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Wheel studs are the bolts connected to the wheel of a vehicle that help hold the tire on. Different types of cars have different wheels, which can contain four to eight bolts each. Wheel studs are placed through holes in the rim of the tire, and lug nuts are fastened on to hold the wheel in place. Occasionally, due to an accident or wear and tear, one or more wheel studs need to be replaced. A stripped or damaged wheel stud is a safety hazard; it should be replaced as soon as possible. Knowing how wheel studs work and how to remove them is an important part of keeping a vehicle running smoothly. It is an easy repair that can save the user a lot of money, since repair shops often charge an arm and a leg to remove a wheel stud. To perform the repair yourself, you will need some basic repair tools and safety gear; such tools are easy to purchase or borrow from a friend. This guide will help you identify the proper tools needed to complete the repairs. It also walks you through the steps to remove a wheel stud without injury or damage to your vehicle.
Types of Wheel Studs
There are two basic types of wheel studs: press-in and screw-in. Screw-in wheel studs are the most common, and screw into the threaded bolt hole in the wheel hub. Screw-in studs are typically threaded with a higher tolerance fit; some require thread-locking fluid, a glue-like chemical that prevents the stud from unthreading from its seating when a lug nut is removed. Press-in studs are installed from the backside of the wheel hub. They have a larger diameter section that, once pushed
in, prevents rotation. To install a press-in stud, the entire wheel must be removed from the vehicle. Therefore, installation and removal are typically more time consuming. Also, press-in studs require a hydraulic press to seat the stud properly, so few consumers can perform the installation without help from a repair shop.
To install aftermarket wheels, aftermarket wheel studs are available for many models. Aftermarket studs are usually of the screw-in type since such wheels often have larger diameter holds. You can also get longer wheel studs to accommodate wheel spacers, which move the wheel further out to avoid rubbing.
When shopping, be aware of the difference between wheel studs and wheel bolts. Wheel bolts do not provide the same fastening strength; wheel studs provide greater clamping force, and are more resistance to loosening. Also, wheel bolts must be inserted from the front instead of the back. In other words, the bolt must be threaded through, then held in place while (blindly) trying to line up the tire and the wheel. It makes for a much more challenging installation, and most manufacturers use studs instead of bolts for this reason.
Wheel Stud Sizing
Wheel sizes vary between vehicles, so it is important to know the size of your wheel before purchasing wheel studs. There are many things that go into wheel sizing, including information from the manufacturer that you must be aware of.
The bolt circle is the number of studs and the circular pattern they form around the wheel. The bolt circle diameter, or BCD, is important to know when purchasing new wheel studs. The table below lists a variety of car manufacturers and the bolt circle and pattern of each.