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How to Use a Lug Nut Key

by Chance E. Gartneer

Getting a flat tire is frustrating; not being able to remove the flat tire is maddening. Automobiles are provided with all the necessary equipment to change a tire: a jack to raise the car; a "doughnut" or spare tire to help you get home or to a service station to repair your tire; and a tire iron to remove the lug nuts that are keeping your now wounded or deflated tire securely on your car. The tire iron, or lug wrench, also doubles as a lug wrench key, and is specifically designed to help remove the lug nuts on the tire. Using the lug nut key correctly can accelerate the tire changing process.

Examine the lug nuts on the tire and determine if there is a locking lug nut. Typically the locking lug nut will have a different head, either rounded or with a design.

Place the lug nut key on the locking lug nut, making sure that the key is on the nut securely.

Turn the lug nut key clockwise to loosen the lug nut. If the lug nut is on too tightly, step downwards on the lug nut key for added force. Remove the lug nut by unscrewing it.

Continue loosening and removing the remaining lug nuts with the lug nut key in the same fashion.


  • Make sure the vehicle is parked on a flat surface with enough space from the curb to work effectively.


  • If on a busy or dangerous street, either move the vehicle off, or if you cannot move it, have it towed.

About the Author

Chance E. Gartneer began writing professionally in 2008 working in conjunction with FEMA. He has the unofficial record for the most undergraduate hours at the University of Texas at Austin. When not working on his children's book masterpiece, he writes educational pieces focusing on early mathematics and ESL topics.

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