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Wheel fell off - advice please

Mike5402 Jun 19, 2018

  1. Mike5402

    Mike5402 New Member


    One of my front wheel fell off a few days ago, and I am hoping I could get a bit of advice from the forum...
    I am just trying to make sure I'm not completely mistaken to assess what I should do next really.

    Basically I am under the impression that there are not many reason why a wheel would fall off a car unless its nuts were not tightened correctly in the first place: is that right?

    The front wheels have not been touched for a while. There was no sign of any problem for all that time. And then before you know it the wheels fall off. I am thinking that some of the nuts were just tight enough for the wheel to stay in place, and as soon as they finally loosen a tiny bit, then vibration quickly get them off completely. In other words, whether it happens right after the last maintenance, or multiple weeks later, doesn't really matter, it's still caused by the nuts not being tightened enough at the last service.
    Would you agree?

    To add to this, the wheel fell off at a track day. Luckily it was making some noise right before it fell off so I was driving quite slowly to assess the situation (although it didn't cross my mind it could be something like a wheel about to fall off!). That means no actual crash, but some damage to be repaired nonetheless.
    Now I went back to the garage that did the service in question, and even though the initially said track or not made no difference, they now says it does changes everything (e.g. 'if it happened on the road it would be on us, but it was on a track, so very different'). My feeling is that really a wheel should never fall off, at least not without a serious crash, if it was attached to the car correctly in the first place. So track day or not, the issue is still the same -- the track might have accelerated the process, but it would likely have happened anyway, only later (and possibly in a much more dangerous place).
    Would you agree?

    Thanks in advance for your answers.
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  3. RAF_S7

    RAF_S7 Well-Known Member Team V8 Gold Supporter Team Sepang Audi S7 A7 Owner Group Black Edition

    Well for a wheel to fall off, you need all four bolts to come undone.

    The chance of four independent bolts unscrewing themselves simultaneously is pretty incalculable, and in my opinion the road or track scenario would be a minor additional factor in this.

    The fact that you mention the wheel in question hasn’t been touched since the last service may be a contributing factor, depending on who carried out the service, what the service entailed, and how long ago it was carried out.

    Modern wheel bolts don’t come undone, unless they were loose to start with, so l would definately be pointing a finger at the garage.

    However if your tracking your car, doesn’t that call for a basic check of the car, like are all the wheels secure and bolts tight, or at least present?
  4. desertstorm

    desertstorm Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User TDi Audi A4 Audi Avant Owner Group quattro

    Wheel bolts should always be checked on a car that is being tracked. They can come loose on a car that has had them tightened correctly at the start of the day . The brakes get a lot hotter than they ever do on the road and this causes things to expand a lot more than they normally would, along with the high cornering loads and vibration from things such as rumble strips.
    I check the bolts on my TT in between sessions.
  5. Mike5402

    Mike5402 New Member

    Thank you for your answers.

    I will definitely check my bolts after service/wheel maintenance/track day sessions going forward (torque wrench on the way!), whether it is to check for possible oversight or 'natural' loosening.

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