How to Remove Wheels With Broken Lock Nuts

by Kyle Sanstrom

Wheel lock nuts are designed to prevent thieves from stealing the wheels off of passenger vehicles. The wheels locks are matched with a special key socket that allows the vehicle owner to remove them as necessary. Occasionally, the wheel lock nuts become damaged and cannot be removed with the key socket or a regular lug nut socket. A special stripped lug nut removal socket must be used to remove the broken lock nuts from the wheel studs.

Locate the broken wheel lock on the wheel. Place the open end of the lug nut removal socket over the top of the broken lock nut. Align a block of wood with the top of the lug nut removal socket and pound the socket onto the broken lock nut until it's completely seated.

Insert a 1/2-inch extension into the center of the lug nut removal socket. Attach a 1/2-inch wrench to the extension. Loosen and remove the broken lock nut. Remove the broken lock nut from the lug nut removal socket.

Raise the vehicle using an automotive jack and support it with jack stands. Remove the remainder of the lug nuts using a standard lug nut socket and a 1/2-inch ratchet. Remove the wheel from the vehicle.


  • check Stripped/broken lug nut removal sockets are special steel sockets that contain sharp edges inside designed to grip rounded or broken lug nuts and wheel locks. They are available from auto parts stores and automotive tool retailers.

Items you will need

About the Author

Kyle Sanstrom has been writing professionally since 2008. His articles have been published on several websites including eHow and Automobile Insight. Sanstrom has undergone advanced automotive training at the Dunwoody College of Technology, holds an Associate of Arts in general studies from Century College and has more than 10 years of experience in all aspects of automotive repair and diagnosis.