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Pressure Sensitive Lugs

Warning system for loose wheel lug nuts
  [vote for,

After reading thumbwax's post on the Predictive Suspension idea, I thought of this.

I've heard stories over and over again of people's wheels rolling off while driving--usually with funny results, never with the dire consequences which have struck thumbwax's friends & family-- and often wondered how such things as remembering to tighten some lug nuts could elude some people's thought process, but it happens. Vehicles these days are being manufactured with features that include tire pressure sensors/warnings (Ford Windstar) that warn you when your tires are losing pressure, but nothing to warn you when the wheel's about to fall off.
My thought would be to add a sensor somewhere around the wheel (possibly on the brake rotors) that would gauge how much lug pressure is holding the wheel on. If the lugs are loose, the sensor illuminates a light on the instrument panel warning you that a wheel is loose and may come off in much the same way a warning is displayed when you're low on gas (or petrol, if that's the term you prefer).

That's pretty much it. If you want more technical details I could work some out.

AfroAssault, Dec 25 2001

Predictive Suspension http://www.halfbake...spension#1009259619
Thumbwax's first post was my inspiration. [AfroAssault, Dec 25 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

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       1 heavily lubed Croissant comin' right up.
thumbwax, Dec 25 2001

       Might be able to mount infrared sensors pointing down from the top of the wheel well to check for tire wobble.
phoenix, Dec 25 2001

       Problems with that, though. If your tires aren't even, need a balance, or perhaps you put on a new set of wheels (different size) it may indicate that a wheel is loose when it's just fine. I figure a pressure sensor would be the the most reliable way.
AfroAssault, Dec 26 2001

       [Af] could I just not have a little explosive icon come up that means get to your mechanic NOW. I don't get my dainty little hands grubby don't yer know.
po, Dec 26 2001

       You'd have thought that someone would have come up with a better system than wheel nuts by now, wouldn't you? In fact, the whole wheel thing is overrated in my opinion. Motor vehicles should be equipped with hundreds of pairs of legs (like millipedes). Yes, I know that you wouldn't get anywhere very quickly but it would be safe (all that built in redundancy) and a lot more aesthetically pleasing. It would certainly make grand prix racing more interesting to watch.
DrBob, Dec 27 2001

       how about a cotterr pin on each lug.then theyed never come off.
jvanzand, Jun 17 2003

       trucks and busses have brightly coloured plastic triangles that push over the hexagonal part of the stud/nut. when you tighten the studs/nuts you put these on with them pointing tip to tip or with the tip pointed directly at the hub. If any unscrew then the triangle isnt pointing where it should be. of course you actually have to look at them to tell anything is wrong.   

       legs are nice but inefficient because they are reciprocating mechanisms.   

       i think the easiest and cheapest soln(its gotta be cheap because the probability of this happening is sooo small) is to have a microswitch (or 3) on the face of the hub the wheel is bolted to so if there is any gap between wheel and hub the switch is opened and sounds an alarm/lights a light.
lau03205, Feb 21 2005


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