How to Remove a Locking Wheel Nut

by Contributor

Locking wheel nuts are a great way to keep your rims secure. The method outline here will not require special wheel nut removal tools. Instead, this method involves just everyday tools that most do-it-yourself mechanics will have in their garage.

Get your set of impact sockets out and find one that will fit nicely onto your locking wheel nut. It should be a very close fit; the socket should be just a touch too small to fit onto it properly.

Take a rubber hammer and pound the socket onto the nut. Almost all nuts are made of a much softer alloy than hardened impact sockets, so the nut will deform to the socket before the socket will deform to the nut. There should be no damage to your socket. The nut will still be able to be reused; it just won't be "locking" anymore. If you are using normal sockets that are not hardened, impacted sockets, slight socket damage may occur.

Use an impact gun in reverse. Using an impact gun works well because the impacts will keep the socket securely attached to the nut. If you do not have an impact gun, use a normal ratchet. You may need to attach a breaker bar to it in order to gain enough leverage.


  • check If you are having difficulty finding a socket that fits, try using metric sockets, which come in a larger variety of sizes. Also, try both 6-point and 12-point sockets. After removing your locking wheel nuts, replace them with new ones.


  • close Do not apply WD-40 or similar lubricants to the area; this can cause your socket to slide and will only need to be cleaned off. This method should not cause any rim damage, but exercise common sense. When in doubt, take it to a garage, as most any garage has a tool kit specifically for this task.

Items you will need

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