How to Remove Seized Nuts & Bolts

You may have to try several methods to remove seized nuts and bolts.
You may have to try several methods to remove seized nuts and bolts. (Image: rusty bolt image by Petr Gnuskin from Fotolia.com)

Nuts and bolts are often secured to items that are exposed to outdoor elements or liquids that cause them to rust and seize. In many cases, using torque will result in a broken bolt -- and, possibly, an injured hand. It may be necessary to try several methods in order to get the seized nut and bolt to loosen. In order to prevent seized nuts and bolts in the future, apply an anti-seize lubricant to the threads of the nut and bolt prior to assembly.

Things You'll Need

  • Rust-penetrating oil
  • Blow torch
  • Rubber mallet
  • Wrench
  • Impact socket set

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Spray the seized nut and bolt generously with a rust-penetrating product. Try to get as much as possible onto the threads of the nut and bolt. Tap on the nut and bolt with a rubber mallet. This process will help the rust penetrant seep into the threads to help loosen the nut and bolt. Spray and tap a few times, then try again to loosen the nut and bolt with a wrench.

Loosen the nut and bolt with an impact socket. Locate a socket that fits the nut. Apply firm pressure to try to loosen the bolt.

Heat the nut and bolt with a blow torch. Use an impact socket to try again to carefully remove the nut and bolt after heating. Add heat gradually, trying to loosen the nut often.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wear protective eyewear when using a torch.
  • Do not use the blow torch method around any containers with pressure contents or other items that may be a fire hazard.

References

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