How to Remove Locking Wheel Bolts

Updated February 21, 2017

Locking wheel bolts--also known as wheel keys or locking lugs--are antitheft features designed to require a special key to remove the wheels. The key fits onto the locking wheel bolt, and it has a hex-head shape on the other end that will accept a traditional tire iron. Taking off a locking wheel bolt isn't any more difficult than removing a traditional wheel lug, but you have to have the right key to do it.

Place the key onto the locking wheel bolt that you want to remove. Twist the key until it clicks onto the locking wheel bolt and can't be turned without the help of a tool.

Stand next to the vehicle. Set the end of the tire iron onto the locking wheel key with the tire iron pointing to the right.

Lift up on the tire iron with one or both of your hands, using your legs to provide the power so you don't damage your back. Turn the tire iron counter-clockwise to break the locking wheel bolt free, then use your hands to remove the locking wheel bolt the rest of the way.

Things You'll Need

  • Wheel lock key
  • Tire iron
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About the Author

Russell Wood is a writer and photographer who attended Arizona State University. He has been building custom cars and trucks since 1994, including several cover vehicles. In 2000 Wood started a career as a writer, and since then he has dedicated his business to writing and photographing cars and trucks, as well as helping people learn more about how vehicles work.