American made cars typically come with lug nuts; they're what we are used to seeing. There's a plethora of self-help websites and YouTube videos that will teach you how to change a tire using wheel studs and lug nuts. Seems easy enough, right? Then you go out to your German-made vehicle and realize in horror that you have no wheel studs. Your brake rotor rotates freely. All you have left for your efforts are a handful of funny looking bolts and a wheel that is most certainly not attached to your car.
Congratulations. Now you get to learn how to juggle a wheel and thread a bolt with only two hands. Lug bolts are an entirely new ballgame compared to lug nuts, so let's start from the top.
Lug bolts are most common in German-made cars. You'll find them on Volkswagon, BMW, and even some Crystlers. Every manufacturer has a different kind of lug bolt. Sometimes the lug bolts change between years on the same manufacturer. Often, every model from that manufacturer will use a different lug bolt. If you try to use the wrong kind of lug bolt, you will lose a wheel or worse.
If you don't know what kind of lug bolt your car needs, especially if you're changing to new wheels, you will need to look it up. Check the car manufacturer, check the wheel manufacturer, call us here at The Wheel And Tire Store! Check the answer as many times as it takes to ensure that you have the correct lug bolts! Lug bolts should tighten easily, by hand, without any gap between the wheel and the wheel hub.
Once you have the correct bolts and your wheels are secured firmly, drive your car for a few miles before checking the lug bolts again. Sometimes they will need to be tightened even more.
We recommend this fantastic video from Team O'Neil that goes into depth on the differences between lug bolts and lug nuts. Check it out: