There is no hard and fast rule for torqueing the nuts and bolts of a car. But sometimes, the car or car parts can malfunction if the nuts are too tight or loose. So the best way to stay safe is to use the correct torque specs. But where can I find torque specs for my car?
You will find the torque specs in the factory manual or dealership guide. Usually, manufacturers provide them with these manuals to ensure the right specs for their cars. But if you cannot get such a guide, you can find it in the service manual.
But what are these torque specs, and why is it so important? If you are a beginner and want to learn more about these, you can read the entire article.
What Is A Torque Spec? And Why Is It Necessary?
Though there is no specific definition for what a torque spec is. But in simple mechanical language, the torque is the force or pressure they use to apply something like nuts and bolts.
Hardware needs a specific amount of pressure to ensure proper installation. And if you are torquing car parts, you need to be extra careful. Why? Because making them too light or loose can cause more problems than you expect, like the following.
Problems With Over -Tightened Nuts
If you tighten the nuts too much, there is a possibility that it will cause trouble for wheel bearings to assemble. And then it can also cause hub bearing preload. This problem ends up causing too much friction, making the bearings overheated.
Problems With Under-Tightened Nuts
If the nuts remain too loose, they will keep causing vibration. Moreover, a loose nut possesses the risk of coming out of its socket, and it can be life-threatening if the car is running.
Where Can I Find Torque Specs For My Car?
In the age of the internet, reaching the right place to find torque specs for any car is pretty accessible. Everything is just only a click away from finding out. However, not everyone has access at the right or emergency moment.
So if you want to ensure you have the right torque specs for the car close at hand, you can get it from the dealers. The dealership shop guide always comes with such information. You can also find it in the service manual.
How To Avoid Torque Problems?
It is not uncommon to use the wrong torque if you are new at this. But you can avoid the common problems if you follow these.
- Using The Right Torque Wrench
To make sure your torquing experience stays hassle-free, you can start by using a good-quality wrench. That is because the wrench may have to deal with various torque ranges.
While some nuts and bolts require 150 ft. lbs torque, others might require more. So it is best to use a wrench that can provide some extras if necessary. That is why you need to ensure getting a high-quality and robust torque wrench.
One more important thing is not to use handle extensions. The problem with using an extended handle is that it can throw off the reading often, giving you the wrong result.
- Know The Torque Job You Will Work On
This part is for the newbies because many people rush into this part of the job without fully knowing what they signed up for. Torquing is not exactly a piece of cake, which means you should be aware of the right torque specs.
Once you learn the right specs, you can avoid making the nuts too tight or loose. That is pretty much the most common torque issue mechanics come across.
- Use The Accurate Measure To Torque
It is almost the same as knowing the job, except you have to know the right torque pressure as well. You already know that torque is like a measuring device, and you must know how to measure with it.
People who torque often end up developing an idea of how much pressure they apply without bothering about the torque specs. But you should not risk it if you are a starter.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Do you need to follow torque specs?
No, it is not necessary to follow torque specs everywhere. But it is also best not to ignore them entirely. Certain car areas require strict torque specs to ensure stability.
And while pro mechanics can ignore to follow the rulebook, it is a must-follow thing for beginners. So make sure to use a good torque wrench with proper specs where needed.
Q. How do you torque a wheel without a torque wrench?
A breaker bar is an excellent alternative if you do not have a torque wrench to use on the wheels. These bars can produce almost a similar pressure, thus making the situation less problematic. Just use a straight breaker bar and create pressure from a certain distance.
Q. What torque wrench should I buy?
Torque wrenches with bigger drives have larger handles. And choosing a long handle can give you plenty of advantages. But if you ask any professional mechanic, they will tell you to go with a wrench with a ½ inch drive, which usually comes with an 18-inch handle.
Q. Does more torque make a car faster?
The force your car’s piston generates and the speed make the torque happen. So it is highly related to how fast your car speeds as it influences the acceleration system. That is why the more torque, the faster the car will be.
Some people will tell you that they do not need to follow any torque specs for their cars. They only go with their guts and experience. However, it is natural for me to wonder about the torque specs requirement as a beginner. So, where can I find torque specs for my car?
My first stop would be the service or dealership manual. I can rely on the internet comments after I gain more experience. And if you have followed the article this far, here is one more thing. It would be best to use the correct torque wrench to ensure proper torqueing.