Locking lug nut

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Old 07 Jul 2006, 08:26 pm   #1 (permalink)
Bob Giel
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Default Locking lug nut

I almost feel foolish asking what is probably an obvious set of questions.
I have a 2002 Camry, but I'm sure this could apply to almost any year.

Each wheel on my car has one key-locked lug nut.
These locks were sold by the Toyota dealer at the time of original purchase
to the original owner, a family member.
I'm sure you've all seen these as they are pretty common, but I've never had
one before and have a few questions:

1. Fortunately, (on my third desperate search), I finally found the "key"
for the nut hidden in the trunk well. It looks much like a socket wrench.
I'm guessing the key is placed on the locking lug nut and then turned like
any other lug nut using the lug wrench that comes with the car on the key
and lug together. Is this right, or is the key only used to unlock the lug
nut somehow and then removed before turning the lug nut with the wrench? It
isn't obvious to me and the little channel of the lock looks awfully
fragile.

2. Is this key and locked lug nut combination as strong as the other lug
nuts on the wheel?

3. Can the locking lug nut be torqued like all the other lug nuts without
damaging the key and rendering the whole thing scrap?

4. On other cars, (never had these off), I have often experienced the need
for the extra leverage of a long handle extension or even an impact wrench
to "break" a lug nut free, can these keys and locking nuts take that kind of
punishment?

5. Now that I have found the original key, how can I get a spare key (see
reason for asking below)?

I ask all these things because I originally did not know the key was
"hidden" in the trunk and went to three Toyota dealers here in Southern
California, to ask for a replacement key so I could change a flat tire, if
needed.
Each dealer said basically the same thing, without the original key, all
they could do was "cut off" the locking nuts and lugs (each had a different
method ranging from a cutting torch to sledgehammer and cold chisels!) and
each told me to expect major damage to the wheel assemblies, and each quoted
numbers starting at $500 and going up open ended because they didn't know
how much damage they would do to each wheel in the process!

Yep, every time I talk to one of these dealers, they just instill great
confidence. Yikes!

I want the security, but I don't want to pay $500 each time I need to change
a flat tire!

I'll appreciate any info and advice on this.

TIA,



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Old 08 Jul 2006, 08:18 am   #2 (permalink)
Wolfgang
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Default Re: Locking lug nut

Mine have a "key" number stamped on the side. You use the key thing to
unbolt that lug nut. You can buy a new set of the locking lug nuts for $35 -
they come with one key but suspect you could buy a set that matched your key
number (doubt that there are that many key combos). Most large tire places
have an air lug wrench tool that digs into the locking nut and spins it
right off. Ruins the locking nut but not a $500 job - if its one wheel they
don't charge extra other than to repair the tire. If you are worried over
loosing the key - just by 4 replacement lug nuts from dealer at $3-4 each
and trash the locking setup. If a tire place uses an air impact wrench with
the locking key it will most likely rouin the key or the nut or the extra
tightness will cause you to do the same.

"Bob Giel" <giel@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:lRDrg.5259$cd3.949@newsread3.news.pas.earthli nk.net...
>I almost feel foolish asking what is probably an obvious set of questions.
> I have a 2002 Camry, but I'm sure this could apply to almost any year.
>
> Each wheel on my car has one key-locked lug nut.
> These locks were sold by the Toyota dealer at the time of original
> purchase
> to the original owner, a family member.
> I'm sure you've all seen these as they are pretty common, but I've never
> had
> one before and have a few questions:
>
> 1. Fortunately, (on my third desperate search), I finally found the "key"
> for the nut hidden in the trunk well. It looks much like a socket wrench.
> I'm guessing the key is placed on the locking lug nut and then turned like
> any other lug nut using the lug wrench that comes with the car on the key
> and lug together. Is this right, or is the key only used to unlock the
> lug
> nut somehow and then removed before turning the lug nut with the wrench?
> It
> isn't obvious to me and the little channel of the lock looks awfully
> fragile.
>
> 2. Is this key and locked lug nut combination as strong as the other lug
> nuts on the wheel?
>
> 3. Can the locking lug nut be torqued like all the other lug nuts without
> damaging the key and rendering the whole thing scrap?
>
> 4. On other cars, (never had these off), I have often experienced the
> need
> for the extra leverage of a long handle extension or even an impact wrench
> to "break" a lug nut free, can these keys and locking nuts take that kind
> of
> punishment?
>
> 5. Now that I have found the original key, how can I get a spare key (see
> reason for asking below)?
>
> I ask all these things because I originally did not know the key was
> "hidden" in the trunk and went to three Toyota dealers here in Southern
> California, to ask for a replacement key so I could change a flat tire, if
> needed.
> Each dealer said basically the same thing, without the original key, all
> they could do was "cut off" the locking nuts and lugs (each had a
> different
> method ranging from a cutting torch to sledgehammer and cold chisels!) and
> each told me to expect major damage to the wheel assemblies, and each
> quoted
> numbers starting at $500 and going up open ended because they didn't know
> how much damage they would do to each wheel in the process!
>
> Yep, every time I talk to one of these dealers, they just instill great
> confidence. Yikes!
>
> I want the security, but I don't want to pay $500 each time I need to
> change
> a flat tire!
>
> I'll appreciate any info and advice on this.
>
> TIA,
>
>
>



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Old 08 Jul 2006, 11:32 am   #3 (permalink)
johngdole@hotmail.com
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Default Re: Locking lug nut

Wolfgang is right. Some places ask you just to tip the tech taking a
stuck lug nut off. The dealer is way off. It's too bad a place that's
supposed to provide reliable service at a "reasonable" price gives
people crap and takes them for a ride.

If you have the key information, you can actually order a key lug. Take
a look at McGard's secure lug nut web site:

http://www.mcgard.com/automotive/

Also see the installation/removal instruction at:

http://www.mcgard.com/custserv/tech_support.asp

At 80 ft/lbs, the nut should not be difficult to remove. The key should
not be used with an impact wrench because it may damage the key
pattern. But that's what every shop uses. Mostly they are still OK. You
may also find partially jacking up the car (with the wheel still
contacting the road) makes it easier to remove the lug nut. I have a
$10 24" breaker bar for a variety of things, takes little effort to
remove the lug nut.

To avoid warping the rotor, use a torque wrench to tighten the lug nuts
in a star pattern, in 3 stages in increasing torque. Harbor Freight has
them on sale periodically for about $12.


Bob Giel wrote:
> I almost feel foolish asking what is probably an obvious set of questions.
> I have a 2002 Camry, but I'm sure this could apply to almost any year.
>
> Each wheel on my car has one key-locked lug nut.
> These locks were sold by the Toyota dealer at the time of original purchase
> to the original owner, a family member.
> I'm sure you've all seen these as they are pretty common, but I've never had
> one before and have a few questions:
>
> 1. Fortunately, (on my third desperate search), I finally found the "key"
> for the nut hidden in the trunk well. It looks much like a socket wrench.
> I'm guessing the key is placed on the locking lug nut and then turned like
> any other lug nut using the lug wrench that comes with the car on the key
> and lug together. Is this right, or is the key only used to unlock the lug
> nut somehow and then removed before turning the lug nut with the wrench? It
> isn't obvious to me and the little channel of the lock looks awfully
> fragile.
>
> 2. Is this key and locked lug nut combination as strong as the other lug
> nuts on the wheel?
>
> 3. Can the locking lug nut be torqued like all the other lug nuts without
> damaging the key and rendering the whole thing scrap?
>
> 4. On other cars, (never had these off), I have often experienced the need
> for the extra leverage of a long handle extension or even an impact wrench
> to "break" a lug nut free, can these keys and locking nuts take that kind of
> punishment?
>
> 5. Now that I have found the original key, how can I get a spare key (see
> reason for asking below)?
>
> I ask all these things because I originally did not know the key was
> "hidden" in the trunk and went to three Toyota dealers here in Southern
> California, to ask for a replacement key so I could change a flat tire, if
> needed.
> Each dealer said basically the same thing, without the original key, all
> they could do was "cut off" the locking nuts and lugs (each had a different
> method ranging from a cutting torch to sledgehammer and cold chisels!) and
> each told me to expect major damage to the wheel assemblies, and each quoted
> numbers starting at $500 and going up open ended because they didn't know
> how much damage they would do to each wheel in the process!
>
> Yep, every time I talk to one of these dealers, they just instill great
> confidence. Yikes!
>
> I want the security, but I don't want to pay $500 each time I need to change
> a flat tire!
>
> I'll appreciate any info and advice on this.
>
> TIA,


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