Tip O’ the Day: Check Your Lug Nuts

By | August 1, 2010


I consider myself to be a “car guy”. I love cars and everything about them, but when it comes to their mechanics and repairing them, I’m a total noob. We here at The Daily Derbi encourage everyone to take a crack at their own car in order to reduce costs and to learn more about engine basics. Following that mantra, I went about installing coilovers on my beloved MK4 GTI.  After a full day of cussing and bleeding, I succeeded in getting it properly low. Not as low as we’ve seen some VW’s, but just where I wanted it.

A day and a half later I learned a valuable lesson: CHECK YOUR LUG NUTS!  Put a few miles on the car and go back and retighten them all. As you can guess from the picture above, I didn’t do this soon enough.

While on the way to a business meeting at a favorite golf course, I noticed a slight noise coming from the front of my car and thought “I’ll have to check it out when I get there”. Less than half a second later my tire flew off and I was sliding on the rotor and frame. As I came to a metal grinding stop I watched in horror as my tire shot across oncoming traffic, luckily hitting no one, heading straight for a parked Passat. The god’s of automotive insurance luck smiled upon me that day as the tire hit a curb first and launched over the Passat landing “safely” in the front yard lodging itself in a tree.

The real story here is the amazing amount of help from total strangers. Before I even turned my car off there were fellow motorists by my side to offer a hand. One even had a 4 ton floor jack handy! Utah really is the best place to break down. Long story short, if I had checked my lug nuts sooner, none of this would have happened. Lesson learned.

[Brandon Christiansen]


AJ on August 2, 2010 at 3:21 am.

HOLY CRAP! Sad day! I’m glad you’re okay, but I can’t imagine the damage that did to your rotors.

Anonymous on August 18, 2010 at 2:05 am.

Sweet looking Dub!

Joshkelson on July 13, 2011 at 4:17 pm.

envisioning the wheel rolling down the street and the look of horror on your face make me laugh!…but glad everything turned out safe with no injuries – lucky man!

Matthew Davis on February 8, 2012 at 10:05 pm.

I bought a Second Gen. CRX sight unseen.  Flew to Phoenix to pick it up and drove it home 1,000 miles.  I discovered once I got home that I had been missing a few lug nuts the whole way home!  It wasn’t the only problem I had the way home however.  Ha ha


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