Best Lug Nuts: Keep Your Car’s Wheels Secure
If your car’s lug nuts are looking worse for wear, it’s time to replace them
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PUBLISHED ON October 21, 2019
It can be easy to lose track of the bits and pieces in your vehicle, such as the lug nuts. These tiny wheel parts can be overlooked by drivers who choose to focus on more vital parts—but they shouldn’t be. They have the important role of keeping your tires connected to the hub. We’ve created this guide to help you pick the best lug nuts for your wheels.
- Best OverallMcGard 24538 Chrome Cone Seat Wheel LocksSummarySummaryThese locking lug nuts replace OEM wheel nuts on certain Dodge Ramchargers, Ford Broncos, and Jeep Cherokees, CJs, Libertys, and Wranglers. The set of five features three layers of nickel and one of microporous chrome for a high-quality finish.ProsProsThe eight key hex sizes fit a vehicle’s original lug wrench, making changing tires easy. The steel collar holds the key in place during installation and removal. Every lug nut is made using hardened, restricted chemistry steel for extra security and safety.ConsConsThe key tends to get damaged rather fast. The set is also susceptible to breakage, especially if you install the nuts using electrical tools.
- Best ValueGorilla Automotive 61631 Acorn Gorilla Guard LockSummarySummaryThe Gorilla lug nuts come with a user-friendly key that makes installing and removing them easy. A special anti-theft mechanism rotates their outer sleeves when objects are forcibly used on them.ProsProsThe locking lug nuts are made of hardened steel instead of cast steel for extra durability. The steel is topped with a chrome finish to help prevent corrosion and for lasting beauty. The conical seat design fits most wheels.ConsConsThe wheel locks may break during installation. If they break, they are hard to remove. They also tend to rust rather quickly.
- Honorable MentionDPAccessories D3116 Acorn Lug NutsSummarySummaryThis is a set of 20 lug nuts that fit most car wheels, as they are made with precision machined threads for a perfect fit. They make great replacements for OEM lug nuts since they offer dependable strength and durability.ProsProsThe lug nuts feature triple chrome plating and layers of chrome and copper-nickel for corrosion resistance, strength, and beauty. The M12x1.50 thread and conical 60-degree seat make them compatible with most wheel studs. They are made from cold-forged, heat-treated steel for extra durability.ConsConsThey don't fit many big-name car manufacturers’ wheels, such as Honda, Lexus, and Toyota aluminum wheels. In addition, the chrome plating may not help prevent rust.
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- Know the size of your wheel bolts. The diameter and thread pitch of the lug nuts are big factors in how they fit. Most lug nuts have a 1.5 thread pitch and a diameter of about 12mm.
- Check if the lug nuts are compatible with OEM wheels. Some car manufacturers make vehicle-specific lug nuts. The last thing you want is to buy lug nuts and later find out they aren’t compatible with your car's wheels.
- Do not use machines to install the lug nuts. Install each one by hand. However, you can use a machine after you are sure the lug nut is securely in place to fasten it.
Q: Are lug nuts covered by a warranty?
A: Reputable companies give a warranty for their products. If you receive defective lug nuts, you can return them. However, it is advisable to seek clarification with the company on its warranty policy.
Q: Can I replace OEM lug nuts with aftermarket lug nuts?
A: In the past, it was a cardinal rule to stick to OEM lug nuts if the original ones got damaged. But these days, most lug nut manufacturers make precision machined aftermarket lug nuts that fit the wheels of most vehicles.
Q: What type of lug nuts fit my truck?
A: Trucks typically require longer lug nuts. You have to confirm the length of your wheel studs before purchasing any lug nuts for your truck. However, some lug nuts fit small vehicles as well as trucks.
If durability is what you’re after, we recommend the McGard 24538 Chrome Cone Seat Wheel Locks. If you want value and reliability, get the Gorilla Automotive 61631 Acorn Gorilla Guard Locks.