How To Loosen Lug Nuts: All You Need To Know (Explained!)

Lug nuts are there to give security on the wheel of the vehicle. So if you change a tire, access your brakes, and do different repairs, you have to loosen these lugs. With that, you should be able to know how to loosen your lug nuts. 

So how do you loosen lug nuts? Check if your parking brake is on. You have to use extra force if lug nuts are stuck. Put your vehicle on a flat surface and get additional leverage. 

A very tight lug nut can be very hard to loosen. There are lug nuts that have been tightened very hard and mechanics and car drivers are having a hard time pulling it off or loosening it. And this can cause some hassle and it can be time consuming especially if you are in a hurry. 

It is an essential skill for a driver to learn how to loosen a very tightened lug nut. Unfortunately, you do not know what will happen and when you will need to lose your lug nuts. The good thing is that lug nuts are not that hard to learn. 

In this article, you will learn how to loosen your lug nuts. So without further ado, let’s get started. 

How To Loosen Lug Nuts

How Do You Loosen A Tight Lug Nut?

You have to park on a level surface, and you have to set the parking brake. After, take off the hubcap and then find where the lug nuts are located. It varies on the vehicle if you have to remove your hubcap before you can access the lug nuts and lose them. 

Take a look at your lug nuts. Some vehicles will use locking lugs so that the wheels can be safe from theft. Make use of a lug wrench so that you can remove the lug nuts. 

And then start to loosen the lug nuts if your vehicle is on the ground. Do not jack up the vehicle before you lose the lug nuts. Make use of the resistance that is caused by the contact of your vehicle. 

Place your lug wrench and then turn it counterclockwise. You can use the wrench and then secure it onto one of the nuts. Pull it hard until you feel that the lug nut is slowly loosening. 

You do not have to take the lug nut completely. Just use the wrench and then loosen it. Continue loosening the bolt. 

If all the bolts are already loose, you can now jack up your vehicle. Remove the lug nuts altogether, and then spin them using your hand. Remove your wheel altogether.

Why Won’t Lug Nuts Loosen?

If your lug nuts are not loosening, the very common reason for that is rust and age. If your lug nut is new, it is straightforward to remove. But if you have an old vehicle and ever change your lug nuts, there is a considerable change, and your lug nuts will be difficult to remove.

Which Way Do You Loosen A Nut?

Bottle caps, typical nuts, bolts, and screws are tightened clockwise and loosened counterclockwise with the right-hand rule. 

What Do You Do When Your Lug Nuts Won’t Come Off?

Use your feet and then apply more force. You can also try a breaker or a cheater bar. Next, loosen the over-tightened nuts using an impact wrench. 

You can also use and apply a WD40. You can also use penetrating oil. Finally, use some heat accompanied with an acetylene torch.

How To Loosen Lug Nuts That Are Stuck?

Check if your parking brake is on. You have to use extra force if lug nuts are stuck. Put your vehicle on a flat surface and get additional leverage. 

Make use of your foot, and you can also use a hammer or a mallet. Use a torque wrench if you will replace your lug nuts. 

If you are struggling, use a torque wrench. You also have to check your owner’s manual so that you can see the recommended torque for your tires. 

How To Remove Rusted Lug Nuts?

You have to soak the lug nuts. Soaking your lug nuts is an excellent way to begin the removal process. The lug nuts that are stuck or rusted are corroded. 

This will make their grip harden, and they will not come off quickly. So you can soak it first before starting to remove them. After, you have to heat the nut. 

You need to move on to the next step by gently heating the nut. You can do it by using a regular torch, a torch lighter, or even an acetylene torch. Use an impact wrench. 

It is not a good idea, though, if your lug nuts are rusted. This impact wrench is also called an impact gun. Apply more force so that you can pull the nuts. 

You can use a short pipe to pull the lug nuts apart and glide it along with the impact wretched. You have to use some extra strength to lift the pipe at the end of the wrench. Maintain safety. 

Before the removal process, you should check if your vehicle is not going anywhere. You should check if your car is parked and some other safety precautions. 

Nuts are also heated using secure options. If you are using an extra force to pull the nuts using a wrench, you have to be careful not to get hurt.

WD40 To Loosen Lug Nuts: Does It Help?

If your lug nuts are stuck into place because of some rust, you have to use a bolt loosening spray, like a WD40 penetrant spray. This penetrating oil will give you very deep lubrication so that it can loosen the screw or the nut. 

Heating Lug Nuts For Removal: Does It Help?

You need to apply some heat with an acetylene torch. If you can’t do the removal the easy way, you can try a method that involves the usage of heat. This is an excellent method to use for an over-tightened lug nut. 

How To Loosen Lug Nuts That Are Stuck?

You can use a rust remover or a blaster. You can also use a long pipe on the wrench’s handle so that there will be more torque. 

How To Loosen Lug Nuts Without Torque Wrench?

You can use a rust remover or a blaster if you don’t have a torque wrench. Some people will also recommend that you use a long pipe. Use it on the handle of the wrench so that there will be more torque. 

How To Loosen Lug Nuts With a Torque Wrench?

You have to put the lug wrench on the lug nut and then turn it counterclockwise. Next, turn the wrench after you have just secured it to the nuts. After that, pull it hard until you feel the lug nut loosen. 

How To Loosen Lug Nuts By Hand?

It is challenging because you need to loosen or tighten very hard, and sometimes, humans cannot do the trick. But you’ll have to exert a lot of strength and effort. 

How To Loosen Stripped Lug Nuts?

You can try the hammer and socket. There are many ways, but this method can help you. A stripped lug nut is smaller, making the original socket size too massive for the original size of the lug nut. 

Pick a smaller socket. The smaller socket will not go on quickly. If the socket is centered on the damaged lug nut, you can move your fingers and give it a few whacks using a hammer. 


In summary, lug nuts are a part of your vehicle. With that, car drivers should know about lug nuts. 

In addition, they should know how to lose and tighten lug nuts. It is a skill that car drivers should know. You do it where you will need to change your tires.

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My name is Hank, and I've been in the automotive industry for 27 years. I've been working in my own auto repair shop for the last 13 years, and now I want to help you here, on my blog. Let me know if you have any questions. Read more