Wheel Loss on Personal Vehicles: Recommendations for Prevention

Discover the alarming statistics and potential causes of wheel loss from personal vehicles, along with expert recommendations for prevention.

The Alarming Statistics of Wheel Loss

Each year, approximately 900 accidents occur due to wheels detaching from personal vehicles, according to a recent report from the Scandinavian Tire and Rim Organization (STRO).

The report, based on surveys conducted with 5,000 vehicle owners, reveals that around 30,000 wheels come loose annually, resulting in about 900 traffic accidents across the country.


Dennis Alexis, the Secretary General of STRO, expresses concern over these high numbers and emphasizes the need for action. These alarming statistics highlight the importance of addressing the issue of wheel loss and implementing preventative measures.

It is crucial to raise awareness about this issue and educate vehicle owners on how to prevent wheel loss accidents. By understanding the causes and taking appropriate precautions, we can work towards reducing the number of accidents caused by wheel detachment.

Potential Causes of Wheel Loss

The report indicates that whether a professional workshop or an individual performs the tire change, it does not significantly affect the likelihood of wheel loss accidents.

One possible reason for this is negligence in properly tightening the bolts or nuts after a tire change.

Mattias Hjort, a research leader at the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, suggests that the time pressure faced by tire workshops during peak seasons may contribute to this issue.

The intense workload can lead to rushed wheel changes and inadequate tightening of bolts or nuts, increasing the risk of wheel detachment. It is important to address these potential causes and take steps to prevent wheel loss accidents.

Expert Recommendations for Prevention

To prevent wheel loss accidents, it is crucial to follow proper procedures when changing tires on a personal vehicle.

Here are some expert recommendations:

  • Remove the bolts/nuts and remove the old wheel.
  • Clean and inspect all contact surfaces and threads on both the old and new wheel as well as the vehicle.
  • Replace damaged, worn, and heavily corroded parts.
  • Do not lubricate the threads or surfaces before assembly, as overtightening can damage the threads and result in a poorly fitting bolt/nut.
  • Ensure that the bolts/nuts match the wheel (conical/rounded/flat).
  • Install the new wheel and tighten the bolts/nuts in a cross pattern to a moderate torque, well below the recommended torque, and ensure that the wheel is tightly and evenly seated on the hub.
  • Use a properly calibrated torque wrench and tighten the bolts/nuts in a cross pattern to the torque recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.
  • After driving 50-100 kilometers, check that the bolts/nuts are correctly tightened.

By following these recommendations, vehicle owners can significantly reduce the risk of wheel loss accidents.