Losing a locking wheel nut key, breaking it, worn out, or no longer working is a common situation we hear from fleet operators. Here’s a complete strategy to use if you’ve encountered such a situation.
What is a locking wheel nut key?
The locking wheel nut key is designed to offer protection over theft of your vehicle’s alloy wheels. The alloy wheels have been quite desirable since their first production and became a fashion trend that brought a common problem. ‘The wheel theft.’
These days, most vehicles are ordered to fit alloy wheels as a standard requirement, so theft isn’t much of a concern. Nevertheless, manufacturers still offer protection by supplying a pair of locking wheel nuts & a locking wheel nut key.
Vehicles with alloy wheels mostly have one nut for each wheel (a total of four nuts) and a reliable locking wheel nut key to easily remove them.
We usually face problems like; lost or mislaid locking wheel nut keys, broken or well-worn locking wheel nut keys.
Now, the question is, what can you do if your locking wheel nut key is stolen or not working? It might be easy to remove the locking wheel nuts attached to your vehicle without a locking wheel nut key if you know the locking wheel nuts.
Types of locking wheel nuts
There are three main types of locking wheel nuts used in fleets:
1. Keyed Head Wheel Nuts
Keyed head wheel nuts are the most common among locking nuts. The key contains one standard hexagonal end, which perfectly fits the wheelbase to remove the nut.
2. Rotating Collar
The rotating collar wheel nut is particularly difficult because of its hard removability without a machine key. The rotating collar allows spinning around the wheel nut.
3. Sheer Head Bolt
The Sheer head bolts are primarily used in French vehicles like Peugeot. These vehicles use bolts rather than nuts. The name itself refers that it ‘sheer’ off the bolts if any unmatched key is used to remove it.
Where to find the locking wheel nut key?
If you never needed to remove the locking wheel nut key, assuming your vehicle is new, here are some familiar places likely to find them.
- A glove box
- Under your spare wheel. (Try in a separate compartment)
- In the boot. (Under the carpet or compartment & first aid kit)
- In the seat pockets. (Under the passenger or driver seat)
- Central storage console.
- Card pockets of the door.
Remember: Locking wheel nut keys can be found in a small plastic box or bag with spare wheel nuts. Some manufacturers provide a separate bag for safety.
If you still couldn’t find the locking wheel nut key or forgot where you kept it, try to remember the last time your wheels were removed, i.e., replacing brakes where the technician probably will have needed to remove the wheels. It’s recommended to ensure the tools right before leaving the garage, which may save your time searching for them.
Losing your locking wheel nut key.
If you still haven’t found the locking wheel nut key and are considered lost or missing, here are a few options to account for.
Alternative 1. Buy a new key
Although sometimes expensive, purchasing a new key is primarily convenient. Even though you are never going to use the genuine locking wheel nut set, you will need to purchase a new locking nut key.
Each key has a specific code so you can obtain the right one directly from the manufacturer or an online store. You can find the code on a locking wheel nut key storage box or a bag at the manufacturer’s convenience. It’s a bit more hustle if the box is missing too.
Alternative 2. Locking wheel nut set removal & replacement
Often, the customers who’ve lost their locking wheel nut keys choose to have all the nut sets removed by technicians & replaced with a much more reliable and universal locking wheel nut set. These sets can still be a good fit for your alloy wheels as they serve as an alternative for buying your vehicle’s expensive fit.
How to remove locking wheel nuts without a key
Find a technician with special tools to remove locking wheel nuts without specific keys. It’s not an arduous task as you can ask your technician whether they have these tools available. Although it firmly depends on your wheel design or the wheel nuts have been tightening too much before its removal. Nonetheless, locking wheel nuts can be safely removed.