Star Lock Washer

This tiny thing called star lock washer holds an important function in the security and safety of the driver and riders. It controls and stabilizes the movement of the spindle axle nut in order not to loosen and the roller bearing will not move wildly.

I am sharing my experience related to this one simple but important thing. When it was my first time to see and noticed this was about five years ago. I thought it’s a simple and useless thing.

It was when I felt that there is something abnormal in the movement of wheels. I know nothing about symptoms of bad bearings but I thought it would be something good to inspect your car when you suspect there is an abnormality.

So what I did is jacked up the front right wheels and tried to move it if it’s firm and secured. This way I’ve seen that the bearings were loose because I suspect that they are already bad so I took off the wheel, the star lock washer, the nut, the flat washer, and the bearings.

Star Lock Washer-bearings
Roller bearing

You may need bearings, go here

I’m certain that the bearings have to be replaced so I went to the auto supply center to buy a new one. I’m back and I have to assemble everything. I replaced the roller bearings, tightened the nut, placed another washer next to the nut rather than the star lock washer.

Defective Star Lock Washer

The reason why I did not use the star lock washer is that it’s already defective. So I just tightened the nut and inserted the cotter pin.

Star Lock Washer-Cotter Pin
Cotter pin


So this how it looks without the cotter pin.


The Result without the Star Lock Washer

Every after driving I have to inspect it. I always observe that the nut is loosened and I have to re-tighten so I thought of putting a washer with a thickness just enough between the nut and the cotter pin.

In doing so, we used the vehicle going to an affair of about 15 kilometers away from where I stay. And you know what happened? As the wheels turned the roller bearings moved and so with the spindle nut that got so tight and caused friction and it got so hot and melted the spindle thread and the bearings had wildly and freely moved and the wheel is no longer in the proper position. We left the car and rode on a tricycle to the occasion we are attending to.

After the occasion, we rode back but before reaching home the group went ahead and I slowly drove my car to my garage. The damage is severe and I’m worried where will I buy that spindle axle since it is an old model and it’s difficult to find a replacement.

The good thing is that as technology advances and inventions advances also there are technological remedies too for those who cannot cope up with the advancements. There is what we call a lathing machine which can be equally reliable.

So what you can see in the image below is a rebuild of the spindle axle.  The thread was restored but the same nut is used.


Now, I know I have to bring back the missing one, and that is the star lock washer. I have to look for the replacement of that very important part though tiny it is and is seemingly unimportant, the experience is the proof that it does an indispensable role in the safety of the whole vehicle and all that is there inside.




Since I have replaced that star lock washer I haven’t had a problem or an issue with the bearings and the nut. Everything works fine and I’m secured and have peace in mind.

Please watch the short video on how the star lock washer looks so simplistic but holds an irreversible role in the journey of everyone who boards the car.


Thank you for reading and following my story.  I hope it helped and inspired you as well as you have learned something is valuable when it comes to your relationship with your own car.

Please leave a comment and I do wish you will find the joy in sharing this with your friends.

Do you need a Star Lock Washer? Click here


8 thoughts on “Star Lock Washer”

  1. For me it’s all about finding information regarding the longevity of my car, and definitely when it comes to my car’s safety, because for me as long as I can keep the safety features up and running, the car should be okay. It’s about six years old and I’d love for it to last another six years. Any article like this regarding vehicular maintenance piques my interest because I really don’t want to have to make another giant investment in a car; simply take care of the one I got. 

    • Right, Todd Matthews. My car is old, old enough.  It is the first engine of the Toyota L series. I really appreciate it because until this time after four decades it’s still working well. If in my age I can acquire one then that would be a blessing and I would love to have a new Toyota again.

      Longevity and safety are the most important and I agree with you. If you need two or three cars then buy them but if it’s only a want I don’t subscribe to it, maybe others just want to waste their money.

      Thank you for coming and enriching the discussion.

  2. Dear Accad, 

    I read your very useful article. It is very important to keep your car not only to ensure its longevity but also for the safety of passengers, especially in the case of children. Such a tiny but so important thing.

     I’ m wondering if I could use it for all types of car, or in a very old car which presents bearing problems for years.

    Thanks a lot, Thodoris.

    • You are right, the star lock washer is all about the safety of whoever is onboard the vehicle.

      Most of the cars have this part with different sizes and designs. This part is seldom an issue unless like my experience that I thought it has no use and I altered it with another part that did not perform the role of star lock washer.

      Thank you for your question and comment.

  3. Great pointers here on the star lock washer. Most people when they think about car repair think about things like brakes, wheels and oil changes, so it’s nice information to have on the star lock washer. Many people probably weren’t even aware of the star lock washer. I always appreciate car advice or instructions so that I know exactly what I’m talking about when going to a mechanic. I’ll keep your post saved to reference and to see what other great things you come up with, well done!

    • Thank you Pentrental if you find this article a helpful one. I appreciate your interest in things related to cars even you are not the one doing for repairs and maintenance. You are right if you read something you will have a knowledge of it and it will be your guide to instruct your mechanic if you need to do so.

  4. Hi Accad,

    I found your post very interesting. The experience with the wheel bearing must have been a scary one.

    Amazing how a washer with a cotter pin made such a difference.

    I am a licensed auto mechanic for 30 years now.

    You have mentioned some key points about maintenance which is crucial to the longevity of your vehicle.

    Your topics seem to cover pretty much all parts necessary for the proper function of one’s personal vehicle.

    You have taken apart the components of a vehicle, from the engine to suspension parts and provided valuable information.

    Thank you,


    • Thanks, Michael, for leaving a comment. I am happy that a technician like you have come to my website and you have affirmed one important thing that should not be taken for granted.

      I wish you good luck with your online business. If you happen to have a niche on auto repairs and everything related to it, I’m very sure I can learn from you.


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