Wheel nut issue?

While cleaning the wheels of a 2007 NC (black Mazda 10-spoke with black nuts), I noticed the ‘washer’ between the nut and the wheel was slightly loose and could be spun around. I assumed the nut had come loose but this was not the case. There were loose-ish washers on all other wheels, either one two or three. On removing the nut the ‘washer’ appeared to be an odd design so i’m not sure whether they work as standard washer with a compression fit or something else. I wondered if the nut was too long but if this were the case I would assume they would all be loose.
Is this an issue I should be concerned about, can anyone shed any light onto this?

Can you provide a picture? Wheel nuts are fitted without washers so this seems very odd.


Hi, attached is a picture of one of the wheel nuts (apologies it is slightly blurred). So this nut appears to be solid with a indent behind the tapering tip where there is the tapered ring/washer - it is this part that is slightly loose on some of the tightened nuts.

That’s not a factory wheel nut. What wheels do you have?

They look to be standard Mazda ones. The tires are 205/45zr17. They were on when i got the car (relatively recently).
Picture attached.

They look standard wheels . The same as mine but those wheel nut’s are not . Best to replace them .

I think the washer is supposed to spin so it doesn’t gouge your wheel when tightening or removing the wheel.

They are indeed designed that the “washer” part is designed to stay static once in contact with the rim. However, this then depends on the dimensions of the hole it is fitting into. Typically the wheel needs a clearance hole of a bigger diameter than the largest diameter of the small cone so that it is not involved in clamping the wheel. If that clearance does not exist then the smaller cone starts to apply clamping force, and because the larger cone must have clearance to be able to spin etc, then it will not perfectly align with the taper of the smaller cone and will only come into play if there is enough deformation at the outer diameter of the wheel mounting hole to allow the larger “washer” cone to come into contact with the wheel.
That you are saying that the “washer” is loose, and by which I assume you mean when tight on the wheel, means that it is the lower (fixed cone of the nut) that is applying all the clamping force.
Basically, it is like Robbie said, they are the wrong nuts for the wheel if that is the case. If you desperately want to keep them, you can look to have the mounting hole though the wheel enlarged slightly so that it clears the fixed cone.

I drew you a picture.

Thanks all, I’ll look out appropriate replacements. And thank for such a detailed response and diagram Nick!