How to remove stuck lug nuts? If you’ve ever encountered this problem you know what kind of an obstacle it can be.
It may be that you have to change a flat tire or do a tire rotation for instance. A stuck lug nut may mean the difference between a successful job and complete failure.
In this article, we’ll try and show you a couple of easy yet pretty effective methods.
Besides this, you can watch our video on the same topic at the end of the article or on our YouTube channel.
1. USE YOUR FOOT TO MOVE THE TIRE WRENCH
When the lug nut is stuck lots of times the strength of your hands is not enough. Added to this, most wheel wrenches are pretty short mainly so they can fit into the tool kit.
This means that in a lot of cases there isn’t enough leverage.
If you encounter this, the first thing you should try is to use your foot and the weight of your body.
This will multiply your strength and leverage besides making the job much easier.
So, put the wrench on the lug nut and put your foot on the wrench. If needed hold on to the fender for better support.
Stand on the wrench, if necessary give it a slight budge until the lug nut releases.
Be careful when budging that you don’t slip off the wrench or you don’t suddenly fall to the ground when the lug nut releases.
2. USE A BIGGER LUG WRENCH
Most lug wrenches have a short lever and are sometimes a bit flimsy when push comes to shove.
To be clear, most of the lug wrenches that are found in car kits will certainly do the job when everything is normal.
But if the lug nut is stuck, it may not be enough.
The next best thing is a bigger and tougher lug wrench.
A good example is the one from the picture. It has all the common lug sizes, It’s more sturdy and has better leverage.
Also, thanks to the design, you practically have two levers instead of one.
It’s a bit inconvenient for storage but is a better problem solver.
3. USE A TELESCOPIC LUG WRENCH
When talking about how to remove stuck lug nuts, this is one of the best solutions.
At least for the short lever problem.
A telescopic lug wrench has a handle that is short but with one pull can be converted into a wrench with a long lever.
Also, it’s very convenient for storage in the trunk.
To use it, just insert the wrench, pull out the handle and the lug nut should release with ease.
A very useful car tool that doesn’t cost that much but is a lifesaver. Something that more or less every driver should have in the trunk to avoid possible trouble when changing a spare tire for instance.
If you want to see how to change a spare tire, click here for a separate article dedicated to that topic.
4. USE A METAL PIPE
A cheaper yet equally effective alternative to a telescopic lug wrench is a simple piece of hollow metal pipe.
Use the pipe as an additional handle and lever. Just slide it onto the wheel wrench and release the lug nut.
A good solution and a commonly used one since these pipes are more or less a household item. The bad part is that they’re a bit bulky if you want to keep them in the trunk.
You can use both a square and round pipe and the longer the pipe is the better leverage you’ll have.
5. USE WD 40 SPRAY AND A HAMMER TO RELEASE THE LUG NUT
For the last tip on how to remove stuck lug nuts, use a hammer and some WD 40 spray.
Use the hammer and give the lug nuts a slight knocking on the top before you try to release them.
The point is to help release the conical part of the lug nut that „bites“into the hole of the rim.
When knocking a couple of times, it should help release them.
Don’t hit them hard to avoid damaging the lug nut or thread, just give them a couple of light knocks.
Added to this you can use WD 40 spray. Especially if the lug nuts are severely rusted.
Spray and leave it for a while and then try to release the stuck lug nuts.
Regarding WD 40 spray, I would advise, from experience, to use this as a last resort.
Especially if the lug nuts are stripped or nearly stripped. Yes, the spray will help release the lug nuts but will also form a rather slippery film that may weaken the grip of the lug wrench.
If you do this, make sure to dry the lug nuts and that the lug wrench has a firm grip.
The key to answering the question of how to remove stuck lug nuts is a firm grip and a long enough lever.
So, whatever method you choose, make sure the lug wrench has a snug grip on the lug nut and that it doesn’t slip off.
Without this, the lug nut may get stripped and this opens another level of problems. Problems that are more complicated and tough to solve.
Also, if the lug nut doesn’t budge after trying a couple of times with your hands, immediately use your foot. If that doesn’t help search for a different lug wrench with a bigger lever.
You’ll save yourself from some serious and unnecessary labor.
In the end, in my humble opinion, the best overall solution would be to have a lug wrench with a telescopic handle.
It’s both practical and doesn’t take much space in the trunk. Besides this, it offers the quickest yet least labor-intensive solution.
So, if you have the chance, it would be good to have one as it can be a real lifesaver on the road.
Written by: Sibin Spasojevic
Former car technician, life-long car and DIY enthusiast, author for Despairrepair.com
HOW TO REMOVE STUCK LUG NUTS? YOUTUBE VIDEO