What Are Swollen Lug Nuts? Why Do Lug Nuts Swell?

Lug nuts do, over time, tend to swell. Moisture gets into the steel lug nut and a decorative cap. It results in the reaction between metals. In due course, you will find corrosion issues. The size of your lug nut gets increased. It is not easy to remove the swollen lug nuts. However, stainless steel and chrome-plated nuts do not have this moisture problem. 

Before talking about how or why lug nuts in your car swell up, it’s essential that you know what lug nuts are. In simple terms, lug nuts refer to those nuts that help to fasten and secure the wheels of a vehicle. 

There are various reasons that lead to swelling. One among them is the heat generated by the tires. So if you want to avoid any kind of accident, it’s better you know how to deal with lug nuts swells. This article will cover the reason behind why lug nuts swell and how to deal with swollen lug nuts in your car. 

Reasons Behind Lug Nuts Swell

all Reasons-Behind-Lug-Nuts-Swell
Photo credit: Carparts

There are plenty of reasons why lug nuts swell; let’s have a look at them. 

· The heat from Tires

One of the common reasons why lug nuts tend to swell is because of the heat from tires. Cars have now become an integral part of our lives, and most of us take our cars out almost everywhere. Cars might give you a comfortable journey, but regular use of cars leads the tires to heat up. As a result, it puts pressure on the lug nuts that hold onto it. This will lead to the swelling up of lug nuts, and once the lug nuts start to swell, that’s not good news for your car. 

· Moisture

Another reason behind the swelling of lug nuts is due to moisture. Moisture often is able to enter between the lug nut and the decorative cap. As a result, it leads to corrosion and causes two dissimilar metals to react. Due to the corrosion buildup, the decorative cap gets pushed outward, causing the lug nut to swell up. And since it becomes hard for a lug wrench to remove the swollen lug nut, you’ll have to end up removing the entire tire itself. 

· Outside Temperature

Apart from the heat of tires, lug nuts also swell due to outside temperatures. Most of us often have the habit of leaving our cars out in the sun during summer. Prolonged exposure to high temperatures can also lead the lug nuts to swell up. 

· Quality of Material Used

It’s always said that you shouldn’t compromise on the quality of the material. Using subpar materials for your lug nuts can also lead to swelling. And this might cause an issue when you go for brake/tire servicing. So instead of cutting down the manufacturing cost, it’s always advisable to use quality material that would last long. 

Now that you have an idea about the various reasons why lug nuts swell, here are a few ways to deal with swollen lug nuts in your car. Let’s have a look at them. 

How to Deal with Swollen Lug Nuts in Your Car?

If your car has swollen lug nuts, then the only way to solve this problem is to replace them. But as we all know that replacements and repairs after the warranty period turn out to be quite costly. So instead of taking your car to the mechanic to remove the swollen lug nuts, you can do it yourself. All you have to do is follow the steps, and you’ll be good to go. 

  • The lug nuts you intend to remove need to wash them properly and thoroughly. You can use shop water to remove any kind of dirt, oil, or debris from the nuts. You can also use a brush to get off all the excess dirt.
  • Next, you need a heavy-duty freezer bag that will be used to wrap it around the lug nuts. This freezer bag ensures that your lug nuts don’t get damaged during the removal process. 
  • Once you have wrapped the lug nut properly, you can fit the lug wrench and remove the swollen lug nuts. 

To sum up, the article provides an answer to your question about why lug nuts swell up and how to deal with swollen lug nuts in your car. You can remove the swollen lug nuts yourself, but you can always go for professional help for the best results.  

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