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Lug nut lube

Hi, whenever I’m working on a car, motorcycle, or lawnmower and have a bolt or fastener that is hard to remove, I’ll use a little anti seize when I put it back together. If a lug nut is really hard to remove, I put a little antiseize on the threads before torqueing to the right torque setting that’s in the cars manual. Have been doing this for years. Have I been doing something I shouldn’t be doing?

When working on a motorcycle, I take precautions I don’t take when working on cars. I worry more about the nuts coming off than being difficult to remove later. For example, when my tail light assembly came loose on a cruiser, I replaced the nuts with locking nuts that have a ring of rubber to keep them from coming loose. I also use lock washers for the same thing if I am dealing with a screw instead of a nut and bolt. If your motorcycle is being maintained often enough, there shouldn’t be a need for anti-seize compound.

Cars and lawnmowers, on the other hand, tend to get less frequent maintenance, and there is less to fear if a screw or bolt falls out. I would not use anti-seize compound on lug nuts. They get removed often enough that they should not get a chance to seize. Also, I would rather have one stuck on than have one fall off accidentally. I might use anti-seize compound when replacing something like an alternator though since it isn’t likely to be removed often. But on lug nuts, it should not be necessary.

One thing to consider is that you’re now overtorquing the nuts.

Boeshield T-9 is the BEST H.D. spray-can lube. It’s available in Marine stores…

You should never use an anti-sieze compound/lubricant on lug studs. The torque spec for lug nuts is a dry torque spec. Not a wet torque spec. Using any kind of lubricant on the studs causes over-torquing of the nuts. This over-torquing causes the lug studs to stretch. Because the lug nuts are removed and reinstalled many times in order to perform various repairs on vehicles, this repeated over-torqing of the lug nuts can cause fitigue to studs, which can result in failure of the lug studs as the vehicle is driven.


We have discussed this anti-sieze on the lug studs before. A good case can be made for the over-torque condition. A good case can also be made for using the anti-sieze to make it easier to remove the lug nuts. Damage to a stud can occur from over torque, damage can also happen when you try to remove a siezed stud.

Maybe all that needs to be done is that the studs are clean and rust free before the nuts are put on and the time frame for removal is not so extended.

This gets into a area of personal experience affecting your decision. I do use anti-sieze on my lug studs (for 30+ years) and never suffered for it. What value is anecdocal evedience? I never had a loose wheel condition or a damaged stud or pedal pulsation from over torque. Go figure.

I thought I was the only one didn’t like the idea of using a lube or anti-sieze.

Everyone has a problem with loosening lug nuts unless you have a air ratchet. My wife is a small woman and she had a very hard time loosening the lug nuts on her car when she had a flat. So I showed her the correct way to use the lug wrench. It has that 60 degree angle for a reason. So you and put it on the lug nut and then stand on the wrench or push down with one foot. It is designed for that purpose. Auto manufacturers know that not everyone driving a car will be a big 6’2 220lb man.

I am glad it has worked for you. I just wonder about the cost/benefit relationship. In 20 years of driving I have only had to replace one lug stud, and it was pretty easy to replace.


I also have never had a loose wheel or have a lug nut come loose. If the torque spec in the book is say 75 ft lbs, then the torque will be 75 ftlbs. I always re-torque after a wheel rotation or brake work because the shops always use an air impact driver and not a torque wrench and they are always way over torqued.

Normally, I don’t add any lubricant to the nut threads; except, when the nut continues to require a lot of force to turn it after it has broken loose. Then, I put a drop, or two, of motor oil on the threads. This aids in running the nut down. I don’t have to add the amount of torque the non-free-turning nut required, just to be turned, to the final torque value. The next time the nut is removed, it has a little free-running resistance–not 20 to 50 ft. lb. torque resistance, as some have had.

I used to do that many years ago, drum brakes and steel wheels, no specific torque back then. I don’t do that any more.

I do use anti-seize on the hub ring of the wheel, keeps the wheel from sticking to the hub.

I have used anti-rust spray lubes on wheel studs for MANY years on dozens of cars and have NEVER had any problems. I HAVE seen many wheel studs twisted off because they were frozen by rust and corrosion. To each his own…Claims that lubrication can lead to over-torquing and failure are easy to make but hard to prove…