Rusted lug nuts are a matter of concern if you’re an automobile driver or even if you need some repair now and then. Simple auto repair jobs can get prolonged and complicated due to rusted lug nuts.
Rusted lug nuts and bolts make it hard to remove wheels, and the entire situation is complicated. Even when you try to clear the lug nuts by pulling, it can cause you to get a bad sprain. So, it is important to know how to remove rusted lug nuts by following the necessary techniques.
Why You Need to Remove Rusted Lug Nuts
Loose rug nuts results in a lot of problems for the wheels. Loose and rusted lug nuts lead to the wheel, hub, and mounting hardware damage. Besides, over-torque also happens due to rusted lug nuts. It increases the risk of wheel detachment and component damage.
Clearing these problems may cost a lot of amounts, and they can be troublesome as well. So, for safe driving and better auto repair management, it is important to remove the rusted lug nuts properly.
How to Remove Rusted Lug Nuts
Some steps need to be followed in order to remove rusted lug nuts properly. Any deviation from the correct order can make your nuts stuck pretty badly. Before starting to work on your nuts, make sure you’ve parked your car on a level surface, and brake has been set. Inspect your hub and lug nuts and start the removal process in this-
1. Soaking the nuts
As a precautionary measure, soaking the lug nuts is a good way to start any removal process. Lug nuts that have been stuck or rusted for a long time undergo corrosion. It causes them to harden the grip, and they do not come off easily. This phenomenon can cause the base of the nut to cement down.
So, as an effective measure, it is ideal to soak the nut in an oil-based lubricant. PB Blaster and WD-40 are some ideal lubricants that can lighten the grip of such nuts. You can leave the lubricant to soak the nut overnight for the fastest results.
2. Heat the nut
Move to the next step by heating the nut gently. You can do it using a regular torch, an acetylene torch, or even a torch lighter. But care should be taken while dealing with hot torches. After heating the nut, apply some penetrating oil over the nut.
Heating the nut causes expansion of the nut while applying oil makes it easier to cross into the rusted zones. Through heating and oil application, you can thoroughly reach the rusted areas. But caution must be taken to avoid overheating the nut. Overheating the nut can cause permanent damage to the wheel and hub.
3. Use an impact wrench
You may have used an impact driver in the past to remove your lug nuts. But an impact driver is a bad idea if your lug nuts are rusted. A better option is using an impact wrench for your automobile to remove the stubborn and rusty lug nuts.
An impact wrench is also commonly known as an impact gun. It is called an impact gun because of its firing abilities, and it is 5-10 times more powerful than an impact driver.
It comes with a capacity of using 150-220 pounds/ feet of torque to remove nuts. This high range of torque ultimately drives any kind of lug nut to come out.
You can do a test of your wrench to see if it moves along the exact direction by placing it on the lug nut at a level.
4. Apply extra force to pull the nuts
To finally pull the lug nuts apart, use a short pipe and glide it along the impact wrench end. Use some extra force to lift the pipe at the end of the wrench. This will ensure higher torque, and the nuts will come apart over time.
Turn the wrench in a counter-clockwise direction once you’ve secured it onto one of the lug nuts. Keep applying extra force to pull hard until you feel that the nut is beginning to loosen. The entire nut does not need to come out at once. If you can loosen it enough with the wrench, you can easily pull the rest out with your hand.
5. Maintaining safety
The most important step of any auto repair process is maintaining safety at all times. It can be associated with parking the car, heating the nut, or even during the application of extra force. You should always check if the car is parked and if the brake is set or not before exposing the nuts.
Nuts should be heated using secured options. When you’re using extra force to pull the nuts using a wrench, be careful not to get hurt or snap the lug. The best way to avoid injury is to start first at a slower force and then gradually increase the force as you go. Avoid going at a faster speed at a single go to avoid accidents.
Summing it up, it is clear that rusted lug nuts are a nuisance when it comes to auto repair work.
The faster they are removed, the better your wheels can start working. Nuts that undergo rusting for a long time can also cause irreparable damage to the wheels and hub. So, it is best to remove these nuts as soon as possible using the right techniques and tools.