Missing wheel bolt

V8andTurbos

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Long story short I’ve just discovered I’ve been driving around with 4 wheel bolts instead of 5 for the last 800-1000 miles. At some points doing motorway speeds..

Just before this my tyres were changed (by a mobile fitter) and then a week later my car was in Mercedes for wheel alignment and inspection of brakes for squeaking and knock from suspension.

I don’t think merc took off the wheels at any point as there was no hand prints on the wheel spokes when the car was removed - this leads me to believe it was the tyre fitter who lost a bolt..

I’ve spoke to the tyre fitter who denied any knowledge of this but offered to buy me a replacement bolt..

Haven’t called Mercedes as they will most likely deny all knowledge..

I’ve put a bolt in the wheel (non locking) but my Q is, could there be any damage to the hub / existing bolts? There was no vibration etc at any point.. should the wheel be removed again and re torque’d to distribute the load evenly over all 5 bolts?
 

Chrishazle

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Be careful if the fitter suplies a replacement bolt, make sure it's not just the correct size and length but also that the head has the correct radius. Once you have the correct one, I'd just loosen the other 4 slightly, jack the wheel off the ground, install the replacement and torque all 5 up to the correct value, maybe after putting the wheel back on the ground re-check the torque.
 
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V8andTurbos

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Ive currently got the OE bolt fitted ( was in the locking nut case ) buts its a non locker. In two minds whether to get another locking set as merc are £85 plus vat..
 

whitenemesis

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I'd check with your insurer to see if they require locking wheel bolts to be fitted. If not, I personally wouldn't bother, just fit the OE bolt ...
 
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V8andTurbos

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Most likely what I’ll do^^
Is it a necessity to loosen all 5 bolts and re torque?

The tyre fitter doesn’t seem to think it is 😒
 

Gbrowncls55

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Probably MB if they took the wheels off and just missed one putting them back on. They would definitely have noticed and told you if one was already missing when the started work on it. Even I would notice that
 

TeddyRuxpin

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I have 4 extra Mercedes bolts + 1 extra MB 'security bolt' in a little black box in the boot near my space saver. I guess it came with the car. Don't you have that?
 

Chrishazle

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I have a set of 3 MB lockers plus key in a box in my garage - courtesy of MB Ashford (probably their wheel refurb man). They scratched one of my wheels when removing the winter tyres and fitting summer tyres while prepping the car when I bought it from them, as the previous owner wanted his winter tyres back. I did not notice a bolt was missing, Cole and Sarah (Cole at MBS and MissyD) visited, Cole noticed the missing bolt, MB Ashford had to supply and fit a new set of lockers! However, these days I tend to agree that lockers are un-necessary and a potentiol problem child, so if I get round to replacing the rusty MB bolts with decent ones I'll probably ditch the lockers.
 
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V8andTurbos

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Probably MB if they took the wheels off and just missed one putting them back on. They would definitely have noticed and told you if one was already missing when the started work on it. Even I would notice that
No reason for them to remove wheels and no sign they did remove wheels - there was no finger marks on the face of the wheels as there usually are when wheels are taken off. Unless they’ve removed the wheels holding the tyres rather then wheels spokes
 
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V8andTurbos

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I have 4 extra Mercedes bolts + 1 extra MB 'security bolt' in a little black box in the boot near my space saver. I guess it came with the car. Don't you have that?
I have the box with 4 regular bolts and the key for the locking wheel nut. No spare wheel - it’s an a35 amg.
 

Bobby Dazzler

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I have the box with 4 regular bolts and the key for the locking wheel nut. No spare wheel - it’s an a35 amg.
Use one of the regular bolts in the box. Those four were installed on the car at the factory, and removed by the supplying main dealer - replaced with locking bolts - as part of the pre-delivery inspection when brand new.

Most people Donny bother with locking bolts these days, they cause more problems than they solve and are devastatingly easy to overcome if you know how. That said they usually take the car rather than the wheels these days…
 

Gbrowncls55

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No reason for them to remove wheels and no sign they did remove wheels - there was no finger marks on the face of the wheels as there usually are when wheels are taken off. Unless they’ve removed the wheels holding the tyres rather then wheels spokes
Then I doubt they would have noticed. Apologies to MB.
 

slipons

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It sounds like you have lost the wheel locking bolt. Tyre places don't normally tighten them to the specified torque, as they have a tendancy to break, and they don't want to have to buy you a new set if they break them......... Therefore, they can come loose, and fall off.

As for being worried about over stressing the remaining 4 bolts, personally, I wouldn't worry about it (unless you have been doing mad 4th gear power slides or something, which I'm sure you haven't), the car is over engineered, and will run fine on 4 wheel bolts. The fifth one is belt and braces........... Also don't forget that the wheel bolts DO NOT take any RADIAL load (all radial loads are taken by the centering hub). The only job of the wheel bolts is to hold the wheel on to the hub, and take the AXIAL loads generated from cornering forces generated by the centrifugal effect.
 

merc estate

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Leave the one spare bolt in no one is gonna nick one wheel, tighten up and forget. But if the mobile guy says he would pay for it get him to pay for it, i don't think he would be offering unless he thought he may have left it off, he's not going to own up just incase you hit him for a wheel.
 

markjay

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I have 4 extra Mercedes bolts + 1 extra MB 'security bolt' in a little black box in the boot near my space saver....

This is because on UK-spec cars, the locking wheel bolts are actually an aftermarket accessory that is installed by the dealer before delivery of the new vehicle to the first owner.
 
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V8andTurbos

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There’s no way I lost the wheel bolt. I haven’t touched / removed the wheel at all in my ownership. Only 2 places that have had the car are merc and the tyre fitter. £80+ vat for a new set, once the fitter hears that - doubt he’ll be happy to cover the cost. I’ll just stick with the non locker and chalk this up to a bad experience / lesson learned. Thanks for the input all
 

Bobby Dazzler

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There’s no way I lost the wheel bolt. I haven’t touched / removed the wheel at all in my ownership. Only 2 places that have had the car are merc and the tyre fitter. £80+ vat for a new set, once the fitter hears that - doubt he’ll be happy to cover the cost. I’ll just stick with the non locker and chalk this up to a bad experience / lesson learned. Thanks for the input all
Better still, whip the other three locking wheels bolts out and replace them with the other three in the plastic box 👍🏻
 

TeddyRuxpin

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Do people still steal wheels these days? Haven’t seen a car on bricks in ages. Ah memories… summers were longer then too
 

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