A cross bar or 4-way lug wrench is a great tool to have in your trunk in the event of a roadside flat tire. The simple design allows you to simultaneously push and pull to create maximum torque on the most stubborn lug nuts. Also the cross-bar with four common lug nut sizes on a single tool it can be used to quickly remove lug nuts, locking lug nuts with different sized hex heads or even trailer wheels if you happen to be towing. You’ll also be a hero when your buddy forgets to pack their lug wrench and you have just the right size.
But as useful as the cross-bar lug wrench tool can be there is a downside too. When you’re on the side of the road changing that flat tire with your backside hanging into traffic and you want to get done quickly, you don’t always check each end for the perfect fit and in your haste it becomes too easy to use the wrong sized end and round off the corners of your lug nuts. Mark Simpson shares a quick tip to help prevent this from happening to you. He adds, this can be a real lifesaver in low light situations, making your tire changes quicker and safer.
He paints the end of the cross-bar lug wrench that matches the lug size of his car a contrasting color. This allows him to quickly know which size is correct and avoid potential damage when making rapid decisions while changing a tire. Simpson adds, “You can also color code the other ends to items like locking lug nuts or trailers.” A little planning will shorten your time on the side of the road and keep you backside firmly planted behind the wheel.