Impact Wrench Won’t Remove Lug Nut – Reasons and Solutions

Impact wrenches are used to tighten or remove the nuts or bolts. Lug nuts need more torque for tightening and more than tightening torque is needed for loosening. Sometimes nuts or bolts can’t remove using the impact wrench due to many reasons.

Why impact wrench won’t remove the lug nut? The impact wrench will not remove lug nut when the lug nut is rusting, insufficient torque, stripping nut, thread stripping or low capacity battery. If you have these you have to apply rust removal, a high torque impact wrench, and a fully charged battery with a proper size impact wrench socket.

If you avoid this problem follow the below steps and solve the problem. So please keep reading until you find the exact solution to remove the stubborn nuts.

12 Types Drill Bit for Wood
12 Types Drill Bit for Wood

What are the Reasons for Impact Wrench Won’t Remove the Nuts/Bolts?

1. Less Breakaway Torque

When we consider impact wrench torque, those are two types. Fastening torque and breakaway torque is them. Fastening torque is the torque for tightening the lug nut and breakaway torque is for loosening or removing lug nuts. When we consider these torques, always breakaway torque is high. Normally, the breakaway torque is higher than the regular fastening torque.

Fastening a nut is making tension in the bolt using torque. The nut thread is acting as a ramp, and rotating the nut is like moving the nut to the top of the ramp. This will tighten the bolt shank. So it requires more torque. If the breakaway torque is less than the required torque nut will not loosen.

That is not dependent on the IPM. It depends on the torque. So make sure the tool that you are using is with sufficient breakaway torque.

2. Due to Corrosion

Rusted nut

If the nut is directly open to the air and water it can be corrosion. Because of this it will not able to move under the recommended breakaway torque. You will need extra torque due to corrosion. In this situation, you have to use rust-removing liquid for reducing the corrosive effect.

If you don’t have the liquid you can use kerosene oil or any lubricants for this. but the rust-removing spray will be the real solution.

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3. Stripped Threads

Stripped threads

If you apply too much tighten to the nut two things can be happened. At first, the bolt can be broken or the nut can be slippered. Because of this nut will rotate freely when you tight or lose. So make sure the nut is not slippering when you use an impact wrench. And also apply the appropriate torque also.

There is no way to remove these kinds of nuts. You just need to cut the nut or bolt and then remove it.

Read More About – How Much Torque Does an Impact Wrench Have?

4. Insufficient Battery Power

If you use insufficient battery power you can see torque is not able to apply. Normally low capacity battery is not able to supply the required power to the tool. So always use the fully charged battery for the lug nuts operations. Else impact wrenches will not remove the lug nuts when you use a low-capacity battery.

5. Stripped Nut

Stripped nut and bolt image source

Have you used the socket, that is not knit to fit the socket and nut? When you use this kind of socket it will round the nut edges and try to slipper due to torsion. As a result of this, you will not able to loosen the nut or bolt and even you can’t use a well-knit fit socket for this due to the round edge. It will completely damage the nut and bolt.

These all problems will not lose the nut. So I had to use a few steps to remove that kind of nut without an impact wrench.

Read More About – Do Impact Wrenches Need Special Socket – Mechanic Advice!

How to Remove Stubborn Nut or Bolt?

I followed these steps to remove the stubborn nut/bolt.

Step 01 – Use the Locking Wrench

Locking Wrench

If you fail to break away the nut/bolt this will be a real solution. Because locking wrench helps many people when they need this kind of help. This tool has three sides of a hex fastener and will not slip or move. After you tried with the impact wrench try this one.

Step 02 – Use Some Lemon Juice

You can provide the lemon in your home. This is really simple. lemon is with weaker acid. The acid reacts with the corrosion (mental). Due to weak metal, it will take more time. So if you do not hurry pour some juice of the lemon and then keep 5-6 hours. If you can pour some drops of water. Water will increase the H+ release from the weaker acid. Do not use it much. If it is too much liquid it will not work properly.

Step 03 – Apply the Rust Removing

WD 40 rust removing

After you apply the locking wrench you can clean the surface with the rust removing liquids (WD40). And also you can use kerosene or any lubricant oil in your home and then keep some time until it penetrates inside the threads. After you keep 4-5 mins you can try with the locking wrench again.

Still, stuck?

Step 04 – Hit With Hammer

If the above step is not work I will have the hammer and apply 2-3 shots as it does not touch with the bolt thread. Be careful when you do this. You can release some worry after this :). And then again apply rust removal and then try with the locking wrench.

If you can use a hammer drill with a rod it is a great solution. Because it can produce vibrations and it will break the bond of the rusting. So try with a hammer drill and mount a rod to the chuck. The drill bit will break if you use that.

Step 05 – Use a Heater

Use the gas torch to heat the nut

They light up the gas torch and aim at the nut until it heats up. Do not heat up as soon as possible you apply the rust removals. It consists of highly inflammable compounds and it will spread quickly. You can see it turns to red. And then try to lose.

TIP – Try to heat up only the nut if you can. So only the nut will be expanded due to heat and then inner bonds will be break due to outer expansion. If you heat up both together, both expansions will be the same. Try for this.

If it is still tight follow the below steps.

Step 06 – Split a Nut

Nut splitter tool image source

If you fail the above step you can use the splitter tool. Tight it and then apply enough torque to remove it. If you are not able to use a splitter weld the steel rod to the not as it can provide more torque. You had better use this if you are able to weld that area. Then apply more torque using that rod and steel tube.

These are the steps that you should follow for the overtightened bolts due to the corrosion effect. So let’s see more than that.

Step 07 – Cut the Nut or Bolt Head

If the nut is freely rotating due to thread damage you can saw it by the steel saw blade. Sometimes you can’t use it due to space problems. If you can use a grinder to remove the nut head or bolt head. Make sure it will not damage the main structure.

Step 08 – Drill the Nut

Finally, there is no way to remove it. So you had better drill the nut in two sides as it can separate two parts. I do not think twice If I have to do this. It is useless for spending much time on a single nut too. If we have extra nuts we can do this with enough tools.

This is really practical when you remove the rivets. You have to drill through the rivets if you need to remove them.

Step 09 – Drill a New Hole

Finally, this will be the ultimate solution. If you have the tools you can drill a new hole in the steel and then use it for a new nut and bolt.

If an impact wrench won’t remove the lug nut you can follow the below steps, products and tools. It will guide you to break away the nut and bolt in any condition.

Read More About – How to Remove a Stubborn Nut/Bolt

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Tom Mackenzy

I am Tom, I am really interested in DIY projects. I have my own workshop and I spend my free time with so many projects. So I would like to share my experience with you regarding power tools, woodworking, metalworking, etc.

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