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How to Replace Wheel Studs

New wheel studs ready for a wheel to be mounted.

It’s time to learn how to replace wheel studs. If you’ve mounted your own tires, changed a flat or watched the guys at the local shop put a new set of tires on your car, then you’ve seen wheel studs. They’re the threaded pieces of metal that stick out beyond your brakes and rotors to hold your wheels in place with the help of lug nuts. Read on to learn how and when to replace them.

What Makes Wheel Studs Go Bad?Wheel Studs

While you need to make sure the wheel studs are working properly, you don’t need to replace them on a regular basis. In fact, you may never need to replace your wheel studs. As long as your wheels are mounted correctly, there shouldn’t be a problem.

However, wheel studs can be damaged. In some instances, they can be affected by rust or corrosion due to salt. It’s also a problem if lug nuts are over-torqued by aggressive technicians or not tightened enough. These issues can cause extra wear on the threads and make it harder for your wheels to stay securely mounted to your car over time. Like stripping a screw, once the threads on your studs are stripped, the whole thing is a goner. A hard impact can also damage them, but if an accident is bad enough to do this, you’ll probably be looking at more substantial repairs than just the wheel studs.

How to Replace Wheel Studs

Make sure your car is in a level place where you can securely lift it with a jack, place it on jack stands (never resting on the jack), and wear safety gear, including gloves and protective glasses. Once you remove the wheels, brakes and rotor, the wheel studs will be fully exposed, so you can see where they attach to the wheel hub. Depending on the job, you can choose to remove the wheel hub completely or simply leave it in place and work on whichever studs are an issue.

Remove an intact stud by hammering it straight back through the hub. It should be simply wedged in place, relying on the lug nut to keep it in place under normal conditions. A stubborn stud may call for a good soak in penetrating oil. If you have a broken stud still partly stuck in the hole, it can generally be knocked through with a punch.

Once you have the space cleared for the new stud, insert the stud from the back of the hub. If you removed the whole hub, then you’ll need a press to firmly push it through with the help of a press or vise. If you left the hub mounted to the car, then you can place the brake rotor back over the studs, add some washers (to simulate the wheel) and tighten the lug nut onto the stud, drawing it into position.

Replacing your wheel studs is an easy job that doesn’t take long to complete, but it can make the difference in ensuring that your wheels stay properly mounted to your car.

Check out all the wheel stud products available on NAPA Online, or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information about how to replace wheel studs, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.

Photo courtesy Flickr.

Nicole Wakelin View All

Nicole Wakelin covers the automotive industry as a freelance journalist for a variety of outlets. Her work includes news pieces, podcasts, radio, written reviews, and video reviews. She can be found in The Boston Globe, CarGurus, BestRide, US News and World Report, and AAA along with lifestyle blogs like Be Car Chic, The Other PTA, and She Buys Cars. She is active on social media with a large following on both Twitter and Instagram and currently serves as Vice President of the New England Motor Press Association.

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