How Much Torque To Remove Lug Nuts

How Much Torque to Remove Lug Nuts – Should Know Details

How Much Torque To Remove Lug Nuts

How much torque to remove log nuts? It’s a trendy question among car enthusiasts. Actually, the answer varies depending on the type of car you have and the lug nuts you are using. The torque value will be found in the factory service manual for your vehicle, or it may be listed on a decal that is located either inside the driver’s door or under the hood.

This article will discuss some fundamentals and highlight the factors you need to consider so that you don’t overtighten or under tighten them. Let’s start with some basic information.

What are lug nuts?

Lug nuts and lug bolts are the parts of car wheels that keep them attached to the car. These nuts may come as standard or “bolt-on” lug nuts. When removing a wheel, these need to be taken out first before you can detach the wheel from the vehicle. While the wheel is detached, it needs to be kept safe somewhere.

These nuts are often made from steel, and some are aluminum or brass. It would help if you did not use an ideal tool on an aluminum or brass lug nut because you run the risk of marring the surface. In some instances, the manufacturer labels lug nuts made from aluminum, stating that you should not use the wrong tool.

In any case, it is best to err on the side of caution by using a lug nut key that is designed for your vehicle’s type of lug nuts. Some cars have steel and aluminum lugs wheels, which means that different tools are required for each bolt type and bolt size.

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Types Of Lug Nuts

There are three common types of lug nuts in use today:

  1. Standard Lug nuts
  2. Conical seat or cone seat lug nuts
  3. Acorn Bulge seat lug nuts

Standard lug nuts

On a standard lug nut, the top of the nut is slightly dome-shaped and flat. A typical lug wrench has a matching “dome” that fits into this space and gets turned to tighten or loosen it. These nuts often have small holes near the bottom which may be used for decoration, holding in place an anti-theft device called a “locking lug nut,” or for something else.

Conical seat lug nuts

Conical seat lug nuts have a conical section at the top of the nut and then have threads around that to hold the wheel, similar to other lug nuts. However, there is no flat “dome” on the top to match a lug wrench against. Instead, the top of the nut has an angled surface that locks into place with a specialized tool called a Conical Seat Locking Lug Nut Tool or Socket.

Acorn bulge seat lug nuts

Acorn Bulge Seat lug nuts or bolts are used on the wheels of most modern automobiles. The Acorn Bulge seat is about an inch across, and it has a small indentation in its middle. This type of lugs may be tightened/loosened with regular lug wrenches. They do not require locking tools.

How Much Torque to Remove Lug Nuts?

The torque applied to lug nuts is measured in foot/pounds (ft/lbs). So, the recommended torque of 80 ft/lbs for most cars does not mean that you need to exert an 80 ft/lb force on the wrench. You can exert 10 lbs of force or 1000 lbs of force on the lug nut, it would still be 80 ft/lbs of torque.

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In case you can’t find the manufacturer’s prescribed torque, the below chart can be taken as a guide:

Hardware Bolt or Stud Size Torque (ft/lbs) Hardware Engagement (Number of Turns)
12 x 1.5 mm 70 – 80 6.5
12 x 1.25 mm 70 – 80 8
14 x 1.5 mm 85 – 90 7.5
14 x 1.25 mm 85 – 90 9
7/16 in. 70 – 80 9
1/2 in. 75 – 85 8
9/16 in. 135 – 145 8

How much torque you should apply to your car’s lug nuts will depend on the car manufacturer’s specifications, as well as the type of lug nut. The table above gives a rough idea of how much torque to apply. Consult your vehicle owner’s manual or a trusted resource on how much torque you need for your specific model and make of car.

How To Apply Torque

If possible, use a torque wrench to tighten the lug nuts. If you don’t have a torque wrench, use this method (which is NOT recommended by car manufacturers):

  1. Use your regular lug wrench and make sure it’s seated properly on the lug nut.
  2. Pull the wrench towards you to get some slack in the wrench, but keep it seated properly on the lug nut.
  3. Push the wrench away from you as far as it will go without making it easier to turn, which usually means “up.” This is applying an upward torque on the lug nut.

Doing these three times in a counterclockwise motion is equivalent to one full rotation of your lug wrench or 90° of turning.

Precautions And Tips

Below we have listed some vital aspects that will help keep you safe while performing the job.

  1. Always have some kind of protection for your eyes while doing this. A pair of sunglasses or safety goggles would do the trick.
  2. Make sure that the area where you are working is well-ventilated, so there’s no risk of breathing in metal particles from the wheel.
  3. When you remove a lug nut, make sure to place it somewhere where it won’t roll off and disappear.
  4. If possible, wait for your car’s wheels to cool down before removing or replacing them. They can get extremely hot after a drive on a warm day. Wearing gloves is recommended.
  5. Keep track of which lug nut belongs to which wheel! It’s easy to get them mixed up if you have many wheels. If this happens, just remember that your front-right wheel is where your steering wheel is or the driver’s seat.
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Make sure that you place them back in the same places they came from when putting everything back.


Hopefully, this article gave you a better idea of how much torque to use when removing lug nuts, depending on your vehicle lug nut. Even though you will use a torque wrench when removing lug nuts, there is no set standard.

All manufacturers have different methods for this task, so be sure to check your specific vehicle’s owner manual before proceeding with the job. In other words, if you are not comfortable using a torque wrench on your car, then simply pay a professional to remove them.

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