Q: Stripped lug nut/unable to change tire

asked by on June 25, 2017

I had a blow out on my back right passenger side tire. I had my insurance send out a repair man to come fix the tire. The man worked on it for about 20 mins, then said he was unable to change the tire because one of my lug nuts was stripped. Prior to this blowout, all of my lug nuts were fine. So the repairman states that I have to have it towed. So he ends up towing it 65 miles to my house and I pay $250. The next day, I take it to the shop and they are unable to get it off because of the same issue. Again, had two other repairmen look at the car and they use automatic lug removers, still no luck. I contacted my insurance to file a damage claim on the repairman who damaged the lug nut, but they said they can't send a rental to me until they follow up on the company they sent to me which is bs. Questions: how can I get this one lug nut off so I can change this tire?? Is there something I can buy from autozone or Walmart that can act as a grip to take this thing off?? Please help me.

My car has 210529 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hello, thank you for writing in. Locking lug nuts would cause every wheel to require a special socket in order to remove the tire. These are often aftermarket, but if you have a set on the car, this may have been the cause of that particular lug nut becoming damaged. With that being said, if you simply have a damaged lug nut, there are a few tricks you can do in order to remove the wheel. One would include welding on a socket in order to be able to grip the lug nut. Not many technicians are equipped or willing to do this however, particularly when insurance is involved. A second includes tapping a socket onto the lug nut with a hammer in order to jam it onto the nut. This WILL damage the wheel, the nut, and your socket. It can also break the socket, and under pressure that metal shrapnel will fly into the air which is incredibly hazardous. Again, this is why most technicians are not willing to do it. Double check that you are not dealing with a locking lug nut (possibly by making sure you can remove another one of the tires with a normal socket), and then proceed to find a technician who is confident they can remove it. To have one of our technicians assess the issue, contact our service department.

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