Hi all, just thought I'd remind you (when it's convenient of course) to check your locking wheelnuts for damage and also the socket key especially if you've just had any new tyres fitted recently by inadequately trained staff. Make sure you can get the nuts loose incase you, your wife, husband or partner are stranded out in the sticks sometime.
I've just had a big problem with my nuts . I went to replace my front brake discs and pads before Xmas only to find that my locking wheelnut socket wouldn't fit onto the locking nut as it should have and the inevitable happened upon removal, yup, sheered out nut, both sides. Took to last place had front tyres fitted and they didn't want to know, quoted £25 odd per wheel to remove, so that was gonna be X4 then and a new set of lockers, up yours matey. I took car to another tyre place and I told them to hammer it on and buzz it off with a gun, that just snapped the inside off of the key,. now I was in trouble, no key meant no way of getting off the nuts in any hurry.
I managed to track another complete set down with an identical security number (lucky, eh) from an old ebay search, all in and posted for £10. Tried the key on the rears and got those off easily but could I do owt with the fronts, Nah. I even tried an impact driver but still no use. Now it was sh*t or bust time. Took car round mates, whacked on an 11/16 socket, of course that just span round on the security collar so bit the bullet and stuck a load of weld in the middle, it wouldn't shift it but we managed to crack off the security collar. Then whacked another smaller socket on what remained (can't remember size) and stuck the biggest wheel brace I've seen on it. Absolutely loads of pressure applied on it, with heat and added force it Cracked and out she came. Duplicated on the other side and I was sorted cost me a bottle of Brandy to my mate though, lol.
This sort of thing could well have been avoided no doubt if I'd been present at the tyre place when they had done the locking nuts up, would've asked for a torque wrench for tightening. I suspect it was done with an air Buzz gun which by the looks and feel of it would have been whacked up to max torque, they were stupidly tight and probably the reason for the damaged socket.
As for VX's Vectra wheelnuts and poxy wheel brace I'd say, absolute PANTS and inadequate for the job. I've now got a set of McGards on order to replace them and an bought an extendable wheelbrace.
So do yourself a favour and check your nuts now or when someone else has been tampering with them