Blog Car Care Advice How to Carry Out Wheel Studs Replacement: A 6-Step Guide
Car Care Advice

How to Carry Out Wheel Studs Replacement: A 6-Step Guide

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Wheel studs are threaded metal bolts that secure the wheel to the vehicle’s hub, ensuring safe and stable driving.

If your wheel studs break, they can result in wheel shaking or even complete wheel detachment. 

That’s why, for your safety, it’s vital to replace any damaged or broken wheel studs ASAP. 

So, how do you replace a broken wheel stud?
And what is it going to cost you?

We’ll tell you how to perform wheel stud replacement safely without harming yourself and your vehicle. We’ll also highlight common symptoms of wheel stud failure you should look out for. 

This Article Contains: 

How to Perform Wheel Studs Replacement Step-By-Step 

When replacing a broken stud, it’s advisable to use the correct tools and have some understanding of your car’s wheels and brake system.

But, if you’re unsure about car parts, it’s safer to let a professional mechanic handle this task. 

Here are the steps a mechanic will take to install a new wheel stud: 

Step 1: Lift the Vehicle and Remove the Wheel

Before starting the replacement, the mechanic will engage the parking brake and loosen the old lug nut of the wheel on which the stud needs replacing. This makes it easier to unscrew them once the wheel’s lifted. 

Next, they’ll use a jack to lift your vehicle so that they can start working. 

They’ll use an impact wrench to remove the loosened lug nuts until the wheel comes off.

Note: The mechanic may remove the spindle nut (axle nut) if there’s a problem with your wheel bearing assembly. But removing the spindle nut isn’t necessary for a wheel stud replacement.

Step 2: Remove the Brake Components (If Necessary) 

Depending on your vehicle’s brake system, accessing the wheel stud (lug stud) may require the removal of specific brake components. 

For vehicles with disc brakes, the mechanic will remove the brake caliper and rotor.

They’ll start by loosening and removing the caliper’s mounting bolt, lifting it from the rotor (without removing the brake pads), and setting it aside. Next, they’ll remove the caliper bracket, held in place by two bolts, so the brake rotor comes off easily. 

If your vehicle has drum brakes, they’ll remove the wheel, followed by the drum cover, to access the wheel studs and brake assembly.

Step 3: Remove the Old Stud

Next, they’ll use a slide hammer (or a regular hammer) to remove the broken stud from the wheel hub. 

Some cars don’t have sufficient space behind the wheel hub to remove the loosened lug stud. So, the mechanic will rotate the wheel to find a spot that allows the old stud to come out.

If that doesn’t work, they’ll modify your brake dust shield (a plate that prevents dust build-up). This involves drilling out the rivets holding the dust shield to the hub assembly to create space around the entire hub for stud removal. 

Step 4: Insert the New Stud

Once they’ve removed the faulty stud, the mechanic will position a new one in its place and ensure the replacement stud is properly aligned. 

They’ll use a stud installer tool or washer that slides over the stud threads to secure the new stud. Tightening a new lug nut against the washer helps secure the replacement stud until it’s fully seated.

Step 5: Reassemble the Brake Components

Next, they’ll start to reassemble all the brake components.

The mechanic will first secure the brake rotor. Then, they’ll reinstall the caliper bracket and the brake caliper (along with the brake pads) by securing the mounting bolt. 

In drum brakes, they’ll position the brake drum over the wheel studs, ensuring it sits firmly against the hub. Then, they’ll reassemble the brake assembly inside the drum, securing the brake drum in place.

Step 6: Reattach the Wheel and Lower the Vehicle

Finally, they’ll put the wheel back on the hub, securing it with the new lug nut. Instead of using a torque wrench, they’ll hand-tighten it initially to ensure proper threading. 

Then, they’ll lower the vehicle from the jack stands, use a torque wrench to tighten the lug nut to the manufacturer’s recommended torque, and disengage the parking brake. 

Worried about how much this repair will set you back?
Let’s find out. 

How Much Does Wheel Studs Replacement Cost?

Replacing a front or rear stud can cost around $80 to $102. A new wheel stud may cost $10 to $12, while labor charges can range from $70 to $90.

However, wheel stud replacement costs can vary based on whether you buy an OEM stud or extended studs, the vehicle’s make and model, the auto parts store you visit, and labor costs

A mechanic usually takes 30 minutes to one hour to fully replace a front or rear stud. 

Note: Extended studs are longer than OEM studs and used alongside aftermarket wheels and spacers. A longer stud is commonly used in racing cars for better performance and safety.

Have more doubts?
Check out these FAQs.

4 FAQs about Wheel Studs

Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions about wheel studs: 

1. Is it Safe to Drive with Damaged Wheel Studs?

No, driving with faulty wheel studs is unsafe and not recommended

A tightened stud and axle nut evenly distribute pressure on the front and rear wheel, but it can prematurely wear off the wheel bearing if it fails. Damaged studs can cause vibrations and loss of vehicle control. They can also strain the remaining lug nuts, causing them to fail. 

Since lug nuts and studs are crucial for power transfer during acceleration and holding the wheel during braking, their failure could result in the wheel falling off. 

2. What Causes Wheel Studs to Break or Get Damaged?

Wheel studs can break due to several factors, including:

3. What Are the Common Symptoms of Wheel Stud Failure?

If you suspect your wheel studs have gone bad, here are some common symptoms to look for:

4. How Often Should You Replace Your Wheel Studs?

The wheel studs on your car are made of metal and designed to last for your vehicle’s lifetime, but they can wear out with regular use.

Wheel studs might require replacement if the threads get stripped during tire changes. Without proper threading, a wheel stud can cause the lug nut to loosen, resulting in a loose tire.

You should inspect your wheel stud regularly during routine maintenance checks and replace it with a new one if needed. 

Drive Safe and Smooth with AutoNation Mobile Service 

Wheel studs are crucial components of a vehicle’s wheel hub assembly, and if they break, they can compromise your road safety. So, if your tire starts to feel loose or shaky, get your wheel studs checked and replace them with an aftermarket or OEM stud. 

But since you shouldn’t drive to an auto parts store with faulty wheel studs, why not let AutoNation Mobile Service mechanics come to you? 
We’re a mobile auto repair service offering convenient online booking, upfront pricing, and a 12-month|12,000-mile repair warranty. 

Whether you drive a car by Honda Motor Company or Toyota Motor Corporation, AutoNation Mobile Service is the one-stop solution to all your automotive repair needs. 

Fill out this form with your personal information, and our mechanics will replace the wheel stud right in your driveway!