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Old June-19th-2007, 06:02 PM   #1
amsgator
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General: Remove Wheel Locks Without Key

Disclaimer: Please note: this is not advocating the theft of wheels and is not to be used to conduct such illegal activites.

Note: Removing the lock nuts in this manner will result in destruction of the sockets used and no longer being able to use the locks as they will be stuck inside the sockets.

Well, now that that's out of the way. I broke my wheel lock key, literally. The little star inside broke in half. So there I was with no way to get them off and not knowing if I will get a flat and be SOL. So, here we go. If you have time you can call McGard directly (if you have the OEM locks) and they can send a new key, but if you don't you can follow this, or pay upwards of $30 to have them removed at a tire place, or even Mazda. Pep Boys wanted 20 freakin dollars PER WHEEL!

What you will need:
4 19mm 12pt sockets (not deep sockets)- got mine for 2.69 ea at Ace
Also, do not use really nice sockets like Stanley, Kobalt or Craftsman as
they are too hard and will not "strip" to fit over the lock. I bought mine
from Ace and they worked great. The Kobalt didn't work because it's too
hard of a metal
1.5" extension
1 Ratchet (breaker bar would be better) the same drive as your sockets
Super Glue (optional but will make it easier)
4 New lock nuts or regular lug nuts


This how-to is assuming you have 4 lock nuts, one on each wheel. If you have more then simply follow this and continue on to the other locks. You will need one socket for each lock nut on your wheels.

This is a very simple thing to do and should only take about 10 minutes plus the time it takes the glue to dry. Place super glue on the inside of the socket and on the wheel lock itself. Then, hammer the socket over the wheel lock as far as it will go. Let the super glue dry, I waited about 20 minutes to make sure it was good and on there. Then, after it dries take the ratchet or breaker bar and remove the lock nut. It will probably take some muscle, so a breaker bar would make it easier. Using deep sockets most likely will not work as well because the forward force will make is easier to rip the socket off the nut instead of spinning the nut. You will understand if you choose to use deep sockets and they slip off (not to mention they are more expensive)

Then simply replace the locks with new locks or regular lug nuts. Then enjoy driving knowing that should you get a flat tire you are now at ease that you will be able to change it.

And while you are at it, rotate your tires if you have been procrastinating because you couldn't get your locks off!!

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Old June-19th-2007, 06:08 PM   #2
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As long as you didn't break one of the locks (when my key broke, one of the locks broke too) you should be able to get the rest of them removed for free at the dealership (they have a master set).

I leave my wheel lock key and both of my lug nut wrenches (the wheel lock key uses stock size, my other lug nuts are smaller) in my garage most of the time.. drive all around the northeast like that.. I guess I'm just really daring/stupid like that haha

oh and the fact that I don't even have the spare in my car.
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Old June-19th-2007, 06:40 PM   #3
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lol. i doubt they would do it for free, they wont do anything for free. someone on another thread said they charged them, i think it was like 20 or 30.
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Old June-19th-2007, 06:47 PM   #4
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When mine broke they tried all the ones in their master set for free... but what I didn't realize at the time was that the McGard wheel locks you can buy after the fact aren't the same key codes as the OEM-sold ones. yeah none of those worked on my car :P
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Old April-17th-2011, 05:08 PM   #5
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Nice tip. Guy at Auto Zone said the same thing but I didn't trust him until I read it here. It worked like a charm.

Thanks!!
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Old April-17th-2011, 05:08 PM
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