Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Lug nut caps always falling off of the wheels

asked by on

I am really not a very nit-picky person in general, but the little caps that cover the lug nuts on my 2008 Toyota Highlander have begun to fall off and it makes the truck look 10 years older. The thing only has 65,000 miles on it. Why even put caps over the bolts if you aren’t going to secure them well? Might as well just take them all off. I replaced the first few that fell off but now I have just been letting them fly. Could this unbalance my wheels?

This is a common problem with many vehicles that use a two-piece lug nut design. In general, the outer piece of the lug nut loses tension on the inner lug nut due to over-tightening or normal wear & tear. If the outer lugs are removed, be advised that the inner lug is smaller diameter and will require a smaller wrench (most likely 20mm) to remove them. This can be a problem if a tire needs to be changed in an emergency, as the stock lug wrench is 21mm. This shouldn’t cause any imbalance in the wheels as the weight being removed is minimal and it is at the center hub of the wheel. For a permanent repair, look into aftermarket one-piece lug nuts from a company like McGard.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: I have a problem with my trunk on a Toyota Avalon 1998 I can't open it from the Handel in the fron or with the key what can I do

Hi there. There are a few things that might be causing this problem, from a damaged cable, actuator or even the lock itself being frozen or damaged. The best way to know for sure and to have the door unlocked...

Q: I wanna put irocs on my infinity but i dont know what adapters i should buy 2005 Infinity G35

Hello - your Infinity has a 5-lug, by 4.5" diameter bolt pattern for the wheels. Depending on which IROC wheels you have access to, they may or may not fit your Infinity directly. Check (1) the bolt diameter and offset...

Q: CV boot or full replacement of CV axle ?

This is a common sign of a failing CV joint. A CV (Constant Velocity) joint is a shaft that connects the transmission to the wheels, essentially transferring the power from the drive train directly to the wheels. The CV joint...

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...