The lug nuts on the wheels of your car ensure that the tires are attached firmly to the wheels. In the process of changing tires, one of the first steps that you need to do is to loosen the lug nuts in order to be able to successfully change the tires. One of the usual problems, however, is the overly tightened lug nut which is very difficult to remove. Here are some of the ways for you to loosen lug nuts.
- Use the tire iron. Before anything else, you will need to remove the hub cap that covers the lug nuts on your car wheels. Most hub caps are fastened in place using indentations on the corner or lip of the cap which attaches to the car’s wheels. To remove the hub cap, use your hands to pry the cap off the wheels. In some cases, the hub caps are screwed onto the car wheel, or are fastened using clasps that will secure the hub better. In this case, you will need to unclasp or unscrew the hub cap.
- Use the tire iron. The primary tool that you will need in loosening and removing lug nuts is the tire iron. The tool has a cap at the end that should fit with your lug nuts. Place the cap on top of the lug nut and rotate the handle of the tire iron in a clockwise direction. Depending on the tightness and pressure used in screwing on the lug nut, you may need to use your feet for added leverage. Usually, however, the lug nut should budge by itself.
- Lubrication. In some cases, you will need lubricants to ease the job of loosening up the lug nuts. WD-40 is a commercially available lubricant that you can spray over the lug nuts. The spray will penetrate the crevices surrounding the lug nut and will grease the surface are between the wheel and the lug nuts to make lug nuts easier to remove and loosen up. If WD-40 is not available, you can also try other lubricants such as machine oil.
- Jack up the car. Once the lubricant has been applied on especially tight lug nuts, use the tire irons to remove the lug nuts. They should budge and twist off easily this time. Repeat the procedure for the rest of the lug nuts on the wheels. Keep in mind that some wheels will have more lug nuts than others, depending on your car model. Once the lug nuts are removed, you can jack up the car and proceed with tire removal and replacement. After the tire replacement is done, you can return the lug nuts back to the car using the same procedures done in reverse. To tighten the lug nuts back into the car wheel, use a counter clockwise direction.
Loosening up lug nuts does not have to be a difficult procedure. With a little practice, even you can handle the task. Remember, however, not to hoist the car with a jack before removing the lug nuts since the car wheels will spin easily once lifted off the ground.