Failed locking wheelnut key

Failed locking wheelnut key

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Discussion

D1bram

Original Poster:

1,295 posts

121 months

Thursday 4th December 2014
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So last night I had a puncture, one junction on the A1m short of home, to the offside rear just before it was about to get dark.

Could it get worse? Yep!

Popped the locking wheelnut key on and started trying to loosen it. Not moving, not moving, crack!

About a 10mm chunk broke from the wall of the key - and I couldn't get it to purchase after that.

Luckily the AA man was able to get around it using his jack to support his breaker bar.

It's an 8 month old car though and the first time I've had to use the key, so very not impressed.

Ford dealer suggested that 'a few have failed'... It's clearly a cheaply made component, but what a terrible item to compromise on.

Just glad it was on the return journey as I'd had my dogs in the car earlier too.

andy-xr

13,204 posts

154 months

Thursday 4th December 2014
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I took all my locking nuts off, I dont know how many people tried to steal the wheels and couldnt because of the locking nuts, but I know how many times I've searched for the key that I thought was in the boot then remembered it's probably in the socket set box from last time I had the wheel off.

They seem to cause more problems for owners than thieves deterred to me.

/Captain Hindsight

alangla

2,033 posts

131 months

Thursday 4th December 2014
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I had to get a Ford dealer to remove the rear lock nuts on my 2007 Focus with what I assume was an air chisel frown
Later ones seem to be a single piece of metal, but the ones that were 2 pieces were a nightmare - in my case the key in the middle broke out leaving a nut that nothing would turn & a locknut remover tool couldn't fit over without damaging the alloy.
Would have expected it to have lasted longer than a few months though - IIRC mine lasted 4-5 years before disintegrating.
If you decide to replace them, watch out - there were some subtle changes in the cone angle used for the Focus at least during the Mk2 - Mk2.5 phase, make sure the replacement is the same shape as the one it replaces.

D1bram

Original Poster:

1,295 posts

121 months

Thursday 4th December 2014
quotequote all
alangla said:
I had to get a Ford dealer to remove the rear lock nuts on my 2007 Focus with what I assume was an air chisel frown
Later ones seem to be a single piece of metal, but the ones that were 2 pieces were a nightmare - in my case the key in the middle broke out leaving a nut that nothing would turn & a locknut remover tool couldn't fit over without damaging the alloy.
Would have expected it to have lasted longer than a few months though - IIRC mine lasted 4-5 years before disintegrating.
If you decide to replace them, watch out - there were some subtle changes in the cone angle used for the Focus at least during the Mk2 - Mk2.5 phase, make sure the replacement is the same shape as the one it replaces.
Seems like they have history with poor locking wheelnut keys then! Mine is a Mk3, new in March and though it's already done 22k the only people who have touched it is the supplying dealer.

I honestly agree we'd be better off without them most of the time - in this day and age what value to a thief would an OEM set of ford alloys represent?

We recently discovered that the 18inch Rays alloys on the wifes car had no locknuts on them and they haven't gone walkies.

PeteSV

52 posts

113 months

Thursday 4th December 2014
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My Ford locking key broke on it's first use at 5 months old on my New Fiesta earlier this year. It looks to be a new style with v shaped notches out of the edge of the nut. The key appeared to be made of some sort of hard cheese!

Took it back to the main Ford dealer in Sheffield where the car was purchased new and you'd think I'd turned up with a broken piece of the space shuttle. After lots of scratching of heads and six people needing to look at it and hear from me what happened they said they would fit a replacement set and would remove the locking nuts from all four wheels with an 'impact driver' as a replacement key is not possible as "there are thousands of keys and it's impossible to just get a replacement". I pointed out the immaculate nearly new wheels, their warranty responsibility and on their head's be it if there was any damage to the wheels.

When I went to collect the car there was a fresh set of nuts and a new key with the same code as before. Must have been a miracle rolleyes

Kentish

15,164 posts

184 months

Thursday 4th December 2014
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BMW yesterday....

Walked into main dealer and purchased key (had in stock & on the shelf).

I'm not sure whether that was a good or a bad thing!

ging84

6,056 posts

96 months

Thursday 4th December 2014
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what do you mean the aa man was able to use it by supporting his breaker bar with a jack?

if you mean the nut was done up so tight that even with a breaker bar he couldn't budge it by hand and used a jack on it, then i'm not surprised your locking wheel nut key broke, the nut was far tighter than the locking wheel nut key would ever have been designed for


Kentish

15,164 posts

184 months

Thursday 4th December 2014
quotequote all
ging84 said:
what do you mean the aa man was able to use it by supporting his breaker bar with a jack?

if you mean the nut was done up so tight that even with a breaker bar he couldn't budge it by hand and used a jack on it, then i'm not surprised your locking wheel nut key broke, the nut was far tighter than the locking wheel nut key would ever have been designed for
I think he means as a solid support beneath the breaker bar so that there was not the waving about that you would get trying to release the lock with 2 hands whilst leaning on the breaker bar.

Sammo123

1,486 posts

131 months

Thursday 4th December 2014
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We had a 57 reg Zafira in the workshop a couple of weeks ago needing a new rear wheel bearing. The technician went to do the locking wheel nut using a breaker bar and the key snapped clean in half! The customer managed to get another one from Vauxhall that day and brought it to us. The exact same thing happened again!

Yamahadivvyrider

445 posts

68 months

Thursday 4th December 2014
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Had the locking nut key break on our mondeo.took the local tyre place 10 mins to shift them all with some sort of smack on socket thing.replaced with standard nuts

Yamahadivvyrider

445 posts

68 months

Thursday 4th December 2014
quotequote all
Had the locking nut key break on our mondeo.took the local tyre place 10 mins to shift them all with some sort of smack on socket thing.replaced with standard nuts

0llie

2,847 posts

146 months

Thursday 4th December 2014
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Mine also snapped on my 62 plate Fiesta Metal. Car was 8 months old, wasn't impressed. However, doesn't seem to be an isolated issue.

PositronicRay

17,679 posts

133 months

Thursday 4th December 2014
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Kentish said:
BMW yesterday....

Walked into main dealer and purchased key (had in stock & on the shelf).

I'm not sure whether that was a good or a bad thing!
I don't know about BMW but Audi have 12 keys I think. A whole set of 12 isn't very expensive.

J4CKO

29,253 posts

150 months

Thursday 4th December 2014
quotequote all
I lost my key, took the car to Nissan, they supplied 4 * plain nuts for £14 and lent me the set of keys to do the change in the car park.

More trouble than they are worth, I will take the risk of getting mmy wheels nicked rather than being stuck not able to change a wheel.

DocJock

6,324 posts

190 months

Thursday 4th December 2014
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I always get rid of them asap.

If a thief wants your wheels, a set of locking nuts won't stop them and you'll end up with some wrecked studs into the bargain.

calibrax

4,788 posts

161 months

Thursday 4th December 2014
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D1bram said:
I honestly agree we'd be better off without them most of the time - in this day and age what value to a thief would an OEM set of ford alloys represent?
With new 18" tyres costing around £200 a corner for the premium brands, the wheels are just a small bonus in scrap value...


D1bram

Original Poster:

1,295 posts

121 months

Friday 5th December 2014
quotequote all
Kentish said:
ging84 said:
what do you mean the aa man was able to use it by supporting his breaker bar with a jack?

if you mean the nut was done up so tight that even with a breaker bar he couldn't budge it by hand and used a jack on it, then i'm not surprised your locking wheel nut key broke, the nut was far tighter than the locking wheel nut key would ever have been designed for
I think he means as a solid support beneath the breaker bar so that there was not the waving about that you would get trying to release the lock with 2 hands whilst leaning on the breaker bar.
This exactly. The key snapped with just me and the 6inch bar in the ford toolkit for persuasion