Four Methods To Get Rid Of A Stuck Or Stripped Lug Nut

It’s not uncommon to find a stripped or stuck lug nut when attempting to remove a wheel from the car. But, you need to be able to identify how to take out a stuck or stripped plug nut. You have a variety of options depending on what situation you are in.

We will explain how to get rid of the stuck nuts. This guide will also discuss the causes of the problem and provide simple tips for preventing it from happening again. 

Índice de Contenido
  1. What happens to lug nuts when they are stripped? 
    1. 1. Corrosion And rust
    2. 2. The Wrong Socket
    3. 3. False Torque
  2. How to remove a stuck or stripped Lug Nut
    1. 2. Blowtorch
    2. 3. Grinder/Wrench
    3. 4. Screwdriver/Hammer/Chisel
  3. How to remove the lugnut from a stud that has been removed
  4. How to Avoid Stripped Lug Nuts
  5. Is WD-40 a good option to remove stuck lug nuts?

What happens to lug nuts when they are stripped? 

1. Corrosion And rust

The wheel’s lug nuts are made from metal. These can rust and become corroded if they are left exposed to moisture and the elements.

When corrosion begins, the threads of lug nuts begin to change shape. It becomes harder to remove them as the shape of the lug nuts changes. 

2. The Wrong Socket

The right-sized socket is essential in order to properly remove the lug nuts. If you don’t, there will be slippage as you try to take it off.

It can cause further injury if the socket is loosening. Even if the socket slips, it can cause more damage next time. You might consider replacing a worn-out socket or one of lower quality. It will prevent future problems.

3. False Torque

Each lugnut should be torqued to factory specifications. The service manual will provide this information.

You can cause the lug nuts to become stuck if you apply the wrong torque. For this reason alone, you don’t want to visit a shady tire shop. 

How to remove a stuck or stripped Lug Nut

Most people use an extractor socket, hammer and breaker bar. A blowtorch may also prove useful. A handheld grinder combined with a wrench can be used if those options fail. There’s also the option to use a screwdriver, hammer and chisel. 

Here’re some more details about these options of how to remove a stuck or stripped lug nut:

Lug Nut Removal

This method is most likely to work 99 percent of the times. You can find most of the tools that you will need to complete this task in your garage. The tools you will need are a penetrating oil and a wrench, as well a socket to extract nut nuts. Place your vehicle on a level surface. Safety precautions include wheel chocks, the emergency brake and the emergency brake.

Put the lugnut into a container of penetrating oil. If there’s rust, you want to cover it liberally. The hammer can be used to remove the rust.

It is also advisable to place a long socket onto the stuck-lug nut, and then to pound it with a large tool. This will allow the cone to become looser, making it easier to remove. However, it may be too stripped to remove completely with a regular socket, but it’s worth a try.

Pay attention to your fingers and the rims! Learned from past experience

Then after a couple of hits, remove the socket and put on a nut extractor socket that’s sized properly, you can use a hammer to bang on the socket until you get it tight, with a good grip.

If you don’t have a nut or bolt extractor socket, check this one out on Amazon. You may be eligible for a small commission if this is an affiliate link.

Apply force to your socket with the breaker bar. For the stripped nuts to be removed, move the handle counterclockwise. If it’s too tight, you want to extend the breaker bar handle with an iron pipe or use a strong impact wrench instead.

RELATED: 5 Easy Steps to Get a Sticky Wheel Off Your Car

2. Blowtorch

Although these steps can be done faster than others, not all people have a blowtorch. You will need either a wheel spanner, or pliers, to grasp the lugnut as it heats up. Additionally, you don’t want to use any oil with this method. If you do, the heat could ignite a flame.

Heat the nut with your blowtorch. This should be done slowly to avoid injury. Let it cool off once it has heated up. Repeat these steps until you get the nut out. The wheel nut's size will expand as it heats up, which makes it much easier to remove the nut. This method could damage your rim paint so you should consider other options.

3. Grinder/Wrench

These steps will require you to apply some penetrating oils. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes before trying to get rid of any rust. 

Use your handheld grinder to create edges around the nuts. With your wrench, you want to be in a position to grip the nut. Turn it around until you are able to grab the lug nuts securely. Aluminum rims can make it difficult to get to the lug nuts without a grinder. You may need to use other techniques.

4. Screwdriver/Hammer/Chisel

You always have another option if all else fails. It wouldn’t be the first that we would try, but if you’ve run out of other ideas, it doesn’t hurt to throw everything you have at it. 

Grab a screwdriver, drill, and hammer to help make the job easier. Let the oil sit on the nut. It should remove rust and corrosion.

Use your chisel or a hammer to drive the screwdriver through the nut. You will see a small notch in the surface. Your screwdriver will be used to make the notch. Use your hammer to tap the screwdriver counterclockwise. These steps will be repeated until the nut comes loose. 

If you don’t have the right tools for this or tried everything above, it may be time to visit a professional mechanic that does this stuff often!

RELATED: 10 Best Rust Converters – Review & Buyer’s Guide

How to remove the lugnut from a stud that has been removed

If the lug nut is spinning freely, but you can’t get it off of the stud, you are dealing with a stripped stud instead. The same problem can prove to be frustrating. You only need to use a drill bit with the same size as your stud.

You can drill at a slow speed but use heavy pressure to tighten the lugnut. Do this until it isn’t attached to the wheel stud any longer. 

Keep in mind, however that the drill will not allow you to remove the wheel stud. You should be prepared for how long it takes to drill through the wheel stud and what the price will cost. 

RELATED: Wheel Nut Cross Threaded – What to Do & How to Prevent it?

How to Avoid Stripped Lug Nuts

It’s far better to avoid getting the lug nuts stuck than to try and get them off. With the proper prevention methods, you won’t have to walk through the above steps again. 

For starters, you don’t want to visit a shady tire shop. If the technicians don’t know what they are doing, they will strip the lug nut, leaving you with a problem on your hands. You should instead visit a reputable shop with good reviews. You should inspect your lug nuts after they have been reinstalled to make sure that the nuts can be removed. If not, it’s best to take the issue up with the tire shop immediately. 

Do not over-torque the nut if you plan to fix the wheel yourself. The correct specs can be found in the service manual. If you don’t have the right tools for the job, you need to either get them or take your car in for professional service instead. 

It’s also important to keep the lug nuts clean and free of corrosion. The nut can corrode if water or dirt is allowed to collect on it. This condition can be avoided by washing and drying the wheels regularly.

Is WD-40 a good option to remove stuck lug nuts?

There’s a common saying that WD-40 can be applied to anything that’s not moving that should be. WD-40, a fantastic option for dealing with stuck or broken lug nuts is a good choice. 

Spray the WD-40 on your threads like any other penetrating oil and let it soak. You will have a much easier job if the WD-40 is left on for longer. The spray will help to loosen the nut and make it easier to remove. Apply the spray and tap the lug using a hammer. This allows you to push the solution around and allow it to penetrate further.

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