Stripped Lug Nut Threads- How to Fix That!

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For any of the automobile owners, it's a regular task to take care of the mechanical parts of the car and engine. But if we talk about stripped lug nut threads, that's quite a painful task that most of them won't love to deal with. 

But anyway, you've to fix this problem out, right? Therefore, you need to go through a proven method that shows how to conduct the process of this repair. Otherwise, it would cost you a few hundred bucks for the charge of the mechanic. And you won't love to do that, right?

However, take a few minutes to go through the process of stripped lug nut threads, and get it done right away. We will be taking you through the whole process, broken down into bite-size chunks- 

Stripped Lug Nut Threads Fixation Method

Method 1: Fixing stripped lug nut threads with a hammer

Usually, a stripped lug nut thread is smaller in size, which makes the size of the original socket size bigger than the thread. So, while you will be doing the task using a socket, you have to choose a socket that is small in size. Another benefit of a smaller socket size is, it won't get away so easily. And there won't be a similar issue soon anymore. 

However, here is the list of tools you will need for the process- 

Tools Required

For the first method of fixing a stripped lug nut threads, you will be needing these few tools- 

  1. Drive breaker bar of ½ inches in size. 

  2. An iron pipe of about 1 inch in diameter. The length should be 36 inches. 

  3. A bolt extractor of twist socket type. 

  4. Pressure washer for cars. 

  5. A hammer of about 3 pounds in weight. 

  6. Penetrating or lubricating oil of WD-40 grade. 

  7. A replacement lug nut set. 

  8. Any other accessories based on your nut type. 

Once you have got all these tools in hands, let’s go with the steps- 

Step 1: Fight the rust, if any

Before stepping into the actual lug nut thread fixing process, you have to make sure that the area is free of rust. For that, you should get the lubricator or penetrating oil of WD-40 grade. 

Allow the oil to get into the thread, and take actions on the rust. This will eventually, make the rust loose and you can take that off with a bristle brush. 

Sometimes, the rust is so stubborn that it won't get off only with a penetrating oil. You have to use a hammer thread at these stages, and apply striking force on the rust affected area. It will break some of the rust before you even apply the oil. 

A special note here is, the penetrating oil won't remove all of the rust if you don't get in proper time. Apply that at least 12 hours before you step into the next action. 

Once done, clean the rust and take it off using a pressure washer. 

Step 2: Pick up the right nut extractor socket

At this step, we have to pick up a right nut extractor socket. While selecting the right size of this extractor, you have to make sure that it's of the correct first. Make sure that it's that much of a tight fit that a hammering process will take it down through the thread. 

There are some specially twisted sockets that will do the job pretty fine. Once you place the socket into the thread, grip the nut in a tighter way. 

Once done, proceed tot he next step- 

Step 3: Get off the lug nut

At this point, we have to take off the damaged lug nut using a drive breaker. In one of the previous steps, we've mentioned that the drive breaker size would be right at ½ inches. 

Sometimes, you might end up with the essence of a mechanical advantage. For that, you need to slide an iron pipe of about 36 inches. You need to put the pipe over the breaker bar handle. This will get you the additional mechanical advantage that we're looking forward to. 

If the force is applied in a correct manner, this force will take off the lug nut. No slippage will take place, and there will be space to install the new lug nut instead. 

Step 4: Install the new lug nut

Once you are done successfully with the previous step, you should be able to free up the thread from the old and rusted lug nut. Now it's time to install the new one instead of the old ones. 

There is a specific installation process, which is not a hard one to follow. At this point, take yourself through that process and install the fresh the new lug nuts. 

Method 2: Fixing stripped lug nut threads with an extractor

Apart from the method that we've explained above, there is another way to get it done. And that's through using an extractor to take off that lug nut. 

Lug nut extractors are tools that are designed for handling stripped nuts specially. There are available in the market in various forms and sizes. Based on which lug nut size you are dealing with, you should go with the right size. 

Once you have got them in hand, the process is quite simple. You have to put the lug nut extractor on the top of the nut, and put a torque wrench on the other end of the extractor. 

While selecting the right torque wrench, make it sure that it doesn't imply excess torque on the subject. Otherwise, the whole lug nut thread might get broken, and that would cause you even a bigger loss. 

Our recommendation would go with keeping a 5 piece bolt grip expansion set int he car toolkit box. This set will come in help no matter whichever kind of lug nut you are dealing with. You can identify how they look like by the rounded, flower-shaped spiral pattern that they come up with. 

Benefits of Socket Extractor Sets


There are many benefits of using a socket advantage set. One of the biggest benefits of them is, they can comply with your car toolkit without wasting up that much of space. 

On top of that, putting out rusted bolts out of their places is way easier than what it is with hammers. In fact, it would be as easy as removing a stripped nut from its place is.

The third benefit it, they are way less expensive is comparing to the complete kits that are available in the market. 

However, there is a tiny downside of using this set. And that is- you have to invest in additional tools. However, it might not be an additional pressure in case you purchase them before you need it. Because, once you're looking for a set when they are crying needs, this might be complicated. 

What to Do In Order to Not Repeat It Again?

You don't want to take yourself through this hectic process once in every couple of months, right? Therefore, you've to be careful that it doesn't take place any more. 

Here is a set of tips to prevent this problem-

  1. Don't overtighten the lug nut into the thread. 

  2. Lubricate the lug nut thread once in every few months for better result. 

  3. Put the right torque using an appropriate torque wrench while installing a new lug nut. 

  4. Keep the lugs clean and don't get them in touch of water. This will eventually, create rust on the spot, which we all hate. 

  5. If you see any kind of mishaps happening, don’t wait to replace it later. Do that right away. 

Which one Among These Two Methods Is Better?

This question might come up with different answers based on the situation you are in. Both of these methods are proven to work fine in case of emergencies. But here is the fact- 

The first process is for too much worn out or rusted lug nut threads. And the second one is for quick recovering from struck lug nuts. 

In addition, the first process will take more of the tools and money as well. On the other hand, the second process will cost you a set of lug nut removers actually. For different sizes of lug nuts, there will be different sizes of bolt removers. 

Bottom Line

Alright, so we have gone through two of the most convenient methods of dealing with stripped lug nut threads. Based on the situation, the tools you have, and the amount of investment you want to make, you can choose from these two. 

Once you are done with the process, make sure that it doesn't take place pretty soon over again. For that, there are a few safety cautions that you need to follow. We hope that you've taken a note on that concern as well. 

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