How Do You Remove Rusted Exhaust Bolts?

If you’ve got a car that is a year or a few years old, then there may be traces of rust now present in between the car’s systems. Rust can cause severe damage to your vehicle. There’s no way to prevent the parts from rusting, but you can hold it off from rusting the other parts. To stop your car from quickly coming to that point, you’ll have to take care of it and do regular services from the start.

Once the parts start to rust, it can be tricky to remove them, especially the exhaust bolts, as they are small pesky things. They are harder to budge than regular exhaust bolts, and exhaust bolts that get rusted become hard to remove.

How will you remove the parts that get rusted? That’s what we’re to help with. Below’s an in-detail article listing how to remove the rusted exhaust bolts.

How Do You Remove Rusted Exhaust Bolts?

If you try to remove rusted exhaust bolts from the exhaust, you might end up damaging your car. Here are several ways you can remove them;

How Do You Remove Rusted Exhaust Bolts

1. Impact Driver

In most cases, an impact driver does the job of helping remove damaged bolts. But before you get started, hammer the top of the bolt. The force would allow the rust to break. After, apply penetrating oil (grease would do as well) all around the bolt and on it. You should allow the lubricant to work for a few hours. Once it’s been an hour or two, use the impact gun or driver to remove the bolt.

Remember that the head of the bolt has just as many sockets as the impact driver.

2. Heating the Rusted Bolts

You may be wondering, “how do you remove rusted bolts with heat?” Have you any idea  of the conceptualization of thermal expansion? The metal expands when heated and compresses when it cools down.

So if you heat rusted exhaust bolts, they will expand. This increases the bolt hole surface area. When the exhaust bolt cools down, it compresses. Using basic tools will allow you to take out the bolt easily. Moreover, you can also easily remove the rust from them.

3. Cooling the Rusted Bolts

If heating the exhaust bolt doesn’t work, you can do the opposite. Although it might take a long time still, you can easily remove the rust by freezing it at maximum cooling temperature.

4. Using a Drill on the Rusted Bolts

A drill-out gun is a simpler and easier way to remove the rusted exhaust bolts. However, this can also be a slightly risky business, especially if the bolt breaks, leaving some part in.

5. Liquid Thread Loosener

Another method to remove stubborn rusty exhaust bolts is applying a liquid thread loosener. Using this reduces torque and breaks the rust bond. Then you can easily pull out the bolt by taking out as much rust as you can.

If you have trouble looking for one around you, you can easily make it at home. Just mix 50% automatic transmission fluid and 50% acetone.

6. A Quick Pull Out or Striking Force on the Rusted Bolt

Most people use a box-end wrench to remove stuck bolts. Place the suitable heart of the wrench on the bolt and tug in short pulses. Pulling on short pulses gives you more force than tugging all the way.

If all fails, you can try this one last simple step. You can use pliers to loosen the bolt, which has proved to work in most cases. But remember to pull and twist it in the correct direction constantly; otherwise, you might end up breaking it. If this fails, there’s always force hitting available, and striking the bolt with enough force may help loosen it up.

Here’s another DIY you can try. Lock two wrenches at the bolt and pull. The second wrench provides extra power, which will help remove the rusted bolt.

While working with either pliers or wrenches, wear gloves. Without gloves, your hand might end up getting tired quickly. Gloves act as a coating between your hand and the instrument.

7. Using Grease or Penetrating Oil

Spray grease or any penetrating oil on the rusted bolt. Wait a little bit so that the lubricant can work around the bolt. Take a wrench and try loosening the bolt and eventually taking it out.

How Do You Remove a Broken Exhaust Bolt?

Suppose you ended up pulling a rusted bolt the opposite turn, and in conclusion, the rusted exhaust bolt might break. In such cases, neither drilling could help nor a wrench. Here’s what you can do to remove a broken exhaust bolt,

how to Remove a Broken Exhaust Bolt

Welding on the Broken Exhaust Bolt

This is the quickest yet a little tricky way to remove the broken exhaust bolt. A stick welder is best suited for it as our main goal is to create a strong bond between a rusted metal and the other material. Take a nut whose diameter matches with the bolt, and place it on top of it. Now start welding the nut until you reach the bolt. Now with the help of a wrench, pull the nut and bolt. This is a quick, cheap fix but doesn’t guarantee 100% effectiveness.

Drilling it Out

This is an easy task for a person who has precision in their work. Exhaust bolts are small, so if you drill one inch to the left, you will end up damaging something else. The steps include taking a punch and making a hole on the broken bolt. Now insert an extractor into the hole and pull the bolt out.


The exhaust bolt broke because of the rust in the first place. So by heating, the surrounding area of the bolt can break the rust. A propane torch is most suitable for this job and only heats enough, so the metal elongates, breaking the rust. Once you have heated the broken bolt, put grease or spray a pen oil for easy removal. Now use the extraction tool to pull it out.


Exhausted bolts become pretty hard to remove when they become rusted. But worry not, we have listed various ways you can use to remove and replace a rusted exhaust bolt.

The best way to remove any bolt is by heating or cooling it down. If this method fails, other methods are available, such as using a drill or simply striking it with force or pulling it. But if that bolt is broken, then it can especially become hard. In such a situation, a drill won’t work. Here a liquid thread loosener can help by greasing the bolt.