When buying a car bolt, it's important to realize that there are many bolts to choose from and your first step to getting the right one is to know which type of bolt you need. Is it a tapered bolt? Mag and screw-in bolt? Bolts for certain parts or components on your motor, engine, HVAC system, carburetor, or anything else that's under your hood? It could be any bolt. Make sure you know before buying anything.
Your Guide to Bolt Shopping
- Tapered Bolt: Tapered bolts or lug nuts are the most common bolt type. They're also known as acorn or bulge lug nuts because their rims have bulges on them. This bolt type is available in multiple thread patterns and diameters in order to ensure a secure fit that won't easily pop off. This specific type of wheel bolt is used by various models of trucks and cars, particularly those with hub-centric rims that are centered on its axle.
- Mag and Screw-In Bolt: Meanwhile, the mag and screw-in bolt or lug nut is notable for its appearance, with them present in German-made cars more often than not. This lug nut is a screw-in style kind of bolt that tightens into the rim and fits securely unto the hub's female connection. It's then capped using a conical or tapered head that resembles other bolting styles. These nuts and bolts differ from other types because they penetrate the rim without pressing against it.
- Ball Seat Bolt: This type of lug nut and bolt variant secure the wheel of your vehicle with its rounded shape near the rim. Many imported cars follow the ball seat standard of bolts and nuts. There are also open-ended and closed-ended variants of these bolts for rims with or without hubcaps. There are a wide range of colors available for this bolt among aftermarket dealers in brickandmortar shops as well as ecommerce sites.
- Bolt Patterns and Fitment Data: One way to search for the right bolt for your wheel nut needs is to be aware of bolt patterns and fitment data relevant to your kind of vehicle as well as its make, model, and year. You should know the bolt circle, PCD, lug pattern, or bolt pattern of your bolt, which refers to the diameter of the imaginary circle formed by the centers of the lugs of your car's wheels.
- Bolt Thread Size and Pitch: Bolt patterns might contain studs or holes number 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8. As for thread size and pitch, you should have a gauge for it (available in many hardware stores). You can also take a bolt and ask the store to screw it unto bolts they have available to discover its specific size. This will make it easier for you to know which size of bolt you need when shopping offline or online.
Bolts are typically used for fitting custom rims and for installing your wheels into your car, but it has various other applications as well. Just remember that tapered bolts are for hub-centric rims, mag bolts typically have conical heads and long sleeves, and ball seat bolts are normally used in "foreign" (non-American) cars. Know the type, size, and function of the bolt to make it easier to search for it on the Internet or at aftermarket shops.