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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I was looking at the tire tread depth and I'm at 6/32" on inner middle and outer tread on each tire right now. Good enough. When I get to 4/32" I will probably think about replacing them if the winter is upon us.

That being said I recently picked up a Husky 4-way lug wrench at HD. I wanted to see if I could get it going and I wasn't able to loosen any of the lugs on the one wheel I was testing on.

I was concerned about turning too hard and possibly damaging the wheel studs which would be an even bigger headache.

I also think I need to do a brake job soon. I think I will be due for new pads and rotors within the next year.

So, what's the best approach here? It is possible that the local shop (now closed) I used to go to used an impact wrench and overtorqued the lugs. But I can't confirm that.

I have a 24" 1/2" drive Breaker Bar I can use with a 19mm socket, but again I'm concerned about too much force damaging the studs. Or I can have another go with the 4-way wrench.

I considered buying this Ridgid Electric Impact Wrench from HD also but chose the Husky first thinking if I could loosen them I could use my DeWalt cordless drill with an impact bit to rapid fire loosen them with the 19mm socket. The DeWalt isn't strong enough to loosen them.

I would prefer to keep the tool count down for the time being. I recently did invest in a few tools for oil changes etc.

I have a torque wrench to make sure they're tightened to the right spec once they're back on.

In the mean time, really hoping I don't get a flat until I figure this out!

Thanks.
 

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One reason to rotate your tires once a year is to keep the lugnuts freed-up incase you need to remove them on the road.

If they have not been removed for some time.... soak them with liquid-wrench a couple times a day for several days... that stuff is like magic as it seeps in and dissolves rust.

It is ALWAYS better to use a quick smack to loosen sticking nuts/bolts. Using a ssslllooowww twisting torque can easily damage things.

That electric impact wrench would be IDEAL to remove them. (NEVER use impact wrench to install)

Once the lugnuts are removed, you may find the wheels are rusted onto the rotors too. If this is the case, leave a couple lugnuts threaded on and smak the inside of the tire with a length of 2x4.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
One reason to rotate your tires once a year is to keep the lugnuts freed-up incase you need to remove them on the road.

If they have not been removed for some time.... soak them with liquid-wrench a couple times a day for several days... that stuff is like magic as it seeps in and dissolves rust.

It is ALWAYS better to use a quick smack to loosen sticking nuts/bolts. Using a ssslllooowww twisting torque can easily damage things.

That electric impact wrench would be IDEAL to remove them. (NEVER use impact wrench to install)

Once the lugnuts are removed, you may find the wheels are rusted onto the rotors too. If this is the case, leave a couple lugnuts threaded on and smak the inside of the tire with a length of 2x4.
Thanks. Is there a favorite brand you recommend (is that the same as PB Blaster?)

I'll try using a whack technique with the lug wrench and see if that works any better. If it doesn't I'll go grab the electric.

Thanks for the tips about rotating once a year. Is 4/32" a smart place to replace tires or should I consider going even lower?

Is there any risk to the hub or wheel using the liquid wrench on it? Do I need to clean it with something after I'm done?

For the pending brake job I am going to use a copper loctite stick and a deadblow hammer to knock the rotor off.
 

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You post reads like you have limited experience working on cars.
That said, be sure you are turning the lugs nuts in the correct direction.
Use the breaker bar. It delivers much more torque than the four way wrench and a good socket will fit the lug nuts better too.
When working on the driver's side of the car, place the handle of the breaker bar towards the rear of the car and pull up to loosen the lug nuts.
Flip over for the passenger side of the car, wrench handle towards the front, pull up.
For almost all modern cars, lug nuts are right hand thread: Turn clockwise to tighten, counter-clockwise to loosen.

If you do end up using penetrating oil to help remove the lug nuts, be sure to clean all oil off the chamfered surface of the lug nuts and wheel. Those surfaces must be clean and free of any lubricants. It is okay to have lube light lube on the actual threads. It will change the torque readings, but not by so much to be a problem.
 

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2016 Outback 3.6R Ltd. w. Eyesight
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You post reads like you have limited experience working on cars.
That said, be sure you are turning the lugs nuts in the correct direction.
Use the breaker bar. It delivers much more torque than the four way wrench and a good socket will fit the lug nuts better too.
When working on the driver's side of the car, place the handle of the breaker bar towards the rear of the car and pull up to loosen the lug nuts.
Flip over for the passenger side of the car, wrench handle towards the front, pull up.
For almost all modern cars, lug nuts are right hand thread: Turn clockwise to tighten, counter-clockwise to loosen.

If you do end up using penetrating oil to help remove the lug nuts, be sure to clean all oil off the chamfered surface of the lug nuts and wheel. Those surfaces must be clean and free of any lubricants. It is okay to have lube light lube on the actual threads. It will change the torque readings, but not by so much to be a problem.
Curious why you recommend pulling up? I've always pushed down when trying to loosen something that's super tight (of course, you've got to apply torque in the proper direction.) That way, if the tool slips, I'm not getting bashed in the face with it. Plus, unless I'm really worried about the bolt or nut breaking, I can put more pressure on the breaker bar/ratchet/wrench, etc. by using my body weight, or even by using my foot in the case of removing a car wheel. Then again, I'm not a very strong dude. :^)
 

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(formerly) 03 H6 OBW , (presently) 06 WRX Sportwagon & 2021 Honda CR-V
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you won't regret getting an impact wrench - wish I'd got mine 35 years ago.
 

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I recommend pulling up for a couple of reasons.
It is a more controlled application of force. Using your arms and legs, you have a better feel for how much force you are using on the fastener. When simply bearing your weight on the tool, if the tool begins to slip one may not be able to feel the onset.
Which leads me to the other reason. When the fastener releases, I finish into a standing position.
If pushing down, tool slip or fastener failure would send a person straight to the floor . With both hands on the tool, it would be an awkward recovery at best, faceplant at worst.
It is less efficient and requires more use of muscle, but I consider it a safer posture for high torque fasteners.
And ultimately, the average person can squat-lift more than they weigh. Thus when pushing down on the wrench, your force is limited to how much you weigh. Granted, that multiplied by the length of the wrench should remove most any fastener but.....
 

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you won't regret getting an impact wrench - wish I'd got mine 35 years ago.
I got a Milwaukee corded electric impact wrench last year and it was also probably my best car repair investment in a couple of decades. Don't skimp on the tool and it will last forever.

It made short work on removing things like hub nuts and LCA bolts. I've removed some very tricky bolts (PT Cruiser LCA rear bolt) that caused others major headaches when they tried a breaker bar because they spun the welded nut on the frame and had to cut a hole in the floor to fix it..

It also makes removing and rotating tires a breeze. Loosing one lugnut is not usually a problem, loosening 20 for all 4 wheels is tiresome especially on a hot summer day.

You are correct in not using an impact wrench to attach any fastener. I use the silver Permatex stuff on the studs before torquing them down. Yes, it does eventually dry out, but since I'm rotating the tires once or twice a year, the interval is short enough that I've never had a problem with it.

If you break a stud, they are typically about $2 at an auto parts store. You might want to buy a half dozen to keep as insurance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the responses. I've done an oil change and a rear diff change, that's probably the extent of what I've done. I don't count the air filters and mass air flow sensor cleaning, new battery, serpentine belt since they're relatively easy.

I'll consider the Ridgid impact wrench. It has a lifetime warranty on both tool and battery (turns out it's cordless)

If I get my tires from a Costco next time they do free rotations for life. But they usually have a long wait. But I figure I need to get the tires off anyway for brakes.
 

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I also buy my tires at Costco but also find the wait too long so I simply rotate them myself. Youtube videos are great. Watch several on the same subject and you can start to get a feeling of who's doing it right and should be followed compared to who's a "hack" and should be avoided.

Brake pads are a good next step on the learning curve. I recommend getting the "Limited Lifetime Warranty" pads at Autozone or another local store that will exchange pads for free forever so long as your used pads are not worn down to the lining. If the pads have wear sensors on them, you'll hear a grinding sound before the pads wear out and you won't wear them down to the bare metal. That grinding sound is the little metal sensor rubbing on the rotor. I've bought one set of pads for all my cars and never had to pay for replacement pads again for the life of the cars. I've also never had to replace or turn the rotors on any of my cars except one. That was a big heavy Honda Odyssey. The rotors actually wore down on the 5th set of pads. They were about $40 each and took an additional 5 minutes to replace.
 

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Pilot,
If you are turning the wheel nuts the right way and they are really that tight, I would not go any further with a breaker bar. That will only allow you to apply more torque slowly and could easily break the stud. Get an impact wrench. I got a cheap one from Harbor Freight years ago and it works fine for the purpose.

If this one time is your only need for it, you might be able to borrow one for a day. Some auto parts stores loan tools.

One more important thing: use an impact-safe socket. A regular socket could explode in your face.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Pilot,
If you are turning the wheel nuts the right way and they are really that tight, I would not go any further with a breaker bar. That will only allow you to apply more torque slowly and could easily break the stud. Get an impact wrench. I got a cheap one from Harbor Freight years ago and it works fine for the purpose.

If this one time is your only need for it, you might be able to borrow one for a day. Some auto parts stores loan tools.

One more important thing: use an impact-safe socket. A regular socket could explode in your face.
That's the trick then. I would need to find an impact safe socket that's also slim enough to fit into the lug shaft.

I bought one on Amazon a while ago. Have to check it. Think it's made by Ares tool.

Aha, got it.

1/2? DRIVE 19MM NON-MARRING LUG NUT SOCKET

Part # : 70021
Protective plastic sleeve/core insulate wheel surfaces from socket walls
Hollow design allows room for removing longer bolts
1/2? inch drive deep well (overall length is 85mm- roughly 3-3/8)
Impact Rated Chrome Molybdenum for use with Impact Guns and Wrenches
Aluminum/Custom Tires are safe during service

Thanks was thinking the same about the breaker bar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I also buy my tires at Costco but also find the wait too long so I simply rotate them myself. Youtube videos are great. Watch several on the same subject and you can start to get a feeling of who's doing it right and should be followed compared to who's a "hack" and should be avoided.

Brake pads are a good next step on the learning curve. I recommend getting the "Limited Lifetime Warranty" pads at Autozone or another local store that will exchange pads for free forever so long as your used pads are not worn down to the lining. If the pads have wear sensors on them, you'll hear a grinding sound before the pads wear out and you won't wear them down to the bare metal. That grinding sound is the little metal sensor rubbing on the rotor. I've bought one set of pads for all my cars and never had to pay for replacement pads again for the life of the cars. I've also never had to replace or turn the rotors on any of my cars except one. That was a big heavy Honda Odyssey. The rotors actually wore down on the 5th set of pads. They were about $40 each and took an additional 5 minutes to replace.
I am planning on replacing the rotors next time I do them. They were changed out for aftermarket ones when I had the brakes done last time, so I want to get them back to OEM spec. Also planning for OEM pads.
 

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Thanks. Is there a favorite brand you recommend (is that the same as PB Blaster?)
I prefer "Liquid Wrench" over "PB Blaster"

Is there any risk to the hub or wheel using the liquid wrench on it? Do I need to clean it with something after I'm done?
I have never seen "Liquid Wrench" do damage. Sometimes, when the wheel is rusted to the rotor, I have been known to squirt "Liquid Wrench" into the area to melt the rust.

Just wipe off with a cloth after disassembly. The residue may help protect against rust. Also, I often rub a thin layer or antiseze on the inside of the wheel where it contacts the rotor. This helps prevent sticking in the future.
 

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1/2? DRIVE 19MM NON-MARRING LUG NUT SOCKET

Part # : 70021
Protective plastic sleeve/core insulate wheel surfaces from socket walls
Hollow design allows room for removing longer bolts
1/2? inch drive deep well (overall length is 85mm- roughly 3-3/8)
Impact Rated Chrome Molybdenum for use with Impact Guns and Wrenches
Aluminum/Custom Tires are safe during service
Perfect! Now all you need is the gun. If mine wasn't so heavy, I'd send it to you. Probably cost more to ship than a new one costs.
 

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I bought this over 2-1/2 years ago and have used it extensively. One of the best car related purchases I've made ever. I should have bought one 30 years ago.

It's a Milwaukee 1/2" corded electric impact wrench. I don't have a big air compressor so I simply plug it in and use it. It never runs out of juice and I can plug it into my 100' extension cord reel to take it out as far as I want.

http://www.cpomilwaukee.com/milwauk...OGmQbvZ9Qup8jMyzqkMXQ2zXsmon5IvkaAl-pEALw_wcB


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