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Broke A Wheel Stud - Doh!

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So I actually broke a wheel stud on the front of the 400h while rotating tires. Might have been defective or I'm just damn strong. Regardless, it happened. I spent 45 minutes replacing this broken part and having the ride rolling again. What I learned is that it is incredibly simple to disasemble the brake hardware on these cars. No special tools required; really no special knowledge required. I could have had my eleven year old do the work with me looking over his shoulder directing. Pulled the brake caliper, pads, caliper bracket; rotor basically falls off the hub. Changed the stud in about 2 minutes - really.

What's my point here? This is easy work for a basic DIY guy. And if you take your car to a shop for brakes and pay more than a couple hundred for basic labor (not including machining a rotor, which is generally not required) you and your wallet are getting hosed.

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Interesting. While visiting a friend in Casa Grande this past spring, I noticed a screw had penetrated a tire causing a slow leak. Took it to a tire shop for repair, and while he was torquing the studs following the repair, one of the studs broke. I was standing right next to him watching, and I did not see him put a lot of pressure on the torque wrench prior to the failure. It didn't snap like a brittle fracture, it just continued to stretch with a decreasing amount of torque applied until failure. Looking at the failed stud, it sure appeared that there was a void in the stud at the failure plane. I think there is a possibility that it was defective.

Yes, it is not a difficult job to perform. The one thing he had which I would not if I was doing the job was a thick washer flat on one side and conical on the other to place under the conical stud nut to draw and seat the stud .

As you said, brake pad replacement, especially disc brakes, is not a job a person of average mechanical ability cannot perform. Once you do one, you will never again pay to have the job done.

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Back about a month ago, I was rotating my daughters's Mazda Protege tires when sure enough, one of the studs broke off. In all my years of shade tree mechanics, I had never had this happen, but it turned out that it wasn't that difficult after I picked up a couple of things at the auto parts store - the correct nut or two and a ball peen hammer. A claw hammer can chip, so try not to use this type when smacking a nut or stud (The nut typically prevents mushrooming the stud).

I wasn't able to pull the new stud flush, but after mounting the wheen and torquing the lug nut for that stud, all was well.

That's good news about the caliper disassembly. According to what I learned here, however, a brake job won't be needed for many more miles (my RX has 45,000 miles on it, currently).


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Snip . . . . .

In all my years of shade tree mechanics, I had never had this happen, but it turned out that it wasn't that difficult after I picked up

. . . . . . . . . . sip


some of THE worst shade tree mechanics, unfortunately, work for the aftermarket tire joints ... and they'll jack the nuts down with a rattle gun like there's no tomorrow. You'd think everyone would use a torque wrench now days, but nooooo. I watch 'em like hawks to make sure they rotate & reinstall the lugs properly. Even so, we had a stud on our Prius fail, and the dealer replaced it under warranty.


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