How to Remove Lug Nuts without a Key-Using an Impact Wrench


Lug nuts are utilized to secure the wheel of a vehicle. However, there will come a time when you need to loosen and remove this so you can change tires, access the vehicle’s brakes and perform a wide array of repairs.

Learning how to loosen, remove and install lug nuts is considered an essential skill for anyone who drives a car, as you will never know when you might need to fix a flat. The good thing is that this is not difficult to learn. In fact, there are actually several tricks, which can help you execute this task quickly and easily.

Prepare work

When removing a lug nut from your vehicle’s wheels, the first that you need to do is make sure that you have parked your car on a level surface and that the parking brakes are set.

Take out the hubcap


Hubcap types

The next thing that you need to do is to locate and remove the hubcap on the vehicle. After removing this, you will now be able to locate the lug nuts. Depending on the type of vehicle that you have, the hubcap may be attached by metal clips or held on by the lug nuts themselves. If they are attached using a metal clip, you have to pry them off first using the flat end of a tire iron. However, if they are held on by the lug nuts then you need to remove the lug nuts first before you can remove the hubcaps.

There are several tools that you can use to remove lug nuts. One of the most common used is an impact wrench 3/8”size or ½” size.  You can make use of either an electric impact wrench or an air impact wrench depending on what is readily available for you at the moment. Other you can use an impact driver 12V or 18-volt with socket change connect joint. When opting for an impact wrench to remove a lug nut, you have to make sure that you determine the right socket size to use.


19-21mm Socket

Since most impact wrenches come with a variety of sockets for you to choose from, you can check and try to fit the sockets on the lug nuts before using them. The socket size is 19mm or 21mm. If you not sure, you can check the type of tire and wheel by the internet first follow information from your tire current or ask engineer of the repair station( Once you have identified the right socket size, you can now begin loosening the lug nut on your vehicle’s wheels.

Take out the lug nuts

When loosening the lug nuts on your wheels, you have to make sure that the car is on a flat level surface. You should jack up your vehicle before you try to loosen the lug nuts. This way, you can make use of the resistance created by the wheel’s contact with the flat surface. If you do this, your wheels will not spin when you work on loosening the lug nuts. You should not remove the lug nut completely.

Use the juck up before you do

Use the jack up before you do

You just have to loosen it first. Once they are loose, you can now start to jack your car up. Once your car is jacked up, you can remove the lug nuts entirely using your bare hands and remove the wheel. Once done, you can perform whatever repair that you need to do.

Jose A. Brown

Jose A. Brown is a mechanic engineer and an enthusiastic blogger whose mission is to provide the readers with the best tips, guides in the Home Improvement, DIY Project, and Industry.

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