Common Wheel Nut Key Locations & What To Do If Lost
Michael Collado is a car buying expert and has been a professional automotive writer since 2009. He’s written about dealership sales, vehicle reviews and comparisons, and service and maintenance for over 100 national automotive dealerships. Previously, Collado was a copywriter at the ad agency TBWA/Chiat/Day where he worked on brand campaigns for Nissan, ABC Television, Sony PlayStation, and Energizer. His recognition in the ad industry includes awards from Communication Arts and The Clios.
Collado has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida, with a major in Psychology and a minor in Marketing.
Since manufacturers use different lock keys, you will need to get a specific wheel nut key for your vehicle.
Here, you will learn what a wheel lock key is and the most common places to find it.
Also, we'll review how to go about replacing a wheel lock key if yours is missing.
Table of Contents
- Wheel Lock Key Video
- Common Places to Find Wheel Lock Key
- What Is a Wheel Lock Key?
- Types of Locking Lug Nuts
- Where Can I Find My Wheel Nut Key?
- What If Wheel Lock Nut Key Is Lost or Broken?
- Wheel Lock Removal and Replacement Service
- Remove Wheel Locks Without a Key
- Best Car Deals by Category
- Frequently Asked Questions
Wheel Lock Key Video
Common Places to Find Wheel Lock Key
Common places you can find your wheel lock key are:
- The glove box
- In your trunk, under or near your spare tire
- Under the carpet in your trunk
- Underneath your driver’s or passenger seat
- In or around the center console
If you’ve looked all of those places and still can’t find your wheel lock key, don’t panic! There are other ways to replace your wheel without it.
What Is a Wheel Lock Key?
Wheel lock keys are special sockets that are designed to help remove the tire, rim, and wheel on your vehicle.
The purpose of wheel locks is to protect against the theft of tires, wheels, and rims. They do not protect against car theft. Depending on the model of your vehicle, your wheel lock key will be located in a hidden location inside your vehicle.
If you lose your wheel lock key, you will have a couple of options when it comes to a replacement. That could include purchasing a new wheel lock key from the manufacturer or purchasing a third-party wheel lock key.
Types of Locking Lug Nuts
There are several popular types of locking lug nuts. Below is a list of the three most common locking lug nuts on vehicles available in North America.
Conical or Tapered Seat
These are the most common types of lug nuts. These are cone-shaped lug nuts that protrude outward.
Spherical or Ball Seat
The second most common lug nut is the spherical or ball seat lug nut. You can tell these lug nuts apart from others by their round or bulbous shape. You will also find these lug nuts on many different types of vehicles in North America.
As the name implies, a flat seat lug nut will have a flat top, and it is easily distinguishable from a conical or spherical lug nut.
Where Can I Find My Wheel Nut Key?
Each manufacturer will have a specific location for their wheel nut key. Here is a look at the location of the most common brands in the North American market.
Looking into the trunk under the floor, left-hand side, the locking key should be next to the tow adapter.
It should be in a small L-shaped bag tucked into a pocket on the right-hand side of the trunk.
On the Lexus, the wheel nut key is located in the rear of the vehicle with the jack.
Check out our post to see where the wheel lock key is located for popular Lexus models >>
There are two locations where you can find a wheel lock key, depending on the model. The first location is the glove compartment. The second location is in a separate compartment under the trunk.
Depending on the model, the wheel lock key is located in the glove box or inside the center console.
Honda will keep the wheel lock key either in the glove compartment or with the other tools that are located with the spare tire.
Check out our post to see where the wheel lock key is located for popular Honda models >>
What If Wheel Lock Nut Key Is Lost or Broken?
A wheel lock key will come with a code. Therefore, the best option is to purchase a new wheel lock key from the manufacturer.
Wheel Lock Removal and Replacement Service
If you do not want to get a new wheel lock and you need to have your wheel removed, then you can go to a service center that has the tools to remove a wheel from your type of vehicle.
The most ideal choice is to go to a service center that specializes in your vehicle.
Remove Wheel Locks Without a Key
You can use the following steps to remove wheel locks without a key.
- Clean the wheel lock. This is to ensure that there is no debris that could interfere with the next steps.
- Use a 12-point socket that barely fits over the wheel lock.
- Hold the socket in place.
- Hit the socket with a hammer until it is tight around the lock.
- Unscrew the socket using the socket wrench.
If you are not used to working on your own vehicle, then it is recommended that you go to a service center to have a wheel lock removed without a key.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a universal wheel nut key?
You can find a universal wheel nut key kit. The kit will usually come with anywhere from 12 to 20 pieces that can fit just about any wheel lock on any type of modern vehicle.
How can I remove locking lug nuts?
You can remove locking lug nuts with a key, a universal wheel lock kit or you can use a 12-point socket and a hammer and follow the steps in the, “Remove wheel locks without a key,” section.
Does AutoZone remove lug nuts?
AutoZone does not remove lug nuts as a service. However, they do sell wheel lock removal kits.
Where are common places to find lug nut lock keys?
The most common place to find a lug nut lock key is the glove compartment. The second most common location is in the trunk where the spare tire is located.