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2020 Subaru Forester and 2014 Subaru Forester.
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Quick question, i have Aluminum rims on the all season and steel rims on the winter tires. They both have their own set of wheel nuts, steel and aluminum. I forgot to take my aluminum nuts when I went to change my winter tires and the mechanic used the steel nuts to install the aluminum rims. Could this cause a problem??
 

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2001 Forester
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On My 2001, I have 4 aluminum wheels and the spare is steel, I have used the same nuts when doing a 5 tire rotation without any issues. And honestly never given it any thoughts that there could be an issue.
 

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2020 Forester Sport
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Are the nuts you use on the aluminum wheels actually aluminum as well? I have aluminum wheels on my van, but the nuts (actually bolts I think) are steel.
 

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2017 Forester Premium, Black
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For strength and peace of mind, I would stick with steel (chromed) lug nuts. You dont see aluminum nuts used to assemble aluminum
engine blocks & heads for a reason. If I had nice aluminum lug nuts, I would dab on a little anti seize on the (steel) stud threads to prevent galling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Looks like they are aluminum and steel. I've had the de aluminum on my old car and never had a issues but the mechanic said that it would be good to have your original ones on with your aluminum rims would it be an issue if I have the steel ones on until I get them replaced next season.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Are the nuts you use on the aluminum wheels actually aluminum as well? I have aluminum wheels on my van, but the nuts (actually bolts I think) are steel.
Yes, they are aluminum and the ones installed are steel at the moment.
 

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2012 Forester X Auto
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I assume you are concerned with galvanic corrosion, which does occur between steel and aluminum, as the aluminum will suffer to the benefit of the steel.
The reaction also requires an electrolyte, so unless you are spending a lot of time with your tires submerged in salt water, it shouldn't be a problem.
It would be more of a problem if you were using aluminum nuts on steel wheels, as the aluminum would be in contact with both the rim and the wheel bolts...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you all for the info.
 

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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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I've been running cheapo Gorilla chromed steel lug nuts on my aluminum alloy wheels for years with no issues.
1620003509927.png
They also come in black chrome. The other colors are sprayed onto the chrome. These are low cost, so don't expect the color to last long, expect them to scratch.

Bobby...

['07 FSXT Member Journal] ['03 X Member Journal]
 
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2018 Forester XT Limited CVT
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Looks like they are aluminum and steel. I've had the de aluminum on my old car and never had a issues but the mechanic said that it would be good to have your original ones on with your aluminum rims would it be an issue if I have the steel ones on until I get them replaced next season.
The pictures shown don't look like lug nuts used on the Forester. My 2018 has lug nuts that have a conical mating surface, and I googled the 2020 and they look like they have a conical mating surface as well. The lug nuts with the flat mating surface, with a "tube" that goes through the wheel like that, looks like what is used on some Toyotas.
 

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Not sure what I may be missing here but I'll wager most OEM aluminum wheels on new cars are sold with chromed steel lug nuts of some sort. Maybe I misread.

Either way, I've never had a problem using chromed steel lug nuts on aluminum wheels. ....even those that were bare aluminum that I had in the 80s.

As mentioned, the issue I worry most about is not the mating surface with the wheel but the threads. ....making sure to keep those clean by wire brushing during tire rotations, etc.

Also, a concern that bears repeating, is what @Kevin and others mentioned about using the right lug nuts for the application. That is probably the biggest take-away from this thread IMO. It is critically important that you use the correct lug nuts for the installed wheel. ....conical, ball, flat, sleeved, etc.

To be honest, I really don't see the benefit of aluminum lug nuts in a street application but that's just me. Perhaps aiding in lowering unsprung mass but is the weight savings really that much? .....or maybe there is another advantage I'm not seeing?
 

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@Kean - I don't think you are missing anything re the advantage of aluminum lug nuts, because other than a minor weight difference, and perhaps more color choice, there isn't.
Since the galvanic reaction will be a detriment to aluminum, and the wheel bolts are steel, there would be more of a concern with salted road runoff.
This isn't a concern for racing applications (where aluminum weight might make some sense), but could be a concern to the normal use of a car.

The major issue with aluminum lug nuts is that they are not as durable, and with a badly set air wrench, they are more likely to fail than steel.
 

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2018 Forester Limited
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The original equipment "acorn" nuts on both my 2014 Outback and 2018 Forester are most definitely chrome plated steel. I just checked the set in a bag as I still have my winter tires on the Outback (they have their own chrome over steel lug nuts). The magnet tells all.

I'd be very wary of the use of aluminum nuts given our salty winters and steel hub studs, and see no advantage to their use on a street vehicle. Did the OP source his own aluminum lugs for his Forester?
 
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@Fibber2 - The OP didn't have aluminum wheel nuts, he had steel (like most (all?) other Subie owners) but he was concerned about using steel nuts on aluminum wheels.
 

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@Fibber2 - The OP didn't have aluminum wheel nuts, he had steel (like most (all?) other Subie owners) but he was concerned about using steel nuts on aluminum wheels.
Hmmm..... That's NOT how I interpreted the OP's post:

"Quick question, i have Aluminum rims on the all season and steel rims on the winter tires. They both have their own set of wheel nuts, steel and aluminum. I forgot to take my aluminum nuts when I went to change my winter tires and the mechanic used the steel nuts to install the aluminum rims."

The OP seems to indicate that his Al wheels have Al lug nuts. Is he under the mistaken impression that his Subaru came with alloy wheels and matching alloy nuts?

Or as I asked earlier, did the OP source his own alloy nuts?

I'm just going with the flow here......
 
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