Q: Last weekend I had a flat tire. So I pulled over to the side of the road, got out my lug wrench, and attempted to loosen the wheel lug nuts. I could not budge the lug nuts with my L shaped lug wrench so I had to call a tow truck. He used a piece of pipe over the lug wrench handle and got them off easily. What can I do to prepare for the next time I get a flat?
A: Some people use a piece of pipe over the handle of a tool to extend the length. By extending the handle, you can exert more torque to the lug nut using the same force of your body (Torque = Force X Length). However, this can cause a hazardous situation. Sometimes the tool isn’t engineered to handle that much torque and could break. Your best bet is to purchase a heavy duty four-way lug wrench. A four-way lug wrench is designed so you have two handles – one to push down on and one to pull up on. Each end fits different sizes of lug nuts. Standard and metric four-ways are sold, so be sure you buy one that works with your car. Find the end that snugly fits over your car’s lug nuts and paint it a bright color. That way if you need it on the side of a dark road you will quickly see what end goes on the nut.