How to Remove Locking Wheel Nuts Without a Key

Updated February 21, 2017

When installing a set of custom wheels on your car or truck, one way to keep them on is with a set of locking wheel nuts. These help prevent thieves from easily taking the wheels, and can slow them down in the process. Problem is, if you lose the key to remove the locking wheel nuts, then you're going to have a difficult time removing them. There is a way to do it without the key, but it will involve damaging the locking nut beyond repair and sacrificing a tool.

Pull out your socket set. Place a socket on the locking wheel nut that is just smaller than the wheel nut itself. You want this socket to fight extremely tightly on the lug nut.

Place the socket onto the locking wheel nut and hammer it onto the nut with the 2.27kg sledgehammer. Make sure the socket is firmly on the locking wheel nut, and make sure that you don't slip with the hammer and damage the wheel.

Attach the breaker bar to the socket. Turn the breaker bar counter clockwise to remove the locking wheel nut from the wheel. Discard the socket and lug nut.


Make sure that the socket you use on the locking wheel nut is one that you do not want or need, because it will be damaged beyond repair. You can always buy a cheap one if necessary at an auto parts store or discount tool location.

Things You'll Need

  • 1/2-inch breaker bar
  • 1/2-inch socket set
  • 1.36kg sledgehammer
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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.