Changing your own tires, either when swapping summer tires for winter tires in your driveway or changing a flat tire and putting on the spare on the side of the road, gives you a satisfying feeling. The feeling you get when you're straining to remove a tight lug nut, however, is anything but satisfying. This task can be one of the most challenging parts of the job and can leave you with strained muscles and chafed hands. There's no need to struggle, though. With the right approach, you'll be able to loosen the lug nuts and get the job done with a high degree of ease. Here are some strategies that you can adopt — and one way to avoid this problem in the future.
Get Some Leverage
The relatively short handle of your lug wrench means that it doesn't take up much space in your garage or trunk, but also means that you'll have difficulty getting a lot of torque when you're dealing with excessively tight lug nuts. You can add leverage to the situation — which will immeasurably make the job easier — by taking the longest open-end wrench you can find and slipping the box end of the wrench over the end of the lug wrench. You're essentially doubling the amount of your leverage, which means that when you pry on the double-wrench combination, you should see the lug nuts loosening with ease.
Use A Penetrating Fluid
It's worthwhile to keep a can of penetrating fluid handy, as it can be a valuable ally when you're dealing with a stubborn lug nut. Affix the straw to the can's nozzle and apply some of the fluid at the base of each problematic lug nut. Give the area a quick squirt, wait a moment for the fluid to sink in, and apply more fluid. The key to using penetrating fluid is to give it time to work its magic. Wait for several minutes. and then attempt to loosen the lug nuts. In many cases, the addition of the fluid will make the job a breeze.
Prevent The Problem Again
Even when you're armed with strategies to get through this issue, it's no one's idea of a good time to be fighting with stubborn lug nuts. An effective way to reduce the risk of a future issue is to coat the studs with an anti-seize compound whenever you're changing the tires. This product is available at automotive stores like Evans Tire & Service Centers and comes with a small brush attached to the lid. It's simple to apply and can prevent the buildup of corrosion.