I broke my bike in a poor location where I can only find poor rusted bikes. I am switching to one bike with rusted screws, I am trying to get things such as touring back rack and water-bottle holders to the new bike. I cannot find WD-40 here to take the screw out. The comment here speculates Kerosene and Naptha as the ingredients of WD-40.

  1. So how can I substitute the WD-40?
  2. How can I find some physical way to remove the rusted screws in the bike?

Edit: I have solved the problem with time and Coca Cola in one screw. I let the screw to be 2 hours in Coca Cola and I got it off later. I am still unsure whether this is the best solution, at least it tastes good and it is easily available. More this kind of solutions?

I have a multitool with a file, saw and knives.

  • Note that often you can do a passable job of mounting a water bottle holder or one or two mounts of a rack using plastic cable ties. Or a piece of stiff wire would work in a pinch. Jul 2 '11 at 17:36

Actually, WD40 is a poor penetrating oil -- Liquid Wrench, et al, are better. But the Coke trick works, supposedly because of the phosphoric acid. Another one is to heat the part -- eg, get a piece of iron hot in a fire and then hold it against the fastener for a minute or two. Works best if you can actually heat the female part of the connection, but tends to work even if you must heat the male screw. Sometimes heating and then dousing with water will break a part free, if heating alone doesn't do it.

Of course, be careful of any plastic parts, and avoid overheating bearings.

  • WD40 is a great rubber lube, I use it on radiator hoses, have for years, works great and does not attack the rubber.
    – Moab
    Jul 2 '11 at 1:08
  • 1
    Wellllll -- no petroleum product is good for rubber. Some are less bad than others. Jul 2 '11 at 11:54
  • wellll, been doing if for 30 years on thousands of cars with NO issues.
    – Moab
    Jul 2 '11 at 15:51
  • "On thousands of cars" -- you mean the owners didn't come back to you after their first experience? ;) Jul 2 '11 at 17:33
  • Now your getting personal, I repaired cars professionally for 30 years, yes thousands of unique cars.
    – Moab
    Jul 2 '11 at 19:09

Sometimes using a flat ended punch with a hammer, on the head of the screw, will loosen it in a jiffy. Not so hard as to distort the fastener head where the tool will not work with it anymore. Brass punches are best but you can use steel if that is all you have. You can make one out of an old screwdriver if needed.

Last but not least, Vice Grips, they make nice miniature versions now, perfect for small fasteners.

The best tool you own is not in the toolbox, it is in your head.

  • Good point. Sometimes you can just take an old screwdriver, set the tip into the screw slot (for slotted screws), and hammer on the screwdriver handle (or the shaft, after you've pounded the handle off). This avoids deforming the screw head. Twist while hammering and you get a touch of "impact driver" action. Jul 2 '11 at 11:57

You said emergency situation. Just go straight for the drill! Works every time and power tools are so much more thrilling to (ab)use.

The oxy-acetylene torch doesn't work so well on rack bolts - particularly if there are niceties such a paint to get in the way - but also comes in handy in emergency situations.

Also handy is a tap to put the thread back in and clear rust/corrosion out. Some loc-tite for the new screws to stay in place also comes into its own.

It depends on how much time you have got, WD40 - although scorned as a lubricant - definitely is of use with seized parts that you don't really want to go-destructive on.


I like grease based chain lube. The solvent helps penetration, the grease helps with movement. I use TriFlow. The advantage is that you can drip it in and leave it , and the grease will get left behind inside whatever you dripped it on. This is, in fact, the exact thing it's designed to do - you drip it on the chain, and it leaves grease behind on the inside.

  • I guess the OP meant something easy to find everywhere. Why is it easy to find TriFlow in places where you can't find WD-40? Jul 4 '11 at 12:50
  • Because he's already got it in his little bag of bicycle tools. Or at least, I always carry it. Any kind of chain lube will work, some better than others.
    – Мסž
    Jul 4 '11 at 21:20
  • Of course, plain old TriFlow (the spray) isn't a particularly good chain lube (though I believe I did at one time see some TriFlow chain lube that was probably good). Jul 5 '11 at 20:07
  • @Daniel R Hicks: I don't know if I've ever seen the spray, it doesn't see that spraying would work for chains in general. Wouldn't most of it miss?
    – Мסž
    Jul 5 '11 at 21:48
  • When you say "TriFlow", without qualification, most people will assume you mean the spray (which comes in a can like WD40). store.triflowlubricants.com/products/productdetail/…? It's a good lube, but only in an emergency would I use it as a chain lube. Jul 5 '11 at 22:36

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