Removing Exhaust Studs from Subaru: An Easy, Step-by-Step Guide for Car Enthusiasts and Mechanics

If you are a Subaru owner or mechanic, you may have experienced difficulties removing exhaust studs from your engine. These small threaded rods are placed between the engine and the exhaust system, and they can sometimes rust or become damaged, making them difficult to remove. However, with the right tools and knowledge, you can successfully remove these exhaust studs and get your Subaru engine back in excellent condition.

Tools and Equipment Needed

Before beginning to remove the exhaust studs, it’s important to have all the necessary tools and equipment ready. Here is everything you will need:

  • A socket wrench and appropriate sockets
  • A breaker bar
  • A torque wrench
  • PB Blaster (or similar penetrating oil)
  • A propane torch.
  • Pliers (preferably lock-grip)
  • Creep feed lubricant
  • Heat protective gloves

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Spray with Penetrating Oil: Begin by spraying the exhaust stud and the surrounding area with PB Blaster (or a similar penetrating oil). Make sure you cover the entire area to loosen the stud and prevent it from sticking.

  2. Heat the Stud: Next, use a propane torch to apply heat around the area of the exhaust stud. It will expand due to heat and help to break the rust that is holding the stud in place. You may want to use heat protective gloves to handle the heated exhaust.

  3. Use a Socket Wrench: Now, use a socket wrench to loosen the exhaust stud by turning counterclockwise. If you find that the stud is still not loosening, use a breaker bar with the socket to apply more force.

  4. Add Creep Lubricant: If the stud is still not coming loose, apply a few drops of creep lubricant around the edges of the nut. Avoid using WD-40 as it is not a creep lubricant. It needs some time to penetrate and work its magic.

  5. Lock-Grip Pliers: If there is not enough thread to turn with the socket wrench, grip the exposed part of the exhaust stud with lock-grip pliers. Apply most possible pressure and turn it slowly.

  6. Repeat Process: At times, problem arises when you have a few seized studs mixed with those coming out like a breeze. Repeat these steps with different exhaust studs until you have successfully removed them all.

  7. Replace the Studs: Once the studs are removed, inspect them for any damages. If they are damaged, replace them with new ones. Make sure that you also replace the nuts if they are worn or damaged.

  8. Torque Wisely: Finally, tighten the new exhaust studs using a torque wrench. This helps to ensure that they are tightened to the manufacturer’s specifications for safety purposes.

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Safety Precautions

It’s essential that you take appropriate safety precautions when removing exhaust studs from a Subaru engine. Here are some of the safety tips you should keep in mind:

  • Always wear heat protective gloves to avoid burns when handling heated components.

  • Ensure you have enough space to carry out the work. The engine may become hot, and you should avoid working in tight corners.

  • Do not rush the process; exhaust studs need to be removed with care, and the process may require some time.

  • Avoid working under your car if it’s not secured on stands. This is to prevent the car from falling and causing serious injuries.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Here are some common mistakes you should avoid when removing the exhaust studs:

  • Do not use excessive force to remove the exhaust studs; they may break and cause major problems.

  • Refrain from using the wrong tools or sockets, it is important to use the appropriate wrench and socket sizes for the job.

  • Do not skip any of these steps, be very thorough in every step taken to remove the exhaust studs.

  • Do not use thread sealers like Loctite or Teflon, as they can cause major problems that require additional repairs.


  1. What are exhaust studs?
    Exhaust studs connect the engine and exhaust system of your car.

  2. Why are exhaust studs difficult to remove?
    Exhaust studs typically rust, and if they are not removed regularly, can get stuck. If not handled with care and appropriate tools, they may break, which can be a bigger problem.

  3. Can I remove the exhaust studs without a propane torch?
    It is possible to remove exhaust studs without a propane torch, but using a torch to apply heat can significantly speed up the process of removal.

  4. What happens if I break the exhaust stud during removal?
    If you accidentally break the exhaust stud or cause additional damages, it is recommended that you contact a professional mechanic for repairs.

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Removing exhaust studs from a Subaru engine requires patience, the right tools, and appropriate technique. With this guide, you can safely and effectively remove exhaust studs from your engine and get your Subaru back up and running smoothly again. Remember to take precautions and to follow each step precisely, and you will be able to remove any stubborn exhaust stud from your Subaru’s engine.

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Alton Brobst

As a longtime Subaru enthusiast, Alton brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our blog. From his early days of tinkering with engines to his current role as a certified Subaru technician, Alton has seen it all when it comes to Subarus. When he's not working on cars, he enjoys hiking and exploring the great outdoors.

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