How To Loosen Stuck Lug Nuts To Change Your Car's Tire

by Billy Price

If your car has a flat tire, then you will either need to call for a tow truck or put your car's spare tire on yourself. While changing a tire on your vehicle should be a simple thing, it is not uncommon to find that the lug nuts that hold the wheels on are so tight that you cannot remove them as easily as you believe that you should be able to. The good news is that there are some things you can do to remove the stuck lug nuts and get yourself back on the road and to the tire shop for a replacement tire, such as:

Using Physics to Your Advantage

Sometimes tire shops over-tighten lug nuts with an air tool when they are changing out the tires. Unfortunately, sometimes they tighten the lug nuts so tight that they won't budge when you try to remove them with just a tire iron. You can overcome this problem by adding more torque in your favor.

To add more torque to your tire iron, connect a ratchet and socket to its end and pull on that to rotate the lug nuts with more force. If this does not work, then you can try loosening the lug nuts by spraying them with brake cleaner or banging on them a bit with a heavy metal object.

Using Brake Cleaner to Remove Road Grease and Dirt

Since your car's tires are in constant contact with the road, the lug nuts are prone to getting grease and dirt under their threads. This gunk buildup can make them hard to remove. You can chemically dissolve the grease by spraying the lug nuts with some brake cleaner. Let the lug nuts sit for a few minutes while the solvents in the brake cleaner dissolve the grease and gunk, and then try removing them again with the tire iron.

Using a Tire Iron to Loosen the Lug Nuts

If you do not have any brake cleaner in your vehicle and your flat happens when you are away from home, then you can take the end of your tire iron and bang it on the sides of the lug nuts. Just like tapping on a jar lid will help loosen its seal, so too will banging your tire iron on the lug nuts. This will loosen the grease buildup and allow you to easily remove the lug nuts.

A Note About Locking Lug Nuts

Finally, if you have one lug nut on your vehicle that looks different than the others, then a previous owner may have installed anti-theft lug nuts on your car. These lug nuts require a special key that the former owner of your car should have left either near the spare tire itself or in the glove compartment in the cab. If you do not have the right key to remove the locking lug nuts, then you will need to call a tow truck so they can tow your vehicle to a tire shop that will have the proper key to remove the custom lug nuts.

For more information, contact AC Towing moving or a similar company.