Not All Lug Nuts Are Easy! Here’s a Great Primer For Beginners

A lug nut is the big nut that will hold the wheel in place on your car or vehicle. Some manufacturers use lug bolts instead of lug nuts. Most mechanics will re-tighten them using an air impact wrench and unless the last time they were put on and tightened was by you, they are going to put up a very big fight when you attempt to take them off. A great tool to use for this job is known as a cross-shaft lug wrench, or more affectionately as a “Four-way.”

As you prepare to begin you must first determine whether the lug nuts or bolts are right hand threaded or left hand threaded. The lug nuts or bolts on the right side of the car are always going to be right hand threaded, but on some makes and models of cars the left wheels sometimes use left hand threaded nuts or bolts. If you look at the nuts or bolts that are currently on the car you will either see an R or an L, or nothing at all. If the lug nut or bolt has an R that means that it is Right Hand threaded and you will need to turn it counter clockwise to loosen it. An L means that it is left hand threaded and will need to be turn clockwise to loosen it. Typically most cars have all right hand threaded lug nuts or bolts and will need to be turned counter clockwise to be loosened.

Step 1: Place the end of your four way or lug nut wrench on the lug nut squarely.
Step 2: Apply all of your weight to the left.

Sometimes you may need to apply more leverage to the lug nut if it has been put on last by a power tool. Slipping a hollow pipe over the wrench of four-way is often what is done to enable you to loosen a stubborn nut or bolt. The longer the length of the pipe or lug nut wrench arm, the more leverage you have. The goal is to make things as easy as possible on yourself so if you can find a pipe strong enough, the longer it is, the easier the lug nut or bolt will turn and come off. Just make sure that you put the pipe far enough over the wrench or four way that it won’t accidentally slip off.

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