Help Needed ASAP: Frozen Lugs

Mass. Wine Guy

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 21, 2001
Location
Ipswich, Massachusetts
TDI
5-speed, 2015 Golf S 6-speed manual; 2015 Golf Sportwagen SEL 6-speed manual
My son damaged a tire going over a curb in his 2003 Jetta TDI wagon. The lug nuts are absolutely stuck. The tire shop where the car is broke every wrench trying to remove them. Also tried a torch to heat them. Apparently, the wheels were installed last by the same shop and they said whoever did it failed to use anti seize or whatever lube was needed.

Does anyone have an idea to try? This is a crazy situation.
 

Dannyboy

Veteran Member
Joined
May 25, 2013
Location
Mb
TDI
2014
Lug bolts go on dry at 88 ftlbs, if you put anti seize on there you'll have to increase the torque spec.

Chances are last shop monkey sent them home full bore. Lots of penetrating oil left over time, some heat and 3/4 impact. Last resort is drill
 

turbobrick240

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Nov 18, 2014
Location
maine
TDI
2011 vw golf tdi(gone to greener pastures), 2001 ford f250 powerstroke
A long soak with PB Blaster or similar and a 2' breaker bar ought to do the trick.
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis, MO
TDI
There are just too many to list....
People over torque VAG wheel bolts all the time. They don't seem to realize that they require less than studs/nuts do, so if they blast the nuts on a Honda or Ford to much, that same effort will be WAY too much on a Volkswagen. You guys in the salt belt of course have that added mess to deal with.

I only use WD40, on cleaned (taken to a wire wheel on a bench) bolts and use the proper torque stick. Hasn't let me down yet.

Worth noting, the older cars (like the 2003 the subject of this thread) has a 120Nm spec, the newer cars (with the larger bolt pattern) have a 140Nm spec. Same bolts.

As far as getting them off, a good (Snap-On) breaker bar and 6pt socket always works for me.
 
Last edited:

03Golfer

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2020
Location
Canada
TDI
03 Golf, 92 Toyota swap (ongoing)
Lug bolts go on dry at 88 ftlbs, if you put anti seize on there you'll have to increase the torque spec.

Chances are last shop monkey sent them home full bore. Lots of penetrating oil left over time, some heat and 3/4 impact. Last resort is drill
You'll have to decrease the torque spec, just to clarify. I usually go down about 25% when I lube threads. But even at 90 ft lbs lubed, I can't see them being THIS tight.

I'd try a 3/4" drive ratchet.
 

Tgray4355

New member
Joined
Mar 12, 2024
Location
pittsburgh pa
TDI
2013 Jetta Sportwagon
My son damaged a tire going over a curb in his 2003 Jetta TDI wagon. The lug nuts are absolutely stuck. The tire shop where the car is broke every wrench trying to remove them. Also tried a torch to heat them. Apparently, the wheels were installed last by the same shop and they said whoever did it failed to use anti seize or whatever lube was needed.

Does anyone have an idea to try? This is a crazy situation.
exact same thing happened to us, same car. Only one was stuck, nearly got hurt Trying to get it off. Towed to tire shop they were able to drill it out somehow. Not fun.
 

03Golfer

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2020
Location
Canada
TDI
03 Golf, 92 Toyota swap (ongoing)
Anything 3/4" drive should do it. I have a snap on ratchet with a 3 foot bar. Also have a 1.5 foot long Wright breaker bar that will not bend with a cheater pipe on it
 

turbobrick240

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Nov 18, 2014
Location
maine
TDI
2011 vw golf tdi(gone to greener pastures), 2001 ford f250 powerstroke
They probably just didn't want to take the chance of breaking a bolt and having to deal with that headache. I have a number of lug nuts on my Kubota that have seized themselves into lug bolts. Likely from harvesting peat 3 feet deep out of my bog.
 

03Golfer

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2020
Location
Canada
TDI
03 Golf, 92 Toyota swap (ongoing)
As stated so far in this thread, you can try drilling them out (actually not a bad job with sharp bits). Once the tension is released by removing the bolt head, they'll thread right out assuming the threads aren't rusted in place.

Alternately, you can use some big tools to get it out. I guarantee I can snap the head off a 14mm bolt with a 3/4" breaker bar or ratchet. Harbor freight should sell what you need.
 

turbobrick240

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Nov 18, 2014
Location
maine
TDI
2011 vw golf tdi(gone to greener pastures), 2001 ford f250 powerstroke
Ok. How would you remove them if you had to?
I'd spray them liberally with PB blaster, wait a couple hours, spray again, then put my 2', 1/2" drive breaker bar and appropriate socket on the bolts and have at it. Haven't met one that won't yield yet. If they're real stubborn I'll give the bar a good stomp or slide a length of pipe on the bar for more leverage. It's easy to break stuff with lots of leverage though.
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis, MO
TDI
There are just too many to list....
This is a tire shop. You’d think that they’re used to this.

You'd think they'd know how to properly install lug bolts on cars built by one of the largest manufacturers on the planet, too.... but evidently not.

If I had a dime for every car that came in here with something tooefed from a tire store I'd by rubbin' elbows with Elon Musk by now. They are the WORST offenders.
 

vwgtiglx

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 3, 2013
Location
Hickory Hills, IL
TDI
2014 2.0 TD Chevy Cruze
Get and use a spray-on aerosol Freeze spray on the lug nuts. It will shrink them and they will come off easily with an extended pry bar (as long as possible) This worked very successfully for me when I had the same problem.
 

turbobrick240

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Nov 18, 2014
Location
maine
TDI
2011 vw golf tdi(gone to greener pastures), 2001 ford f250 powerstroke
Yeah, I hear Kroil works well. Kind of pricey and hard to find locally though. Supposedly a 50/50 blend of acetone and atf works best. I just grab whatever can is handy usually.

 
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