If you have a seized bolt, chances are it has become stuck due to salt and general weather corrosion, not helped by the constant heating up/cooling down cycles the metal goes through in use.

Regardless of the type of bolt that’s seized, you need a decent purchase on the offending item from the start. A wrongly sized or worn-out spanner will just round off the bolt head, making the job even more difficult.


The tighter the fit of the chosen tool over the seized item, the easier it is – any slippage, find another spanner that fits better. Sockets or ring spanners are easier to use because they offer drive on more sides of the bolt. Sometimes a squirt of oil or a sharp tap can work the corrosion looser.

When you try and turn the fastener, ensure you’re turning it in the right direction: remember, righty-tighty, loosey-lefty.

If the bolt isn’t playing ball, try an impact driver. With the right adapters, you can use them on screws, nuts and bolts. As a last resort heat can be applied to the seized item, as this will make the metal expand, increasing the thread gap between the bolt and nut and then freeing them from the corrosion (fingers crossed).

Tony Carter

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