Lost Key to Locking Lug Nuts. Now What?

Our key to our locking lug nuts got lost on our Mazda. These lugs were installed in 2002 (we believe) by the dealer. (It was my father-in-law’s car back then.) Do you think the dealer can sell us a replacement all these years later? Also, it seems my Honda dealer claimed to use a [Honda] universal key when I forgot to leave them the lug nut key for work on my Honda. Do you think the Mazda dealer would have a universal key?

We broke the key for our tire lock a few months ago. We had the paperwork that had the key code on it and were able to order a new one from the manufacturer (not the car manufacturer, the lock manufacturer).

Turned out the key broke because the lock nut was stuck. Even having a new key was doing us no good. We had to take the car to the dealership to have them cut off the lug nuts.

We are now lock free.

The question about a universal key would depend on the lock manufacturer. Kind of defeats the purpose if there is a universal key.

Mazda dealer can help you, most likely. Or, you can do it the caveman way with a socket that just barely does not fit on the outside, hammer it on, and remove it. You will destroy the lug not, destroy the socket, etc.

Eric the Car Guy

And then ditch those freaking locking lug nuts. I hate those damn things.

Garages will have tool to break that nut or just have the know-how to do it with tools on hand. The Mazda dealer may be able to help you, but with locks that old they may not open anyway (although I’ve heard they last pretty well). The price of new locking nuts shouldn’t be outrageous if you do have to break them.

Any decent mechanic’s shop (including a dealership) can remove them with an air chisel…

one of the worst inventions ever.

I had to order a replacement from the locking lug manufacturer for my Isuzu, don’t remember why. It got lost or had been stripped out.

All the information you need to get a new key should be in your owner’s manual.

Ordered a new key and took the damn things off after that, I think they are rolling around in the center console somewhere.

Just about any tire shop has dealt with this problem and can bust them off faster than you can say “I lost the key.”

Depending on the particular kind of nut, you may be able to grind off the chrome and weld a normal lug nut to the “tip” of the locking nut and take it off that way, or some people have had luck with using JB Weld epoxy to attach a soon to be scrapped impact socket over the nut, then taking it off the next day once the glue has cured. You can also try damaged bolt extractors.

Breaking off axle studs should be a last resort.

I’d expect a nut splitter would work just fine. Certainly well before needing to break off a stud.

Thanks all for your thoughts. Luckily, ours showed up after all. Still, it is good to know what can be done…even if extreme!

I know it’s very descriptive, but I wish they would find another name for that tool.

The other common name, nut cracker, is hardly any better.

I suppose we could call it the nut wrecker, the nut destroyer, the nut mangler, the nut detacher, the nut disassembler, the nut cutter, the nut fragger, the nut

Wait … whaddaya mean I’m not helping? :eek: :smiley:

On a lot of wheels there’s not room to get a nut splitter in place.

There are special sockets with spiral flutes designed to bite into the outside of a locking nut (which is round, hence defying standard tools) in the removal direction. They work easily to remove the nut from the wheel, the real challenge is then getting the nut out of the socket!

The obligatory youtube vid showing why locknuts are a waste of money and how easy they are to defeat…

Oops, ninja’d.

I have one of those sockets. A hammer and 3/8 inch extension pops the nut right out. About 10 years ago bought a Chevy S10, 17 of the 20 lug nuts were locking nuts and there were no keys. Took about 5 minutes with the socket and an impact wrench to get them all off.

We always just took a cheap 1/2 inch socket closest to fitting and pounded them over the nut. If it splits the socket that’s the cost of doing business. a couple of bucks at Harbor Freight.

You don’t take the nut all the way off, just break it loose. Then wiggle the socket off it using a breaker bar.

Agree. Two reasons:

  1. As others have noted, it can be removed without the key.

  2. And where do most people keep the key? In the car’s glove compartment. Thieves know this, too.