - a good tyre shop will always check the torque with a properly calibrated torque wrench. The dial settings on a pneumatic gun are hideously inaccurate.

  6. #5
    alfiejts's Avatar
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    What a brilliant guess.

    Saw somewhere that all Audis were 90lb/ft - but that equated to 120 Nm and that was a lot more than my wife's Yaris (102Nm), so I gambled and set the torque wrench to 110Nm, going around them all yesterday!

    Agree about the comment regarding pneumatic guns. Needs to be properly checked with a torque wrench. Costco tyre fitters use a torque wrench to finish off...
    2012 White A5 Coupe TFSi Black Edition
    (Was 2004 A3 2.0 TDi S-Line DSG, owned from 2005 to 2012....)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Covenant
    Cobblers - a good tyre shop will always check the torque with a properly calibrated torque wrench. The dial settings on a pneumatic gun are hideously inaccurate.
    Looks like not one of the dozen or so tyre shops I've been to in my lifetime is a good one, then.

    Don't quite understand the big deal about being so accruate. I tighten them to what is about 80% of my strength, which means it is an effort to remove, but no more. I check them after 100 miles of replacing the wheels, and then perhaps every couple of thousand miles. That's it.

  8. #7
    Covenant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karcsi
    Looks like not one of the dozen or so tyre shops I've been to in my lifetime is a good one, then.
    Looks like it yeh If you follow that logic, you dont need a torque wrench for putting on cylinder heads, hub nuts, differentials etc etc

  9. #8
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    I love the way you see tyre fitters gun the wheel nuts up to probably about 150lb, then get the torque wrench out and set it to 80lb or whatever their chart says and proceed to go all round the wheels again, then say "they're torqued!"
    TTS, 19's,DSG,Sat Nav,phone,elec seats,bose,ex leather,and more

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    Quote Originally Posted by Covenant
    Looks like it yeh If you follow that logic, you dont need a torque wrench for putting on cylinder heads, hub nuts, differentials etc etc
    There's an ever so slight difference between tolerances of bolts having to hold in hundreds of horse power (and to cope with the expansions and contractions of the engine) and those of bolts holding on a wheel, don't you?

  11. #10
    alfiejts's Avatar
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    Looks like I've started a fight - and I've only been a member for two days! :-)

    I agree that there's probably a reasonable "approximation" that's OK for wheel nut tightness - and using the standard wheel nut brace and tightening it tight by hand is going to be OK.

    What you don't want are one or more nuts a bit loose (I've had a wheel come off a van I was travelling in on the M56 due to loose nuts!) or them tightened up too much, so that you can't get them off by hand in an emergency at the side of the road.

    As I've been bitten once and as I know the previous owner had the wheels off the car to have the alloys refurbished - and as I do have a torque wrench in the garage - I just wanted to give them the once over to make sure they were all tight enough, but not too tight.....

    I think its all about consistency rather than absolute tightness. Sure enough some of the nuts were on much tighter than others - and some didn't take much effort to loosen at all.
    I feel much better knowing that they're all evenly tightened to approx the same tightness.
    2012 White A5 Coupe TFSi Black Edition
    (Was 2004 A3 2.0 TDi S-Line DSG, owned from 2005 to 2012....)

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    Yes, if you already have a torque wrench, then by all means use it - and it's probably longer than the one in the boot of the car, so easier on the arms. But of course don't buy one just for your wheel bolts. As long as you tighten them sensibly so that they are not loose, unless you are Geoff Capes, the only risk of overtightening them by hand is (as you say) not being able to take then off at the side of the road.

  13. #12
    Covenant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karcsi
    There's an ever so slight difference between tolerances of bolts having to hold in hundreds of horse power (and to cope with the expansions and contractions of the engine) and those of bolts holding on a wheel, don't you?
    Well yeh - like... "Would you prefer your wheels to fall off sir, or would you like me to damage your alloys?". Believe me it does happen - I worked for a pug main dealer for 3 years and have seen both scenarios.

    I'm not saying buy a torque wrench - but at least find a tyre shop who know what they are doing.

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    Working for a vehicle manufacturer we are fanatical about accurate torques. Spending millions on the best computerised DC equipment for our assembly lines. Its not near enough to guess, the results of under or over torque can be horrific. I have range of torque wrenches at home and wouldnt dream of working on my car or motorbike without using the manufacturers tightening torques.
    Steeve

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    Christ, talk about OTT. I hate this modern world of taking precison to the nth degree just for the sake of it - well, financial reasons probably.

    You don't need to be so precise with a wheel bolt. If you did, and there was even a hint of a signficant risk to safety, cars would not be provided with a jack and a wrench. Like you know how tight to tighten a bottle top without it coming loose, but allowing you to undo it later, you know how tight to tighten your wheel bolts. You don't need any special equipment, and you don't need to hire an expert to check it for you.

  16. #15
    Amchlolor's Avatar
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    In over 20 years of driving,the 'stand on the brace and bounce a couple of times' method has never let me down,for tightening or loosening.
    If I ever look at a torque wrench longingly in a shop,the wife has instructions to put me out of misery there and then.
    It's right up there with looking at power tools.
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  17. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by bowfer
    If I ever look at a torque wrench longingly in a shop,the wife has instructions to put me out of misery there and then.
    LOL...what smack you around the head with it :D
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  18. #17
    Tim Stuart's Avatar
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    I agree with Karcsi and Bowfer - isn't it slightly anal to tighten wheel nuts to the manufacturers designated telerance?
    How many wheels have you ever seen come off?
    Just use the kit supplied in the boot and judge for yourself how tight it needs to go.
    Also, what's wrong with locking wheel nuts? I know you only get one per wheel, but at least they won't fall off!
    Black 2.0TDi 140 Sportback S-Line

  19. #18
    Covenant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Stuart
    How many wheels have you ever seen come off?
    About four or five in 8 years in the motor trade. Along with 3 or 4 wheels damaged beyond repair because not even an airgun or a 3ft breaker bar on a socket would get the things off after being overtightened.

    No, I'm not suggesting you buy a torque wrench for home use. My point was that if your tyre shop doesnt use one, they are risking damage to your car, your life and a huge litigation bill.

  20. #19
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    Anybody looked at the wheelnut guns you can get that plug into your cig lighter, about 25 upwards. Were reviewed in AutoExpress a while back, may be handy for punctures in the winter?
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  21. #20
    The Slug's Avatar
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    One thing to add....would having different manufactured alloys have different tolerances too, ie OEM wheels or OZ wheels?? Just wondered thats all
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  22. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Covenant
    No, I'm not suggesting you buy a torque wrench for home use. My point was that if your tyre shop doesnt use one, they are risking damage to your car, your life and a huge litigation bill.
    I'm not sure whether even Audi dealers check themselves with a torque wrench as they managed to muck up the thread on a couple of bolts on one of my wheels. I had a hell of a job trying to undo them by hand, so I doubt they checked them. They must have been rushing and not bothered to start screwing in the bolt by hand first, and instead just wacked them on with the gun, and the wheel was not properly aligned with the hub. They insisted I drive the car back to them, because otherwise it could be days before someone could retrieve the car and fix it. So I did. They didn't seem to be too concerned that they could have sheared and caused an accident.

  23. #22
    Covenant's Avatar
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    Well yeh, there's no insurance against stupidity

  24. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdb2
    Anybody looked at the wheelnut guns you can get that plug into your cig lighter, about 25 upwards. Were reviewed in AutoExpress a while back, may be handy for punctures in the winter?
    Yeah,and you just might be spending 25 on something you never,ever use...
    I've had a couple of punctures lately (hazard of the job,as we have a crating company that use compressed air nailguns and simply don't have the time to pick up their 'spent rounds'...it permanently sounds like Vietnam here).

    I can get the alloy off and space saver on in a matter of minutes,no problem.
    I'm not trying to be clever,just pointing out that it's hardly a massive chore or problem using the good old-fashioned brace.
    '02 to '05 - Black Audi A4 1.9tdi sport
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