Lost wheel lock key

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by JonathanYoung, Dec 2, 2010.

  1. JonathanYoung

    JonathanYoung Senior member

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    12-10-10 Edit: Thanks again for everybody's help. I was ready to try the hammer->socket method but decided to call McGard again because I felt that the first person was just trying to get me off the phone. The very helpful rep, Don, instructed me to take photos of my locks and email them to him. 2 days later, I have my keys (bought an extra spare). Lesson learned!

    ___________________________________

    After my last tire rotation I think I foolishly left my wheel lock key on one of the wheels and drove off. However it happened, I am now missing the key.

    I called McGard and they said that I could go to Acura to have them try one of their master keys and then they could give me a code with which I could use to order a new key. Well, they tried their masters and none of them worked. They also tried one of those bolt removal sockets but it wouldn't fit inside my wheel (see pic below). They suggested that I stop by Honda so they could try their masters, but that didn't work either.

    Since I originally bought the locks from TireRack I tried them to see if they kept a record of it. No luck.

    Based on some research online, I believe one of my few remaining options is to hammer a socket onto the lock and break it loose that way. Are there any drawbacks to this method? I don't want to damage my wheels and/or rotors. I was thinking of using a rubber mallet instead of a hammer, also.

    If anyone has any other suggestions, I would appreciate it. I realize that I brought this upon myself with my neglect in both not keeping track of the key after the job, and not writing down the number on the key when I had the chance. Thank you in advance.

    Here's a picture that shows the wheel/lock. As you can see it's rather recessed and a tight fit:

    [​IMG]
     
    #1 JonathanYoung, Dec 2, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2010
  2. senseamp

    senseamp Lifer

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  3. alfa147x

    alfa147x Lifer

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    If you don't want to do that much work or risk damaging your sexy wheels
    I did this:
    Took my Civic to a honda dealer
    Told them my problem
    They had keys, they charged me for a tire rotation and took the locks off. :D
    =$20

    nvm just reread your post
    ...
     
    #3 alfa147x, Dec 2, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2010
  4. JonathanYoung

    JonathanYoung Senior member

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    senseamp, thanks for the link to the video. It answers my question about using a hammer, plus it's a great (new to me) source for learning more about cars.
     
  5. RockinZ28

    RockinZ28 Golden Member

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    Well I somehow lost mine as well a few months ago, which I unfortunately realized when I got a flat tire. I used the rubber mallet/socket method to get the lug off the flat tire, and took the tire in to be repaired under lifetime warranty.

    Then after I'd put the tire back on, drove back over to the tire shop and they removed the remaining 3 in about 5 minutes for $5/ea. They also carried the same regular lugs I had, so bought four of those for them to put on.

    Ended up costing me $22 and some free time. Easier than messing with sockets (which is loud as * btw) or buying a kit to remove them.
     
  6. Spicedaddy

    Spicedaddy Platinum Member

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    I realized I had wheel locks when I got my winter tires installed this week. Will be picking up 4 new bolts at the dealer and taking them off asap. Not worth the trouble.

    Cars get stolen, not wheels.
     
  7. Howard

    Howard Lifer

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    Nice wheels.
     
  8. Squisher

    Squisher Lifer

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    I'm not sure you could put a socket around that lock without scoring the wheel.

    I have some ideas I might try, but I'm not sure I feel comfortable advising you to try them if you've never done it before, because someone with an inexperienced hand could do some serious damage to the looks of that wheel.

    Even if I took it to someone to weld a nut (through the center) on it, I'd want to make sure they welded through a piece of tubing to keep any spatter from hitting the wheel. Even something like a 1 1/2"-3" long piece of electrical conduit would be fine as long as you could lightly tap the nut into the tubing so the tubing held it.

    Hopefully someone here will have some better ideas.
     
    #8 Squisher, Dec 2, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2010
  9. senseamp

    senseamp Lifer

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    Just sell the car and buy one without wheel locks.
     
  10. Howard

    Howard Lifer

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    the plating on the nut needs to be sanded or ground off
     
  11. Meghan54

    Meghan54 Diamond Member

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    Have you tried really tightening up the lug nuts on the other studs first? It'd take a bit of stress off the lock and make it easier to remove it.
     
  12. Squisher

    Squisher Lifer

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    Actually removing the others would be more beneficial. A lug nut is like a flat head screw with a taper holding it down. Now, nothing in the real world is perfect. Each one of the lug holes on the wheel and the location of the lugs on the hub are never in perfect locations or perfectly straight. When you tighten down just about anything, studs bend and stretch and in this case seek a center. Once the other nuts are removed there is better chance the torque required to remove this lock will be lessened. If there was a good way to do it, beating the wheel sideways, this way and that way, could suddenly remove some pressure and make this easier, but I don't see how to do that with the tire on it. Beating on it sideways while someone is torquing on a welded nut might make it short work. Just welding a nut and having the lock go through a heating and cooling cycle will work wonders for easing the torque needed to get the lock off.

    However, I'm not completely convinced that no one out there would have the mate to that lock, but I'm no expert. I just know my methods are akin to blunt force trauma.
     
  13. exdeath

    exdeath Lifer

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    Worst case scenario you can always air chisel away the stud from the back side of the hub and tap out the stud with a punch, provided you can get a good shot at it, and replace the studs. Minimal risk of damage to wheel. May have to pull some acrobatics with the dirt shield and caliper by loosening them up and rearranging them as best you can with the room you have inside the wheel and finding a view of the hub. If you absolutely have to, and have exhausted everything else, I'd say fvk the dirt shields, they are what $1 each compared to your wheels. If you get the slightest scratch on your wheels it's going to haunt you every time you walk by your car.
     
    #13 exdeath, Dec 3, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2010
  14. gw186

    gw186 Golden Member

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  15. thescreensavers

    thescreensavers Diamond Member

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  16. Pulsar

    Pulsar Diamond Member

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    Absolutely 100% WRONG. I've walked into numerous parking garages to see a car sitting on it's rotors with the wheels gone.
     
  17. JCH13

    JCH13 Diamond Member

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    You could try welding it, as some have mentioned. You could also take a dremel to it and cut some flats on the outside, or cut a slot in it and use a wrench and a - screw driver (you'll need one hell of a screw driver). Or just take it to a shop where they know how to do it.
     
  18. Pariah

    Pariah Elite Member

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    I managed to strip my OEM key, McGard just like yours, while removing the last rim on my car because I got a flat tire. It was going to take a week or so to get a replacement shipped, so I needed to get the last wheel off before that so I wouldn't have 2 different rims on my car at once with mismatched tires. None of the larger chain places in the area had keys that worked and didn't want to risk damaging the wheel using any other method. One random mechanic recommended I try an aftermarket rim store in the area. When I took it there, they were able to get it off no problem. I didn't watch them do it, but it was so quick and there was no damage to the nut or the rim, so I have to assume they had a master key that worked. Charged me $10. So, try finding an aftermarket store in your area that does installations.
     
  19. exdeath

    exdeath Lifer

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    I believe there are tools with spring loaded pins that can fit any wheel lock nut.
     
  20. alfa147x

    alfa147x Lifer

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    Good thinking:
    Gator Grip

    [​IMG]
     
  21. JonathanYoung

    JonathanYoung Senior member

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    Thanks again for everybody's help. I was ready to try the hammer->socket method but decided to call McGard again because I felt that the first person was just trying to get me off the phone. The very helpful rep, Don, instructed me to take photos of my locks and email them to him. 2 days later, I have my keys (bought an extra spare). Lesson learned!