At Premier Group this is something we hear all too often from customers! Find out more about locking wheel nut keys including why they exist, where they can be stored and what to do if you have lost yours.
What are locking wheel nuts and why do we have them?
The locking wheel nuts are designed to ensure your wheels cannot be stolen. Without the wheel nut key it is difficult to remove the wheels as the locking nut cannot be turned using just a socket. Most vehicles are fitted with a set of locking wheel nuts as standard – but this brings its own issues for garages and vehicle owners as the locking wheel nut keys can be easily lost.
What types of locking nut exist?
Keyed head wheel nuts
This is the most common locking wheel nut. The nut key has a specific shape on one end that slots into the locking nut. On the other end of the the nut key is a regular hexagonal end which fits into the wheel brace to allow removal of the nut.
These locking buts feature a rotating collar. The collar prevents any beneficial rotational force being applied to the outer edge of the nut. Once the key is inserted in the centre of the locking nut, it can easily be removed like a regular wheel nut.
Sheer Head Bolt
Not all cars use wheel nuts; some have bolts inserted through the wheels. The sheer head bolts are designed to ‘sheer’ off if any tool other than the matching key is used in an attempt to remove it. This is an very frustrating situation for any car owner. Sheer head bolts can be found on French vehicles such as Citroen and Peugeot cars.
Where can I find the locking wheel nut key in my car?
When new manufacturers supply the locking wheel nut keys in a number of possible locations. Common places include,
- the glove box
- inside a foam insert located inside a spare wheel
- in or under the boot liner. Check inside accessory kits which may include tyre inflators, puncture repair kits and towing bolts
- door card pockets
- centre console storage area
- under the driver / passenger seat including in seat back pocket
The locking wheel nut key may be in a box with spare wheel nuts or simply left loose.
It’s always best practice to ensure you know exactly where your locking wheel nut key is stored so if you need it at a time of stress…it doesn’t add to your stress levels!
What do I do if I lose my locking wheel nut key?
If you cannot find your locking wheel nut key try to recall when it may have been used last. If you have had work completed on your car recently then it may have been used and not put back in the same place. At Premier Group we are always happy to report to customers where they can find their locking nut key upon completion of work.
If you have searched everywhere possible and the key is lost, you need to take action as it will certainly be needed in the future. This could be when you require brake parts renewal, new tyres or in the event of a puncture.
Purchase a new, replacement locking wheel nut key – this can often be an easy option, providing you have the code required for identification of the key. The code for the key is often only available in the plastic storage box or small bag that contains the key when the car is new. Often if the key is lost, so too is the box / bag.
Locking wheel nut removal and replacement – if the key is lost, the Premier Group technicians are able to remove the locking nut using specialist tools and techniques. Once removed the locking nuts can be replaced with a set of universal locking nuts. This ensures the wheels are still protected and the owner has a key ready to use for the future.
Call Premier Group for all your car repairs and servicing needs on Cannock (01543) 426378
Now go and check you know exactly where your locking wheel nut key is!!