Most street cars come from the factory with either wheel studs or wheel bolts. (There are also center-lock wheels, but those are usually reserved for top-tier race cars and high-end performance street cars.) So what exactly is the difference? expert Wyatt Knox put together a quick explainer video showing you the advantages and disadvantages of using bolts or studs, whether you're racing your car or just daily-driving it.
Wheel bolts are standard on many German-built cars, and use a threaded stem attached to a tapered head that matches to the wheel insert. The bolt goes from the wheel, through the brake rotor hat, straight into the hub, locking everything in place. The difficulty with bolts is, the brake rotors are free to rotate while the wheel is off since there's no stud holding them in place. That means you have to realign the rotor with the hub inserts (along with the wheel) when you're putting everything back together.
Wheel studs and lugs are different in that, instead of using a single piece that screws into the hub, the studs are mounted in the hub, and stick out beyond the brake rotor hat. The wheels are mounted using lugs, which are screwed onto the stud. This makes it easier to mount tires without having to worry about lining everything up. Knox does warn, however, that having studs that are too long may leave you with issues should one of them bend or break.
But that's just a simple explanation. Let Knox explain all the differences between wheel bolts and studs in his latest video right here.