Can You Drive With 4 Out of 5 Lug Nuts

Lug nuts are parts of a car’s wheel and tire that shouldn’t be ignored for no reason. Being the only part of the car that touches the ground, the wheel should be firmly tightened to the car using all the necessary lug nuts.

However, what happens when one lug nut falls or washes off and can no longer tighten properly? Can you drive the car with the remaining lug nuts?

Yes, you can drive with 4 out of 5 lug nuts however, it is dangerous and not advisable to drive around with a missing lug nut because the pressure the other lug nuts encounter can result in unexpected situations which might endanger the car, your life, and others within.

Driving with 4 nuts lugs instead of 5 can seem so relaxing, owing to the fact that the danger factor isn’t high. This sometimes can make you feel less bothered about the fact that you need to do the necessary thing by getting the missing lug nut replaced.

What is a Lug Nut?

Lug nuts are huge nuts that connect the wheel to the car. It acts as a nut fastener, as the name implies. It fastens the nuts to the car axle.

Lugnuts can be conical, flat, ball, tuner, spline drive, and others, which are in varieties of sizes (diameters) and can be used in alignment with the wheel size.

They keep a wheel balanced to the car; it also ensures the car can sustain the required weight that is needed to keep them moving.

How Many Lug Nuts Are In A Wheel?

Car wheels are the same in terms of the number of lug nuts. Every standard car has 5-lug nuts which help to keep the wheel screwed to the car. In bigger trucks, there might be other numbers, but a standard number is 5.

Can You Drive With 4 Out of 5 Lug Nuts?

Theoretically, driving with 4 lug nuts out of 5 isn’t a crime, therefore, you can drive with 4 out of 5 lug nuts but it is not advisable to do so.

Driving with a missing Lug nut can be regarded as a careless act, a decision of the driver to move, believing everything is fine since only 1 of 5 is missing. This is common for a lot of drivers, I have even been a culprit in that.

A car wheel function is to ensure a car attains balance. Losing 1 of 5 doesn’t sound balanced anymore.

Overworking a car with 4 lug nuts can lead to a break in the car’s flow. It mounts pressure on the other lug nuts, ensuring each becomes weaker until you get into a state of emergency.

Dangers of Driving With 4 Out Of 5 Lug Nuts

The dangers of driving with 4 out of 5 lug nuts are:

1. Possibilities of Losing Other Lug Nuts

Losing one lug nut can seem safe and less threatening to move around, but losing another and then another can lead to unexpected highway accidents.

Drivers who are not educated about what to do and what not to do when a lug nut is lost are likely to keep overloading the car with the same ratio it moved when it had a 5-lug nut.

When we mount more pressure on a car wheel with a 4-lug nut, it loses its ability to keep the wheel attached to the car axle. When it becomes too weakened to hold, it begins to lose until another of the nuts lug is lost.

2. Unexpected Highway Troubles

Running at a constant speed might be fine for a while, but in bumpy areas where the road is too bad to balance the car with the same load proportion meant for 5 lug nuts, the nuts might loosen causing the wheel to be vulnerable.

If after this, you move at high-speed driving through the highway, you might lose your remaining nuts, which are too dangerous to you and every other driver on the highway.

Don’t come and start complaining when your car starts shaking when you hit 60 mph or higher. Do the needful and save yourself the stress.

3. Less Comfort

If you are a very vigilant and careful type of driver, it is normal to feel high in spirit to lose one of your Lugnuts.

Maybe you are far away from where you can get a new one. You drive slowly or moderately just because you are trying to be extra careful. This can make you very uncomfortable, and subjugated by emotional stress.

In situations like this, taking a break and seeing the bright side of it is the only way to ensure you get to where you will get a repair without panicking.

Advantages of Driving With 5 Lug Nuts

Nothing sounds more pleasing than knowing you are driving a reliable car. Aside from the fact that a missing lug nut may have little or no effect on your driving, it is still refreshing when you have it complete.

The following are the advantages of driving a car with a complete Lug Nut:

  • Balance: A wheel is the leg of the car. It aids movement, and it ensures your car can move from one spot to another. A complete lug nut will ensure your wheel is balanced. A balanced wheel compared with another with missing nuts is preferable and much safer.
  • Peace: As reiterated earlier, the consciousness that your car is healthy enough to move is another way of living a longer life. Little or no experienced drivers may likely see a missing lug nut as a bigger threat. They get too stressed out before having a fix.

With a complete lug nut, a driver can drive peacefully without having to get choked by feelings of “not being safe”.


Drivers can drive freely even with a 4 lug nut, provided they are driving with the consciousness of moving at a certain speed, a certain weight, and more knowledge of the dos and don’ts of having a 4 lug nut. It is safe, but to enjoy the best of experience, you shouldn’t hesitate to get a fix as soon as possible.