One under valued piece of car kit is actually the locking nut key. Each wheel on most cars today have one bolt that is different. This bolt can not be taken off using a standard wrench or spanner. You need a special locking nut key that is specific for your cars locking nuts.
Usually you will keep it in your car, in the glove box, in its packet in the boot or with the spare wheel even. But what happens if you lose it, break it or just cant find it? Well the first thing is do not panic.
First of all when was the last time you used it? Maybe you changed tyre yourself or at a local tyre shop? If this was recent its worth calling the tyre shop to ask if they possibly forgot to return the key as they might as kept it in lost and found. But this is unlikely as most people only change tyres 6 to 12 months. So if lost or misplaced its unlikely to have been kept.
Now you are stuck in that you cant change your tyres. This is quite dangerous as if you were traveling on the motorway and had a puncture you would be unable to remove the wheel to replace it with the spare. If you lucky the breakdown service mechanic might be able to cut off the locking nut…but this is if youre lucky and even then you could be left with a mess and also one less bolt on the wheel.
You also now cant do alot of car repairs that involve removing the car wheels. you can get your car MOT done but if the MOT fails you might not be able to do the repairs for example brake pads or brake discs.
But Dont Panic..
There are several options available to you
Cut off locking wheel nuts
You can hire a tyre shop or local garage mechanic to cut off all 4 locking wheel nuts. You will then need to replace these with new locking nuts (with new key) or standard wheel nuts. This will obviously mean your alloys are easier to steal so its really upto you.
You can use QuoteG app to get a quote from local tyre shops for removing locking nuts.
Use a spare key
You might by chance have a spare locking nut key at home, have a check. If not you may be able to buy a used one online that matches the pattern of yours.
Buy a new replacement locking nut key
You can have a look at the packet or manual that came with your locking nuts. Usually they have details in there on how you can buy a new one. If you have the original packaging or manual for the locking nut you are in luck. If you look you can find a code specific to your locking nut key. This is referred to as the Julian Code. It can be different but usually has 17 digits. You will also find a Julian Date. Using the Julian Security Code and Julian Date you can order a replacement more easily.
Contact the key manufacturer for a replacement, give then the security code and date. Or contact your cars main dealer and ask for a replacement. You can also try several car part shops online or ebay/gumtree as there are sellers who provide a key matching service. You will need to take a picture of your actual locking nut then send it to them along with the make and model of your car. They will check and if available sell you one.
It helps if you have the Julian Code and Date aswell as a photo of the top of the locking nut to make sure the key is the right one.
So dont forget next time you change your tyres or brakes make sure you dont leave the garage without the locking nut key and then make sure you keep it somewhere safe where you will remember.