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Locking Wheel Nut Removal
Our Top Tread Tyres mobile tyre service vehicle is equipped with specialist locking wheel nut removal tooling. This safely removes them when the original removal device isn’t available. Our mechanics are expertly trained in the safe removal of locking wheel nuts to minimise the risk of damage to your vehicle. This service is a drive-in service, and there is no appointment required. Simply pop in to your local branch and see us about it!
What is a Locking Wheel Nut?
A locking wheel nut, also known as a lock nut, lock-nut, prevailing torque nut, stiff nut or elastic stop nut, is a nut that resists loosening under vibrations and torque. Elastic stop nuts and prevailing torque nuts are of the type where some portion of the nut deforms elastically to provide a locking action.
What is the purpose of a Locking Wheel Nut?
Locking wheel nuts are a cost effective way of protecting your alloy wheels from theft. A standard wheel nut or lug nut can be removed with minimum effort using an ordinary lug wrench. This means your wheels could easily be stolen. But by simply replacing one lug nut per wheel with a locking wheel nut, a special key is required in order to remove that last nut, stopping a thief in their tracks.
They originally became popular amongst car enthusiasts who worried about the theft of their expensive custom alloy wheels. With many paying over £1,000 for their custom rims, it’s no wonder the inexpensive locking wheel nut became a popular deterrent.
How are they used today?
Nowadays most car manufacturers fit them as standard to vehicles as they roll off the production line. Each set of them has a patterned indent and a key which matches this pattern. Only when the key is inserted can the nut be turned and removed.
There are literally hundreds of unique key combinations and although wheel nut keys are freely available to buy, a potential thief would have to carry around a huge selection of wheel nut keys to ensure they have the right tool for the job. It’s for this very reason that it’s important that you know where your locking wheel nut key is kept. This is due to, without it, it being very hard to remove your wheels should you require a tyre change.
We recommend that you keep your key inside your vehicle somewhere. Whether in the glove box or hidden away out of sight, just so long as you know where to find it. If you need to pull over due to a puncture, you’re going to need that key. This is needed in order to remove the tyre and put the spare on. If your tyres are worn and in need of replacing, your garage will need the locking wheel nut key. This is so they can fit new tyres to your vehicle.
Key replacements can be purchased from your vehicle manufacturer for around £30 but they usually have to be ordered. This could slow down your vehicle repair.
So make sure you keep your key safe – you never know when you might need it.