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Missing a lug nut

To make a long story short, while changing out my driver side front wheel in the rain I put one of the lug nuts on at an angle and in my anger kept trying. So now I have a stripped lug nut and the thing you screw it onto. I went ahead and drove home with just 4 nuts on the wheel and secure. My question is…

How hard it is to replace the stripped item and until I do how safe or unsafe is it to drive with just four lug nuts on the car? The car is a 98 Ford Taurus stationwagon.

I would not drive around long like this. If you are mechanically inclined just go to your local auto parts store and purchase a lugnut and wheel stud. Study the stud for a moment and you will quickly see how it stays in place. Removal and replacement is not that hard. If you also purchase a Haynes repair manual at the auto parts store (about $20) this job and all the others will be easier for you.

I have zero mechancial ability, am taking car to mechanic on Thursday to have driver side front wheel fixed (ball joint) so hopefully he can fix this also. Till then have to drive back and forth to work (26 miles total each day) so hopefull not to much damage will be done.

Take the slower route to work if you can. 4 out of 5 lugnuts should keep the wheel in place with no problem. The mechanic can probably fix the stud problem when he’s on break from the ball joint job. The wheel will be off anyway since the repair is on the same wheel.

Actually it’s the other wheel, but like I said I can’t fix soup. My route to work is on city streets never going more then 45 mph anyway so no change, will just do my best to avoid pot holes and such.

Four lug nuts should be fine for now, but you do need to be sure they’re properly torqued if you haven’t done so already.

When I snapped off a lug bolt on my pickup, I continued to drive with only 5 out of 6 lugs until the truck wore out. You should be able to drive gently to the shop as-is for repairs. No worries.