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Thread: Not Your Usual "Lost My Locking Wheel Nut Key" Thread

  1. #1
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    Default Not Your Usual "Lost My Locking Wheel Nut Key" Thread

    Three weeks ago I decided to have a good look at the state of the disks and pads on my Signum, front and rear, to make sure they all still have lots of life left in them. Took all 4 wheels off, checked the disks for thickness, and the pads as well, inners and outers. Put the wheels back, put the tools away, went shopping, feeling good. Got back home and realised I couldn't recall putting the locking wheel nut key away, so checked the usual place and couldn't find it there. Checked the whole car, nada. Checked the tool box, not there either. Looked all over my driveway, nope. Realising that it's possible I left the key in situ on the locking nut on the last wheel I put back and drove off with it still on there, I walked up and down my road to see if I could see the key lying in the gutter. No luck. I still don't know what happened to it, but am guessing that maybe I left it on the driveway when I went shopping and some kids saw it and pinched it. Who knows?

    A week later, and I went to Halfords to buy a pair of Laser locking wheel nut removal tools, in two different sizes. They won't work on spinning collars, but mine weren't the Vauxhall original locks as I had taken them off years ago and replaced them with McGard ones. I was a bit sceptical that the Laser tools would work, as the McGard locks have a hardened chrome collar on them. At the checkout I asked the Halfords staff member if I could return the Laser tools if they didn't work, and he replied "no problem", which surprised me, but perhaps it was because I was using a Trade Card and hence was a regular.

    Got home, tried the Laser tools and indeed they didn't work. Admittedly, I was using a hand wrench, rather than an airgun, but the tool didn't bite at all into the hardened chromed shoulder. I considered taking the tools to a local garage and asking them to try them with their airgun, but the Laser socket was such a snug fit in the wheel's nut well that it was obvious an airgun would make the socket scrape all the paint off the nut well, so I opted not to try that.

    By now the Laser tools had a little wheel paint on them already, so I washed them carefully and repackaged them to make it look like they hadn't been used, even though the Halfords guy had already said I could return them even after use. I took them back to Halfords and asked for a refund, and the girl at the till gave them a very thorough and close up inspection to satisfy herself that I hadn't used them, making me glad I cleaned them up beforehand. "You didn't need them in the end?" she asked with a smile? "No", I lied, "I found the original key after all".

    Still with four wheels that wouldn't come off, I had the brainwave of contacting Mcgard, so phoned their European HQ in Germany and explained my conundrum. "Do you have the reference number we gave you when you registered your key with us"? the woman asked. I don't, I replied. No problem, she said, just take a clear digital photo of the locking nut and email it to us, then telephone us back. I did just that, and she checked the photo whilst I was on the line and confirmed that it was "clear enough for us to work with", and took credit card payment of 18 euros, and said I'd receive my replacement key within a week.

    Sure enough, I now have my replacement key, which fits, and haven't had to resort to damaging the wheels and then still having to fork out for new locking wheel nuts. I'm a very relieved Signum owner whose glad he bought locking wheel nuts from a top company instead of no-name cheapos from ebay that come with no after-sales service.

  2. #2
    Regular Member ThatAudioBloke's Avatar
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    I smashed a socket over my McGard ones (as some of the North East lot can testify!) but it does kinda ensure you need a new set of locking nuts, and probably didn't do the wheel bearings any good! It was on an oooooold car though (not the vec!)

  3. #3
    Regular Member Neve'o's Avatar
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    Good result! Just hope someone doesn't now have access to your wheels at will if the original key was in fact found/pinched!

  4. #4
    Regular Member J P S's Avatar
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    might be worth swapping that set of locking nuts with a mate that doesnt live at yours just in case someone did find the key?

    nice service from mcgard tho

  5. #5
    Regular Member Das's Avatar
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    So the moral of this story is if you have McGard locking wheel nuts all someone needs is a clear photo of the locking nut and €18 and they can steal your wheels.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Das View Post
    So the moral of this story is if you have McGard locking wheel nuts all someone needs is a clear photo of the locking nut and €18 and they can steal your wheels.
    Yes... but I had to email a scan of my driving licence and V5 to accompany the photo

  7. #7
    Regular Member Das's Avatar
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    Ah cool. I have my box with ref number for my mcgards in the attic.

  8. #8
    VIP-Member Johnsdutton's Avatar
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    Brilliant service, top company.
    3.2 v6 Signum and loving it

    http://www.freewebs.com/johnsdutton/

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    Regular Member Critch's Avatar
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    Locking wheel keys Ste the Bain of my life I either forget to put them back and have to send driver out to return the said or the customer has no idea where they are so have to then smash the nuts off.

    but back on topic good service.

    i just don't have any locking nuts lol

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