Loose Lug Nut Indicators – Simple Wheel Maintenance

Wheel Maintenance is a Must-Do

Wheel maintenance is a critical part of safe RV travel. Let’s face it, we all know we are SUPPOSED to recheck our lug nuts regularly, especially around 50 to 100 miles after you’ve changed a wheel. We highly suggest you DO check that they are properly torqued any time you removed lugs and have driven. Kudos to those that also check all your lugs every time before they go out.

But for those of us that slack a bit about checking lug nuts before every long drive, there is an old-truckers trick that can quickly alert you of a problem when you do your pre-trip walkaround and visual maintenance checks.

Wheel Lug Nut Indicators

The fancy way is these little lug nut indicators. The idea is you pop them over your lugs on your motorhome or trailer — or truck if you happen to have exposed lugs — and point them at each other. Should one move, they will no longer be pointing at each other, and you know that you might have a lug nut that is loosening.

Many also even indicate high heat to warn of a problem like a bad hub, brake, or bearing. If there is too much friction being generated and your hub is heating up, heat-sensitive indicators will melt, distort or even drop off for easy identification.

There are all sorts of sizes and kinds from various price ranges available on Amazon, like these: Lug Indicators List. Pick the size that will snugly fit your lug size.

Another Cheaper Method

The discount way to this will let you know when lugs are loosening, but won’t provide information on hot hubs, and maybe isn’t quite as pretty. You place a line from the lug to the wheel indicating where it should be if properly tightened (see photo), using torque striping using nail polish or torque marker material. Choose a color with the amount of visibility you prefer. If you see that the line is no longer lined up, you know that lug may be moving.

Torque Marks on Wheel
Torque marks on wheel.

Where Can I Get Them?

While indicators and torque striping can be found at many auto parts places. Amazon also carries a variety of types, including the heat-sensitive type that can alert you to potential problems with your hubs.

Here is a list of a wide variety of lug nut indicators and prices on Amazon:
Lug Nut Indicators on Amazon.com

Here is a variety of torque marking material for creating torque stripes:
Torque marking material on Amazon.com

Torque wrenches will help you check for accurate lug nut torque before you mark the lug locations:
Torque Wrenches on Amazon.com

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