Q: Tire lug nuts are extremely hot after driving. Is this normal?

asked by on February 22, 2017

Is it normal for tire lug nuts to be extremely hot after driving?

My car has 125000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

If the brakes have been applied, heat will be conducted from the rotor to the wheel and thence to the lug nuts. However, the braking has to be fairly significant and continuous, such as in stop and go driving, for the wheel itself and the lug nuts to get hot. If you are driving on the highway, with your foot off the brake pedal, and pull off into a rest area, the lug nuts and wheel should be cool to the touch. Indeed, if you stopped gently enough (i.e., mostly coasting), you can sometimes touch the rotor itself. The bottom line is, if the wheel hub area, including the lug nuts is hot to the touch, in the absence of much braking, there is possibly an issue with the wheel bearings or the brake caliper. A failing wheel bearing will generate friction but if your wheel bearings are failing you will always hear a fair amount of noise from the affected wheel(s). An additional possibility is the brake caliper is sticking and you should suspect that possibility if the brake rotor is very hot, yet you have not applied the brakes much in the period prior to checking the rotor (or rotor temperature varies significantly from one side of the car to another). To resolve this, you can request a wheel hub diagnostic and the responding certified mechanic will check to see if there is a stuck caliper (or comparable in effect brake system defect) and/or a defective wheel bearing. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

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

Rim swap Ford Expedition and Dodge Ram

That is hard to tell without looking at the rim and the truck you want to install it on. It should fit but there is no gaurantee that the backspacing is correct. Try looking up the wheel manufacturer and see...

Vibration and noise from front of vehicle

Vibration felt through the steering wheel is often due to tire/wheel imbalance although irregular tire wear and/or tire belt defects could be implicated. Sometimes vibration has multiple causes, so for example vehicle suspension components could be loose or worn and...

Tire has micro leak

Hi there. All tires will leak some air over time, but if it loses all of its air by the next day, then there is a problem. A tire shop should remove the tire from the wheel and inspect the...

Related articles

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Speed Sensor
Common signs include harsh or improper shifting, cruise control not working, and the Check Engine Light coming on.
Why Are My Tires Wearing Out Faster Than Normal?
If If you noticed that one or more of your tires are exhibiting signs of abnormal wear or is wearing out at a suspiciously fast rate, it may be a sign that there are other problems with your vehicle. Your...
How to Buy Good Quality Rims
Keeping Keeping your vehicle wheeling along requires more than just tires – you also need rims; and not necessarily some super-slick shiny monster rims, either. The size of the wheels and the rims are important and relate directly to how...