How To Remove Axle Nut – Full Guide

How To Remove Axle Nut – Full Guide

An axle nut is a component that is considered difficult to remove. Many people shy away from coming anywhere near it.

But there are times when you are far away from a professional, and you need to remove it immediately.

For instance, you might want to remove it to gain access to the axle’s components, such as the hub bearings.

How to remove axle nut GÇô Full Guide

Also, it can malfunction due to rust or accidents, and having an idea of how to replace it can save you a lot of time.

So, how will you go about it? Let’s take a look!

Gather The Tools

As you already know, removing an axle nut is not a walk in the park, especially if it has rust. Therefore, you need specialized tools to aid you.

However, the tools you will need depend on the model of your car. For example, if your car is an old model, the chances are high that the axle nut has rusted and will not easily come off.

It will require you to cut it out using a rotary tool.

In general, you will need tools such as a jack, an axle nut socket, a hammer, pliers, an axle stand, a chisel, a breaker bar, gloves, a screwdriver, and even a craftsman gun.

You might also need substances such as a lubricating fluid.

Apply Emergency Brakes

The process of removing an axle nut involves a lot of force that can make the car move, especially if it is parked on sloping ground.

This movement can knock you down or crush your legs. Luckily, you can make the car firm by engaging the emergency brakes.

Raise The Car

The next step involves raising the side of the vehicle containing the axle nut using a jack. It will help you not to strain your muscles.

It will also make the process efficient and safe. But after raising the car, you should also place an axle stand below it to provide additional support.

Remove The Wheel

This step involves removing the wheel that has the axle nut. To do so, use a breaker bar to loosen and remove the lug nuts.

You might also need to wear gloves and use your hands to fasten this process. It won’t take more than five minutes to accomplish it in most cases.

Once the lug nuts are off the wheel, you can easily remove the wheel by just pulling it outwards. Easy right?

You are not anywhere near the axle nut yet!

Remove The Cotter Pin

At the tip of the axle nut, there is a cotter pin that holds it in place. Therefore, you should remove it to reduce the firmness of the axle nut.

But while doing so, you should be careful not to break it since you will have to reuse it later.

Below are the two steps you should follow when doing so:

  1. Use pliers to straighten its tails.
  2. Grab its head with pliers and pull it outward.
  3. Keep repeating steps one and two until the cotter pin comes out safely.

Spray The Axle With A Lubricant

The axle nut and the components that hold it in place may be rusted, making it difficult to remove them. But you can reduce the effort needed to do so is by spraying a lubricating fluid on these parts.

But after doing so, you should allow about five minutes for the lubricant to reach all the parts before proceeding to the next step.

Removing the axle nut

Tap On The Axle Nut

This step entails loosening the axle nut and removing any rust that may prevent it from moving. All you have to do is use a chisel and hammer to tap on it.

Tap it as many times as possible but in an anticlockwise way. But before you do so, insert a screwdriver between the rotors to prevent the axle nut from moving inwards as you tap it.

You should be able to see the axle moving outwards, but if it does not, you can try cutting one of its sides using a rotary.

Remove The Axle Nut

It is the most critical step when removing the axle nut. Depending on how firm it is attached to the hub, you can do it differently.

This article will look at the three primary methods used in this step. So, how can you remove it?

By Using Your Hands And Breaker Bar

Since you have already loosened the axle nut, it becomes easy to remove it. First, put the axle nut socket into the axle nut.

Secondly, fit a breaker bar to the axle nut socket and turn it in an anticlockwise direction to remove the axle nut.

Although this method may sound easy, it is more challenging than expected. To turn the breaker bar, you will need a weight of around 100kg.

Also, if you have not loosened the axle nut properly, you will have a rough time removing it. Besides, if you apply extreme force to the breaker bar, you might end up breaking its components.

Therefore, if you find that the axle nut is still firm, you might want to go back to step 6 and continue loosening it for a while. But you can also decide to use the following other methods.

By Driving The Car In Reverse Gear

This method is usually used to remove axle nuts in newer vehicles since they have not rusted and can easily be detached from their sockets.

It involves removing the center cap in the wheel and then returning the wheel to the axle. After doing so, fit an axle nut socket with a breaker bar.

It is followed by disengaging the emergency brakes and driving the car in reverse. The axle nut turns in an anticlockwise direction when you drive the car this way and soon gets disconnected from the hub.

By Using The Impact Method

It is the most effective method that you can use to remove an axle nut. However, it also comes with its cons.

For example, it usually damages the hub bearings and other components in the hub. So, if you can incur the extra cost of replacing the other parts, you can use this technique.

It entails utilizing a half-inch craftsman impact gun to pull out the axle nut. You insert the craftsman gun into the axle nut socket and turn it on.

The gun will rotate the axle nut in an anticlockwise direction, and within seconds, you will be holding the nut in your hands.


Sooner or later, you might want one to remove an axle nut. Therefore, knowing how to do it yourself can save you time and money.

You can follow many steps to prevent accidents and damage to the other components in the axle.

These steps use different tools and expertise, and hence you should know how to go about each one of them.

Trust me; once you understand how to cover each step, you will never shy away from an axle nut that needs to be removed.

You will be in a better position if you encounter a problem related to the axle.