My used 2003 Honda Civic has a broken lug stud on one wheel, which I've still managed to get a nut onto, and a stripped stud on another wheel, which I can't, so I'm driving with 3 out of 4 on one wheel. I could:

  1. Replace the studs
    • $2 each, but requires a press? Which I don't have. Don't know how much a mechanic would charge to do it.
  2. Replace the hubs
    • $70 each
  3. Chase the threads on the stripped stud
    • I tried to do this with a file and it didn't work.
    • There's this tool that I could put below the stripped threads and work back out, but it costs $30 for something I'll never use again, and I'm not sure whether it affects safety to have formerly-stripped threads.

What's the best thing to do? How important is it to have all the lug nuts on?

1 Answer 1


Going with 3 out of 4 nuts is not a huge deal, especially if the 3 nuts you have are on solid.

However I would not suggest doing this long term, 4 out of 4 going to be better, and what happens if you lose another stud at an inconvenient time.

Since this is a 2003, I would guess it is time to change the hubs out anyway if you haven't already. I would suggest going ahead and going that route. If the hubs are not nearing replacement then I would suggest letting a mechanic put the new studs in, I would expect the total cost in the $20-$50 range (really rough estimate, check with your mechanic).

  • Well I've been driving it for months, but I'd prefer to get all 4 on. Is there a way of knowing if the previous owners changed the hubs?
    – endolith
    Jun 14, 2011 at 14:29
  • 1
    Not that easy to tell, if the rotor looks worn enough for you to think about replacing them on the next brake job, then they probably have not been changed ever or it has been a while (depending on the mileage on the vehicle).
    – jzd
    Jun 14, 2011 at 14:42
  • Mechanic charged $35 to replace one stud, plus $4 for the stud and $6 for a new lug nut, even though I had brand new lug nuts sitting in the ash tray waiting to be put on. :(
    – endolith
    Jun 25, 2011 at 18:13
  • 1
    Do the hubs really need replacing at a certain mileage? Or should I just change them when the bearings fail?
    – endolith
    Jun 25, 2011 at 18:20

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