How to Remove Wheel Locks

Alex Clarkson
Alex Clarkson

When you get a nice set of rims for your car, you won’t be the only person noticing the changes. Wheels that are well locked will attract the attention of car enthusiasts and even negative people such as thieves. Yes, that’s right! When you have such accessories installed in your car, its good if you can consider the security factor as well. 

Why? It’s because wheels are an easy target for thieves. If you leave the car parked in a low-security area, a thief might find it easy to remove the wheels with some DIY tools. In just a few minutes, the perpetrators might easily steal your wheels, thus taking you right back to the garage. At times, the wheels can be costly, and performing replacements or tracking the thieves might prove to be a challenge.

Therefore, this guide on how to remove wheel locks might be an excellent place for you to start. You can install wheel locks or wheel nuts as part of your security system for the wheels. Usually, you get a lug nut or wheel stud, which you put on one of the factory-installed studs in your car.

The process of removing the locks is easy and multifaceted. Ask yourself, “what will happen if the lock is compromised or gets damaged?” Check out these steps and the guide below to help you get started:

What Are Wheel Locks

Before we start discussing the functions of a wheel lock, it’s essential to define them first. To be specific, these are accessories that you install in the place of lug nuts. The only way to remove them is when you have the correct key set for the lugs. Usually, the right type of wheel lock varies in relation to the style of the wheel.

How do they work?

Well, they help to protect your appealing rims from issues such as thieves. Usually, the wheel locks to protect expensive rims that are prone to theft. Yes, that’s right. Some exotic cars have unique wheels and components that require protection. Owning the right wheel lock set for your car is easy, especially if you shop ahead of time. You can keep it safe along with the other accessories for your wheel care in your car.

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Step 1 of 2: How to Remove Wheel Locks with a Wheel Lock Key

Tools Needed 

  • Wheel lock key
  • The lug nut wrench for your car

N/B: Avoid using power tools during this point if the wheel lock removal process. Why? Its because these are tools that can deliver large forces, which can damage the structure of the wheel nut.

  1. Ensure the engine is off and that the handbrake is up as well, for added security. If its on a sloppy place, the car might roll off, and you need to keep it safe by switching the engine off.
  2. Align the key with the nut. Then, place the splines on the wheel lock accordingly, and then place the wheel lock on the wheel. You might have to calibrate the wheel lock before getting the right fit.
  3. Next, get the lug nut and position it over the wheel lock, which you will hit with the hammer. If you don’t have one, you may have to buy one online before you can proceed.
  4. To open the wheel lock, rotate the lug nut anticlockwise. It’s a technique that will loosen the wheel lock and might require large amounts of force to loosen the wheel lock.
  5. At this point, you may have to adjust the wheel lock off by hand. Once you loosen it with the wrench, you should find it easy to turn by hand.

Method 2 of 2: How to Remove Wheel Locks Without A Key

Tools Needed 

  • Heavy-duty hammer 
  • Screwdriver or punch
  • A lug nut wrench
  • Pliers

During this step, you will need a universal lock, which you can use to remove the wheel lock. The only bad thing is that it might compromise the wheel lock, which may render it unusable. If possible, always use the factory recommended kit, before going for the universal one. 

  1. Activate the handbrake, and ensure the engine is off. It will ensure the car won’t roll off, or perhaps affect the wheel lock removal procedure.
  2. Get the correct wheel lock removal, and test it to determine if it can grip the wheel locks. Ensure it provides a snug fit, and that the teeth on the inside get a hold of the wheel lock.
  3. Get the rubber mallet, and use it to apply some gentle force on the wheel to ensure it glides on smoothly. You might have to ensure the removal tool sticks firmly on the wheel lock. Since it’s a universal tool, it is designed to get a hold of the most basic wheel locks you will find in cars.
  4. Turn the lug wrench to loosen the wheel lock. If it slips at this point, put it back and hit it using the rubber mallet until it achieves a snug fit. You might have to use lots of force to help loosen the wheel lock.
  5. Once it’s loose, you will find it easy to remove by hand. Repeat the same process for the remaining locks on the wheel in question. 
  6. If the lock gets stuck in the tool, there is a convenient way to remove it. Get a screwdriver, and punch it through the hole that for removing the lock. A few strong hits will cause the nut to pop out, and you can repeat this process for the remaining bolts.

N/B: When installing new locks, ensure you position the wheel lock key safely to avoid any travels back to the mechanic store. A toolbox, the glove box, or the pocket in your garage gear are all excellent places to store the wheel locks. Thus, this process will become highly convenient. When replacing the wheel bearings, contact a professional company for advice on the suitable options.

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Buy a Wheel Lock Removal Kit

It’s a common complication that faces most car owners today. Breaking or losing the wheel lock key will likely occur if you lose the factory-made wheel lock. Practicing caution is crucial when removing a wheel lock. There are several wheel lock kits available online and for affordable prices. A good example would be the Shankly Twist Socket, which is durable and easy to use.

Before you buy a specific wheel lock kit, ensure you determine the particular characteristics of your car. Doing so ensures that you get the right components for removing wheel locks. There are several types of wheel locks, with each being suitable for specific applications.  

Below is another variation you can use with the socket kit above to remove wheel locks: 

  1. Select the correct socket for your wheel lock

Peruse through the kit, and select the right socket. The best type would be one that provides a snug fit, to make it easy to move the wheel locks. 

  1. Turn the Extractor to Position it on The Wheel Lock

This step of the process requires the right air tools. Put some light pressure on the socket by using an impact wrench, until it achieves a snug fit. For those using hand tools, you might need a few minutes before you get the right results.

  1. Crank on The Extractor to Remove the Wheel Lock

Use the impact wrench to press the trigger, and to remove the wheel lock. Try your best to achieve a snug fit when using the wheel lock. Why? Because every time the extractor fails to grip, this can lead to shredding issues.

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Any car owner has the obligation of making savvy choices to ensure the car performs at optimal levels. As far as taking care of wheels goes, it’s good to learn how to remove wheel locks. There are several facets associated with wheel locks that you have to consider. Taking these factors into perspective means that you are less likely to lose your wheels, or get stuck when driving. Before using wheel locks, it would be good to start by learning how to use them for the best results. 

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