Lug nut studs are the latest innovation in the automobile industry. Studs apply an opposing force onto the nuts holding the wheels in place. This then results in increased resistance to make sure that the nuts, and the wheels for that matter, do not come off just like that. Studs may be damaged due to incorrect removal and installation during routine wheel rotation or change. Any regular DIY-er should be able to perform this with relative ease over a few hours during the weekend.
- Prepare the car for the replacement of lug nuts studs. First is to unscrew the lug nuts to such a point that it will be easier to pull out the tire later on when the car is lifted up. Use a four way standard lug wrench to do this task. Afterwards, jack the car up to raise it off the ground. Make sure that you have the rest of the car supported with at least a pair of base jacks once the car is mounted up. Now, you can unscrew the nuts all the way out to finally remove the tires. With a hammer, bust the lug nuts out careful not to hit any part of the wheel hub. Make sure that you've already worn your protective goggles for the eyes prior to this step to make sure that no freak accidents happen.
- Take out the busted lug nut studs.Lug nut studs that have not been maintained and greased properly will most likely have salt or rust buildup and so may require a period of heating to break the accumulation off. If ever it's necessary, put some oil lubricant onto it and heat the metal around the lug studs with an acetylene torch up to a point where you see that the metal is turning red. Make sure that the metal has completely cooled before you attempt to remove the busted lug nut studs. If yours is an older model of car, then chances are the studs used are the screw-in type. If this is the case, then removing the studs may be slightly difficult. If the screw-in lug nut has some threaded portion left, screw a spare nut onto the free threaded part of the stud. Secure the broken stud with a wrench. With the use of another wrench, slowly screw in the spare nut. This method should force the stuck nut out of the busted stud. Meanwhile, if the screw-in stud no longer has any threaded portion left, all you need to do is to secure the lug nut and stud with a vise grip to force the stuck nut out. It may be helpful to apply some lubricant and heat to the parts prior to performing this step for easier removal.
- Replace the lug nut studs with new ones. Simply put in fresh studs onto the nuts. Make sure that you inspect the nuts as well. If they're damaged, then have them changed with new ones too. Just make sure that you put in liberal amounts of lubricant in between the nut and the stud to protect them from salt or rust accumulation. Re-install the wheel assembly and secure the lug nut stud by using a torque wrench. Avoid using an impact gun for this step as it will force the nut all the way onto the stud which could result in another stuck nut or busted stud. If this is the case, you'd have to perform the steps all over again.
Now that the busted lug nut studs have been replaced, you should promptly test your car by driving steadily within a reasonable distance from your garage. This way, you get to assess if problems still exist and address them immediately to avoid getting into an accident later.