Can You Use OEM Lugnuts on Aftermarket Wheels? Everything Subaru WRX Owners Need To Know

As a Subaru WRX owner, you know that upgrades are essential to optimize your car’s performance. Upgrading your wheels and lugnuts is one of the most popular and effective ways to improve both the aesthetics and performance of your Subaru WRX. However, when it comes to selecting the right lugnuts for aftermarket wheels, things can get tricky. In this article, we’ll answer the burning question of whether or not OEM lugnuts work on aftermarket wheels and provide you with a comprehensive guide on everything you need to know to make an informed decision.

Lugnuts and Aftermarket Wheels

Lugnuts are an essential component of your car’s wheels. They attach the wheel to your vehicle’s hub, holding everything in place while you drive. When it comes to aftermarket wheels, you have a choice of two types of lugnuts: conical and spherical.

Conical lugnuts feature a tapered end that fits snugly into your wheels’ lug holes. They create a strong, secure attachment and are suitable for most aftermarket wheels. Conversely, spherical lugnuts have a rounded end that provides a wide contact area with the wheel’s lug holes. They are ideal for aftermarket wheels that have larger, wider lug holes.

OEM Lugnuts Compatibility with Aftermarket Wheels

OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer. These lugnuts are designed by the vehicle’s manufacturer to work with a specific make and model. So, if your Subaru WRX came with a set of OEM lugnuts, they are engineered to work perfectly with your car’s wheels.

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However, when you choose to upgrade to aftermarket wheels, things become more complicated. Aftermarket wheels are not all created equal – different manufacturers use different styles of lug holes that require specific types of lugnuts. As a result, OEM lugnuts may or may not work with aftermarket wheels, depending on the specifications of the new wheels. It’s essential to check whether your OEM lugnuts will be compatible with your aftermarket wheels before installation.

Issues with Using OEM Lugnuts on Aftermarket Wheels

Using OEM lugnuts on aftermarket wheels can lead to a range of issues. For starters, OEM lugnuts may not fit correctly in your new wheels’ lug holes. Mismatched lugnuts can cause vibration while driving, which could lead to uneven tire wear and reduced performance. Additionally, different designs of lugnuts could cause clearance issues that can damage the wheels or create safety hazards.

Another critical issue is the thread engagement. Thread engagement refers to how many threads the lugnut is engaged with on the wheel stud. With aftermarket wheels, there is a higher chance of the wheel stud not being long enough for the lugnut to achieve enough thread engagement, which can result in the lugnut becoming loose while driving.

Ensuring Safe and Effective Installation

If you are insistent on using OEM lugnuts on your new aftermarket wheels, there are some steps you can take to ensure a safe and effective installation. Firstly, always check the owner’s manual for recommended lugnuts when installing aftermarket wheels. Secondly, before installing your OEM lugnuts, make sure they are compatible with your new wheels’ lug holes. You can check the threads of the lugnut with a thread gauge and match it with the thread size of the wheel stud.

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Finally, when installing the lugnuts, ensure that they are tightened to the correct torque value. Always refer to the owner’s manual for the correct torque specifications and use a torque wrench for precision tightening. When properly tightened, the lugnuts provide a secure fit that prevents the wheels from coming loose while driving.


Can you use any aftermarket lugnuts on your wheels?

No. Aftermarket lugnuts come in different styles, and as such, there is no universal aftermarket lugnut that will fit every wheel. You must choose a lugnut that is compatible with your wheel’s lug holes and stud thread size.

Can using the wrong lugnuts damage your wheels or car?

Yes. Using the wrong lugnuts can cause significant damage to your wheels or your car. It can create clearance issues that can damage the wheels or create safety hazards, and it can affect the wheel vibration and cause uneven tire wear.

Should you use OEM lugnuts on your aftermarket wheels?

If your OEM lugnuts are compatible with your new wheels, you can use them. However, if they are not, it is best to purchase new lugnuts that are designed to fit your aftermarket wheels.


Upgrading your Subaru WRX with aftermarket wheels and lugnuts is a great way to improve your car’s performance and aesthetics. When choosing lugnuts for aftermarket wheels, it is critical to ensure that they are compatible with your new wheels. Although OEM lugnuts are designed to work with specific makes and models, they may or may not work with aftermarket wheels, depending on the specifications of the new wheels. It’s vital to check whether your OEM lugnuts are compatible with your aftermarket wheels before installation. Remember, proper installation techniques and precision tightening of the lugnuts will ensure a safe and effective upgrade to your Subaru WRX.

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Billy Covington

With a passion for all things automotive, Billy is our go-to expert on Subaru performance upgrades and modifications. He's been featured in several car magazines and blogs, and his extensive knowledge and expertise make him a valuable member of our team. When he's not working on cars, he enjoys playing guitar and writing music.

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