How Much Does Locking Wheel Nut Removal Cost In 2023? | Checkatrade
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Last updated on August 18th, 2022

Locking wheel nut removal cost

Lost your locking wheel nut key? It happens to the best of us. Use our guide to find out the cost of removing the nut from each of your wheels.

What is a locking wheel nut?

A locking wheel nut, also known as prevailing torque nut, elastic stop nut, alloy wheel nuts or lug nuts refer to a nut that resists loosening pressure under torque.

There is usually one locking wheel nut per wheel, so a standard vehicle has four identical lug nuts. A locking wheel nut keeps your vehicle’s wheels safely secured. To unlock the lock wheel nut, you need a unique key, a metallic, circular tool with a hexagonal indent on its ending.

What is locking wheel nut removal?

It is a process to remove a locking wheel nut when you have damaged, lost or misplaced the key needed to remove a locking wheel nut. It is done using special removal tools and should be conducted by experts to avoid damage to your wheels and alloys.

locking wheel nut removal cost

Where is the locking wheel nut key?

There are some common places within the vehicle listed below, which you should consider checking for the locking wheel nut key:

  • The glove box
  • Under the driver or passenger’s seat
  • Inside the boot compartment
  • Inside door pockets

How much does it cost for locking wheel nut removal?

Cost provided itemPrice range - low Price range - highAverage UK cost 
Remove locking wheel nut (one)£40£60£50
Remove locking wheel nuts (four)£55£85£70
Failed attempts rescue locking wheel nut removal (one)£40
Mobile locking wheel nut removal cost (one)£57.50£62.50£60
Mobile locking wheel nut removal cost (four)£75£85£80

Our costs are ballpark averages – get a local tradesperson to quote now

The removal cost depends on the number of wheels that need to be unlocked. For one wheel, locking wheel nut removal costs on average £50.

On the other hand, for all the four bolts to be removed at the same time, the locking wheel nut removal cost isn’t much more, at around £70 on average.

Where there have been previous unsuccessful removal attempts, there may be an additional labour charge of £40. This charge is for the time to remove sockets and other tools that have become stuck on the locking nuts.

Mobile locking wheel nut removal cost

If you need roadside assistance or are stuck at home, you may require mobile wheel locks nut removal services. A call-out charge will be due, which is calculated based on the number of miles the mechanic has to cover to reach you.

The minimum mobile locking wheel nut removal cost is on average £60 for one nut and £80 for all four bolts.

Locking wheel nut removal cost calculator

For your locking wheel nut removal cost calculation, the main consideration is the number of wheels. If it’s just one wheel, you can get the locking wheel nut removed for an average of £50. However, the cost goes up for additional nuts.

You also need to factor in a ‘failed attempt rescue’ additional charge if you tried to remove the nuts previously and were unsuccessful.


What happens if the locking wheel nut cannot be removed?

In some circumstances, the locking wheel nut cannot be removed, and different approaches are required. However, these techniques can only be employed if the bolt was not overtightened during installation. There are a couple of options that can be explored:

  • A technician can use a tool to break the bolt’s head and using torque force the bolt off. This invasive method, although often useful, might cause permanent damage to the locking wheel nuts and they may need replacement.
  • A moulded replicate tool of the missing part of the lug nut can be employed to remove the nut. This approach is generally favoured as it causes minimal damage. These more labour intensive solutions will incur on average a standard call-out fee of £40.

How much is a replacement locking wheel nut?

In case of damage to the locking wheel nut, you can always get a replacement, and you should get it from your car’s manufacturer as they differ with each vehicle brand.

mechanic removing locking wheel nut cost

What happens if I lost my locking wheel nut key?

You can acquire a new locking wheel nut key if you have lost it—the car’s manufacturer will typically offer replacement keys for purchase. But you will need to have the key’s unique code given to you when you bought the vehicle.

Where can I find my locking wheel nut key code?

The wheel nut key code is customarily given to you by the manufacturer when you buy the vehicle. It is written on the locking wheel nut’s packaging box.

Will removing my wheel locks damage my alloys?

It is advisable to hire an expert mechanic rather than doing it yourself as this will reduce the chances of damage to your alloy wheels. If an invasive method is employed in the removal process, it will cause damage to the powder and lacquer coat of the alloys.

How long does it take to remove locking wheel nuts?

The duration of time to remove locking wheel nuts depends on whether or not the nuts are damaged. The style of lock is also a factor, with systems such as McGuard lock nuts taking a longer time. On average. It will take about half an hour to conclude the removal of four nuts.

Useful checklist about locking wheel nut removal cost

  • Hire an expert mechanic to avoid damaging your alloys.
  • Locking wheel nut removal costs depend on the number of wheels.
  • You can always get your locking wheel nut removed even without the key.
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