If you have a car then you probably know that the rim of that wheel is fixed onto the threaded bolt shafts by something called a locking wheel nut. This is able to maintain its lock on the shaft of the wheel by means of a nylon thread insert that lines the nut’s centre hole. If you need to change a wheel on your car then you may find that you need to remove this nut, however this can be difficult if the insert is worn or stripped.
It is not a good idea to try using a wrench, as some people advise, to attempt to remove it from the threaded bolt shaft. If you lose your grip, you could end up damaging the wheel’s rim. The most straightforward way of loosening and removing a stuck lug nut is to use a locking wheel nut remover to get it off. This needs to be fitted onto your socket wrench and then that is fitted over the nut. The way in which most of these are made means that you need to exert some force to fit it on.
As soon as you manage to grasp the nut with the wheel nut remover, you should turn it clockwise, which will tighten its hold. When you tighten the nut before attempting to remove it, it is sometimes possible to push the nylon thread so that it is again lined up with the nut’s threads. After it has been turned in a clockwise direction, it then needs to be turned the opposite way. These turns are designed to loosen the hold that the nut has on the bolt shaft, making it easier for you to remove.
Although the above method of removing a stripped wheel nut is the most straightforward, it doesn’t always work and you may have to try other methods. You may need to fit your locking wheel nut remover onto your wrench in the same way, but instead of putting it over the nut; you put it to one side. Leave the wrench where it is and set up your butane or blow torch. By applying some gentle heat it is possible to burn the nylon thread. As soon as you detect the aroma of burning nylon, switch off the blow torch and then pick up the wrench again.
Once you have burned the thread, using the wrench you can push the tool onto the nut and then turn it in an anticlockwise direction. Turning it in this way should loosen its hold on the threaded bolt shaft, allowing you to remove it. Again, this method of removal is not always successful and you may need to resort to cutting off the nut by hand. This last method could be avoided by using one of the better locking wheel nut removers on the market today.
As you can see it is not always a simple process, even with the correct tool. Rather than risk damaging your tyre, wheel rim or the lug nuts themselves, you are probably better off taking your car to a professional to remove the wheel safely and without incident.