I have a vehicle from my father who passed away about a year ago - mom gave me the car as she didn't need it anymore. Well, come time to do some tire work and replacing, and there are locking lugnuts on the wheels. I hadn't noticed and my mom as no clue. I've looked everywhere in the car. No luck.

I started at the dealership (Ford) nothing they had worked. I went to 5 tire places, nothing they had worked. A few said they could try and break it off, but it would probably damage the wheel due to the design.

I found some things on Amazon that look similar and on Alibaba too, but nothing matches quite right yet. I've included a picture of the lugnut.

I hope someone knows what brand this is. The outer cylinder rotates freely from the interior lug and you can see the splines (?) on the inside. Thanks for any help you can offer.

enter image description here

I've included an image of a set that is similar, but the spline pattern doesn't match. The outer cylinder spins around the lug freely - at least on mine they do.

enter image description here

  • 1
    Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! In this case, your best bet is probably to get some regular deep well sockets which just fit on to them with a little hammer type persuasion. You'd need four cheap ones for this, because once you pound the socket onto the nut, it pretty much is there for life. Commented Apr 21, 2023 at 8:13
  • That's what a few have said, but - what worries them is that outer spinning cylinder. Not one of the mechanics I spoke with has ever had to deal with that outer cylinder at the same time. It's always just been a lug with splines minus the outer guard cylinder. They say "we could still try, but it will probably damage your wheel" I really need to not damage all four of my wheels during a "we'll try" attempt. I added a stock image of a set that looks similar but is doesn't match spline-wise to give more context. Commented Apr 23, 2023 at 15:26
  • @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 I was thinking either regular sockets or perhaps extractor sockets. If that doesn't work, welding or drilling is possible - but more difficult.
    – vidarlo
    Commented Apr 23, 2023 at 17:53
  • I could see spot welding the threaded end of a sturdy bolt onto the exposed top of the interior spline-post and then buzzing them off, hopefully... leaning in the direction of a craigslist post. lol. Commented Apr 23, 2023 at 23:14

2 Answers 2


Those are wheel locks. It's an uncommon variety, but I'm pretty confident they are lock and key design. So they are specific, just like a key is specific to a lock. If there is a key anywhere, it's in the car. Glovebox, trunk, etc. But people lose them all the time. I lost one in a field near my house, when I didn't pull it off the nut before a test drive. I'm sure it's still there.

You have to break them off. Go to a tire shop if you aren't wanting to break them off yourself. They might charge you nothing. They might charge you their hourly. Call ahead. As for a shop saying they might damage your wheel, well, either they are doing the CYA insurance, or they are inexperienced. Weigh that out for yourself. Since your specific shop is confusing them with so called "tuner" lug nuts (which have a generic key), I would just try a different shop.

If you want to have a go on this yourself, you'll need a few things:

  1. An impact wrench. No, a tire iron won't work and neither will a breaker bar.
  2. An impact socket just a pinch smaller than the wheel lock that you are okay with destroying. Harbor freight will be your friend here.
  3. A heavy hammer, at least two pounds.

Put the socket over the key. It should not easily slide over the key, but it should just be a very small bit smaller than the key. Then smack the socket onto the key with the hammer. Once you have that rammed on there, put in the impact wrench and loosen it up. Works like a charm ... except for when it doesn't. I'd say I can get this method to work 9/10 times. After you get the key off, you'll need to ram a thin rod down the socket to smack the key out. You can use this socket again on the other keys, and you'll notice that it fits just a little bit better. You might not be able to get the key out of the socket no matter what you do. You'll need another socket if that happens.

Once you have them all off, put on your new lug nuts and go on your merry way. Word to the wise: lug nuts have several seating varieties and several thread pitch and bolt widths. If everything is all stock, a good tire store or the dealer can tell you what it is supposed to be, and they can sell you the correct replacement nuts.


A good/long soaking with PB-Blaster may help loosen the lock nut before trying any solution. It's helped me in the past. Good Luck.

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