Broken Bolts: How to Remove Them Without Breaking a Sweat

Dear Mike,

I recently attempted to fix a problem on my car by replacing a bolt, but unfortunately the bolt broke while I was completing the repair. Now I’m at a loss on what to do next. It seems that the broken bolt has made the fix impossible to complete. Have you encountered a similar situation before? What would you recommend as my next steps to fix the issue?



Dear Genevieve,

First of all, don’t panic. This is a common issue, and with the right tools and techniques, you can fix it without any problem. Now, as you have mentioned that you were trying to replace a bolt, I assume that the broken bolt is a part of the suspension components, as they are the most common parts that require bolt replacement. Here are a few tips and tricks that can help you fix the issue.

The first thing to consider is the material around the broken bolt and access. If the bolt is broken in a way that leaves some of it exposed, then extracting it by welding a new nut on the broken portion of the old bolt would be the easiest and most efficient solution. As I’ve seen in today’s video, welding the center of the nut to the broken bolt is usually strong enough to remove the defective broken portion much like the bolt is originally intended to do. This method allows you to extract the broken bolt and install a new, proper component with ease.

However, this method is not always feasible and would require you to have the right set of welding tools. In some cases, the only way to remove the broken bolt is to drill it out and re-tap the threads before installing the old bolt replacement. This method would require patience and skills as it can be a tricky process. Additionally, you will need a drill & set of drill bits, tap & die set, lubricant, and a lot of patience to do this correctly.

Another way to loosen the bolt is to use a penetrating oil and let it soak for a few hours or overnight. This will allow the oil to penetrate the rust, dirt, and other debris that might be causing the bolt to become stuck in place. Once the penetrating oil has had time to do its job, you can use heat to loosen the bolt. A propane torch or heat gun would work well in this case. Just be sure to avoid using too much heat to prevent any other parts from getting damaged.

Lastly, you can use bolt extractors, also known as easy outs, to break down the bolt and remove it. These tools are designed to remove broken fasteners that are seized in place. However, you will need to follow the instructions properly as the easy outs may break easily if too much torque is applied.

In conclusion, removing a broken bolt can be a frustrating issue, but with the right tools and techniques, you can solve it without too much hassle. While you may be tempted to try to remove the bolt yourself, it is always a good idea to seek professional help. At Urban Automotive, we specialize in fixing such issues and ensuring that your car is safe to drive.

I hope this advice helps you remove the broken bolt and get your car back on the road. Drive safe and stay happy!
Best regards,
Mike Urban.