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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
HELP ME. What do I do now??

Car lugs broke off my rear driverside wheel while driving 70 MPH on the PA turnpike while driving home from HRM. Car had to be towed the rest of the way. Please help me. I am gonna cry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Not sure what kind of damage was caused but the wheel fell off and was riding on the rotor. Also, some damage to fiberglass. Inside wheel is all scraped up. I also have a 100 towing bill cause AAA can't pick up cars on the turnpike. I then had the 1st driver drop me off of the turnpike and called AAA for the rest of the ride home.
 

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Are you saying that all four wheel bolts sheered off your rear driver's side and let the wheel fly?

Are the stubs still in the hub, or did they spin out?

Were they the stock hubs/bolts?

This sounds really bizzare. The damage sounds horrible.. the towing bill might be the least of it.

Pictures?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yes, stubs are still in the hub. I have 3 of the lug nuts. I think the 4th one is still in the wheel, but broken off.

I will post picture tomorrow when my wife bring the digital camera back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Tell me what should I do? I can't even pull my brand new Elise into my own driveway, instead having some tow truck driver dump it off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
What would cause this? Bolts on too tight or not on tight enough?

Oh don't worry, if something can go wrong, it will happen to me first.
 

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Damn that sucks.

Someone else here would know best how that might happen, but I'd have to guess they were on way way too tight.
Or they were substandard bolts to begin with.

I've never heard of this happening.

I have broken wheel studs on other cars, but that was through excessive force, seized nuts, that kind of thing -- always in the garage, never on the road.

nxm150 said:
Yes, stubs are still in the hub.
So just the heads broke off the bolts, leaving the threaded rod?

I have 3 of the lug nuts. I think the 4th one is still in the wheel, but broken off.
As far as I know, the Elise has no lug nuts, only bolts. There might be a bolt head still stuck in the wheel, since they're tapered, but I'd be surprised if it's in that well. Can you take it out of the wheel? How did you recover the other three after they broke off on the road? Find them near the curb, or still in the wheel?

Just trying to get an image of what went down..

Has anyone messed with your wheels other than the factory? Are they all stock rims/tires?


As for getting it back in your garage, you should be able to do it.. You might have someone 'hold up' that corner of the car and gently roll it on the other three wheels into the garage, or better yet, put a dolly or creeper under it. Does it teeter on the two corner wheels, or put a lot of force on the missing wheel?

Otherwise, just leave it until a mechanic can take a look at it. The weather won't hurt it.
 

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have you notified the dealer?
just wondering what their take on it would be. it's a warranty issue I would imagine. They should offer to pay for all of the damages, shouldn't they? If your car had just arrived (I don't know how long you've had your car) then the dealer should take some responsibility in this freak accident where you could have been seriously injured...

let's hope this is an isolated incident and it doesn't happen to anyone else!
 

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Was this a HRM special edition that had differant wheels than are on the stock cars?

Wonder if this may be have led to the the problem. If they arent standard they might need bolts that are specially sized in lenght.

That really sucks. However, consider yourself lucky that you didnt crash and get killed. A car is replaceable, you arent.

Did this just happen on your way home after taking delivery, ot did you have the car for a while?

Did you notice any wobble of vibration before it happenned?
 

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xxxotic said:
Was this a HRM special edition that had differant wheels than are on the stock cars?

Wonder if this may be have led to the the problem. If they arent standard they might need bolts that are specially sized in lenght.

I believe all the HRM special editions had/have stock wheels; they've just been either painted or powdercoated.
 

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obviously HRM didnt paint the wheels while they were left on the car...they had to remove them and then put them back on....and didnt put them back on correctly one way or another.
how come the car didnt get out of control with the wheel flying off at 70 mph?
 

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Wheel bolts (indeed, no studs on the Elise) could only be caused by them not being torqued properly.

Either they were too lose (not torqued at all) and the 'play' between the wheel and the hub simply sheared them off.

Or they were done up with an air-gun at a billion lb/ft (like some grease-monkeys like to do) and the bolts were stretched beyond their capacity.

In both cases I'd have a very, very long and hard talk with the dealer..... If you get my drift...

Bye, Arno.
 

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xxxotic said:
Was this a HRM special edition that had differant wheels than are on the stock cars?

Wonder if this may be have led to the the problem. If they arent standard they might need bolts that are specially sized in lenght.

That really sucks. However, consider yourself lucky that you didnt crash and get killed. A car is replaceable, you arent.

Did this just happen on your way home after taking delivery, ot did you have the car for a while?

Did you notice any wobble of vibration before it happenned?
It wasn't a HRM. It had stage 2 exhaust and star shield installed at HRM, but I think that's it.
 

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I tend to think they did not set lug seat faces to the alloy faces and thus when the lug bolts were tightened the face surfaces were not set in full contact thus movement of alloy sheared the bolts. I think if bolts were over torqued the alloy would have falled...but based on your descript that does not seem to be the case...regardless IMO it is the responiblitiy of HRM since the failure is associated with their removal and install of the wheels.
M
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
This happened on the way home from the dealer. My car has only 130 miles on it. Dealer is 250 miles away.
 

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It's still their responsibility to make sure that the lug nuts are properly torqued before the car gets delivered. Call the dealer and have them pick up the car. Sounds like a warranty case all the way.

I never let a shop install wheels, most of them will take an air gun to them. But on a new car, you don't have much of a choice.
 

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Ive seen this happen on two cars.....in each instance it was because someone had not torqued down the lugnuts.

Both were coming home from autocrosses. Both were situations when the owner let someone else tighten down their lug nuts OR where they got in a hurry and just hand tightened and came back later and forgot they had not finished the job.

Im anal about our lug nuts. I check and recheck with the torque wrench before we leave the event site.

Ive also seen wheels tightened down too much that eventually broke a stud...but not all of them at once!



Im sorry this happened to you. Im glad you're ok! I can only imagine this could have caused a serious accident especially since you're not accustomed to the car yet and its handling....let alone the handling of a new car with the rear wheel flying off.


I hope it didnt damage your car and I hope "the right thing is done" in order to rectify the situation.
 
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