How To Remove Rounded Lug Nuts Like a Pro

So, how many of you car owners believe in DIY? We certainly do. And this is why our maintenance section brings you such great DIY blogs. And, this time around we are going to instruct you on how to remove rounded lug nuts like a pro.

Many a time, when you try to take these lug nuts off, it so happens, that the lug wrench slips and rounds off the edges of the bolts. So, it becomes extremely difficult to take that lug nut off when you want to change it. And, since you might want to prepare your car for the impending winter months, you can profit from knowing more about lug nuts.

Here, we tell you how to get a rounded lug nut off.    

The Handy Tutorial On How To Remove Rounded Lug Nuts

You need to be careful with the lug nuts since they keep the wheel secured to the threaded wheel studs. The wheel studs in turn connect it to the car’s axle.

Before we begin to tell you how to go about it, let’s see what all we need.

Required tools

  • ½” drive breaker bar $15-20
  • 1” diameter iron pipe, 36” length $10-15
  • Nut/bolt extractor twist socket set $20-100
  • 3 lb. hammer $5-10
  • WD-40 or alternative penetrating oil $5
  • Replacement lug nut $3
  • Total cost: $58-153 if you don’t have anything and need to buy all

Together with your other emergency supplies that are stored in your car, I highly recommend you keep these items in the car as well, in case you need to repair your tires while away from home.

Here is how to remove rounded lug nuts in 4 simple steps.

Step 1. Breaking the rust

First, you apply targeted, liberal amounts of WD-40 to the base of the lug to let this penetrating oil be drawn into the bolt threads through capillary action. If it is badly rusted, then you give it a few smacks with a hammer to break some of the rust-free before applying the WD-40 oil. Give the penetrating oils some time to work, up to a day if you have enough time.

Step 2. Fitting the socket

Simply because the lug nut is rounded, it can be a challenging task to fit the socket on the nut. So, we take a socket, place its mouth on the lug nut, and tap with the back with the hammer. Make sure you don’t hit too hard. That may have the socket stuck badly. Keep tapping till it fits well.

Step 3. Working with the breaker bar

Process of how to remove rounded lug nuts
How to remove rounded lug nuts properly (Photo: BMAC VAGS @ Youtube)

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Now take the beaker bar and fit it onto the socket’s back. Start hitting with the hammer on the breaking bar’s handle to the left (anti-clockwise)

When you do so a couple of times, you will feel that you are getting closer to breaking the lug nut-free.

Step 4. Breaking the nut-free

With persistent pressure towards the right, the lug nut will break free with a jerk. Now twist the socket clockwise and anti-clockwise a bit and pull it out. It will come off easily. But, that is not where the how to get a rounded lug nut off tutorial ends.

Step 5. Getting the nut out of the socket

Overall process of how to remove rounded lug nuts
How to remove rounded lug nuts for safe driving (Photo: How To Do It @ Youtube)

Once the nut is off, you still have a problem – the lug nut will still be stuck in the socket.

Loosely screw the nut along with the socket back again. Then gently tap the socket up and down with the hammer. The socket will come out while the nut will be right there loosely screwed in. you can twist it with your hand and pull it out.

Alternative Strategies

While our pro method usually works, some problems of rounded lug nut removal can be encountered that will require different strategies.

1. Stripped stud

The lug spins freely but it won’t come off the stud. You drill through the lug or stud. Select a carbide drill bit that matches the size of your stud. You apply heavy pressure while drilling at a low speed to drill down the center of the lug until it is no longer attached to the stud. Drilling through the stud will require you to replace it though, which can be quite tricky for some vehicles.

2. Preventing the problem

Those careless mechanics can easily overtighten the lug nuts with their impact wrenches. You should consider speaking with your mechanic to make sure to apply the correct torque before they start working on your car. Remember that different cars have different requirements for torquing lugs. Cars require 60-100ft-lbs of torque. Larger vehicles can require up to 300ft-lbs of torque. You need to consult your owner’s manual for correct torque requirements.

Watch this video to learn more about the detailed process:


Removing rounded lug nuts can be a challenging task, but with the right approach and tools, it is possible to overcome this common issue. It is important to exercise patience and avoid applying excessive force, as this can cause further damage to the lug nuts or wheel. There are several methods you can try to apply. Each method has its advantages and limitations, and the appropriate approach may vary depending on the specific situation.

Hopefully, all this information will be useful for you. This is by far the simplest DIY tutorial on how to remove rounded lug nuts like a pro. Let us know if you like it in the comment box below: