How do locking wheel nuts work?

Tuesday 21st June 2022

MOT tyre failure reasons

Locking wheel nuts are also known as alloy wheel nuts or lug nuts – these work to keep your vehicle secure and combats car wheel theft. Many car manufacturers fit on locking wheel nuts as part of vehicle standards - if you don’t have them, you can easily purchase a set easily online.

There are four locking wheel nuts in a set - these come with a single matching key that has been specifically designed for the unique pattern of your key sets. You will only need to use one locking nut on each wheel.

Types of locking wheel nuts

The different types of locking wheel nuts are:

  • Keyed head locking wheel nut - this is the most common type of wheel nut and the simplest. It requires a hexagonal socket to loosen and remove it inside the keyed head.
  • Rotating collar nut – this contains a large rotating collar which spins around the wheel nut.
  • Sheer head bolt locking wheel nut - are used in wheels with bolts instead and are designed to “sheer” off if you use any tool other than the matching key

Where can I find my locking wheel nut key?

If you need to access your locking wheel nuts, there are various places the manufacturer could have put them. You may find them:

  • In your glove box
  • With your spare wheel
  • Under the seat
  •  In the boot

It's recommended, once located, you keep these in a safe place and remember where they are. Most people tend to keep them in their glovebox so they're easily accessible for mechanics and garage technicians to find during a service or MOT test.

What if I have lost my locking wheel nut key?

You won’t be able to remove your locking wheel nuts unless you have the right key. If it’s the case that you need professional help to remove them, here at Formula One Autocentres, we have the professional equipment needed to remove these bolts, which will prevent the wheel from getting damaged.

In most cases, visiting your local centre is also far less expensive then purchasing the locking wheel nut key from a manufacturer. For more information, do not hesitate to get in touch with our helpful team today.

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