How can I ensure my wheel bolts are properly tightened, but not over-tightened?

After a few scary moments on alpine roads I bought a set of winter tyres on steel wheels for my Chrysler Grand Voyager, which I put on in December and take off in March. I invested in a three-tonne trolley jack and a telescopic wheel brace to make the changes myself. No problem, but for exuberant garage mechanics that over-tighten the nuts when the car is serviced. I do not consider myself a weakling, but I need to use the wheel brace fully extended to half a metre, a spray of WD40, rocking my two tonne car back and forth with all my strength to loosen the wheel nuts. With five nuts to each wheel, surely it is not necessary for them to be so tight?
You are right. Really, everyone should check the tightness of their wheel nuts in a non-emergency to make sure they can undo them in an emergency, and also check them a day or so after having any work done on the car that involved removing the wheels to make sure the nuts were tightened enough. I use an old spider wrench I've had for 40 years.

It's best to loosen the nuts with the car on the ground, then you can take them off safely when the car is suspended on the jack. It's good to smear some Comma Copperease grease between the hubs and the wheels, especially between alloys and cast iron hubs, to help prevent them fusing together.
Answered by Honest John on

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