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Locking Wheel Nuts


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I was rotating the wheels on our Prius and was just tightening the security nut and the key sheared off in the nut. I have now been left with a key with no spare and am unable to remove the wheels.

I have always tightened the nuts by hand and used a torque wrench to finish off. The ease with which the key sheared off indicated a stress fracture meaning that the keys are susceptible to work hardening and are therefore likely to shear off with regular use or (suffer the thought ) impact wrenching.

My previous Volvos, Audi and Honda all had spare keys and therefore wouldnt have been a problem. The Toyota doesnt have a spare key and the universal removal tools do not work on the Toyota design of nut.

Luckily I have a nut which I hadnt yet fitted and I have the old key. Once I remove the nuts I will be replacing them with conventional wheel nuts since I am sure that at some time in the cars past someone has "gunned" the key nuts leading to the key failiure. That someone would, without any shaddow of doubt, refer to him or herself as a trained professional since amatures tend not to have access to impact guns.

I am tempted to mig weld a nut onto the ends of these locking nuts but will bide my time while the dealers try to get a key for me.

My Lexus uses exactly the same type of locking wheel nuts and the box has the same part number on it. and so I compared the keys to find that each key has a letter stamped onto the top of it. My broken prius key is a J whilst my Lexus key is an X. I assume that this is the factory ident which is worth making a note of.

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As an update, I have now discovered that there is a leaflet inside the locking wheel nut case with a 3 figure number written on it. This 3 figure number is the factory ident for the key.

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These so called locking wheel nuts are the main curse of anyone like me who has to work on cars with them.

Never able to find them the owner usually has them at home as if that will help him when he has a puncture.

Other issue as the OP says is they usually break although not usually the Toyota ones.

Personally see very little point in them as wheel theft seems to be very rare these days.

Or does my argument defeat itself because whhels are not often stolen because of the locking nuts?

Regardless I hate them.

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