How to Remove Spare Tire Lock without Key? – 6 Steps

Written by

Charles Bolte


Vernon Hoppe 

how to remove spare tire lock without key

A spare tire in your vehicle comes handy, especially when one of your wheels gets damaged or punctured on the road.

But what if you lost the key for detaching this emergency component? Worry not! There is a way to get a spare tire down without the tool.

The process is pretty easy and simple, so continue reading as we guide you through each step on how to remove spare tire lock without key.

What to Prepare

  • 12 mm Socket (size is dependent on your vehicle; you may find 13/16 and 7/16 inch lug nuts, for instance)
  • Socket extension bar
  • Hammer
  • Breaker Bar
  • Screwdriver
  • Universal wheel lock removal kit

Steps on How to Remove Spare Tire Lock Without Spare Tire Key

STEP 1: Find A Safe Area to Park

Suppose you have busted a tire on your automobile. In this case, it is important to pull over and park your vehicle first, whether it’s a 2000 Ford Ranger or any other car.

You should not remove a locking lug nut or do any other maintenance steps before settling down somewhere away from traffic.

It is recommended to park in open spaces such as parking lots or a breakdown lane along the road.

Another tip is to turn on your hazard light when pulling over at night. This will help other vehicles maneuver around you.

STEP 2: Hammering the Socket into the Lock Hole


Insert your 12 mm Socket into the wheel lock hole. For trucks like the Ford F250 and Ford F350, it is usually found in the rear bumper near the license plate.

You may use a socket extension bar if necessary, especially if the lock of the lug nut is too far away to come in contact with the socket.

Using your hammer, repeatedly hit the socket until it reaches the lug nut. As much as possible, hit it in one straight direction for a more precise and secure positioning of the socket.

STEP 3: Removing the Bolt


You can unscrew/loosen the bolt that secures the lock by using a wheel lock breaker tool (in other words, a breaker bar) and putting it in the socket.

Use enough force to work your way around the bolt counter clockwise until you have successfully loosened its grips. By doing so, the tire should gradually be lowered to the ground.

STEP 4: Check for Any Damages

With all that hammering and brute force you have just exerted, it is important to check your wheel stud for any damages, so it can be repaired or replaced.

You can use a flat smooth file to repair the threads of a lug nut, as long as they are not bent.

STEP 5: Removing the Lock from the Socket


Use a screwdriver and insert it to the stuck socket to remove the latter from the lug nut. You can use your hammer to hit the end of your screwdriver until it comes off.

If this method doesn’t work for you, you can reattach (but not too tightly) both the socket and the lug nut on your wheel stud.

This trick certainly works for my Mcgard spare tire. Then, try to force the socket off with your hand; you can use the breaker bar for extra strength.

STEP 6: Pulling the Tire from the Rim


Now, detach the tire from the carrier by using your hands. One hand must be on the tire and the other must reach into the rim to pull and completely remove it.

Frequently Asked Questions


What Do You Do If You Lose Your Wheel Lock Key?

Aside from the steps we provided earlier in this article, if your wheel lock lug nut removal key is nowhere to be found, the first option you can do is to buy a new one.

Another option is to call in and request for a mechanic’s services. They have the right set of tools to remove a lock without a key and specialize in repairs on automobile and parts replacement.

How Much Does a Wheel Lock Removal Key Cost?

Usually, these keys are sold in a set or a tool kit at car dealerships and online. They can range from $20 up to $120. If you can’t find a place to purchase keys, a spare wheel mechanic kit is a nice alternative.

For example, F150 spare tire removal tools cost about $30 – $35 on Amazon.

How Do You Get a Lock Off a Tire Without the Key?

Just like the above-mentioned steps, first, use a socket that would fit the lock. Second, hit the socket with a hammer.

Next, unscrew the socket using a wrench and remove it with a screwdriver. At this point, the lock should come out with some tapping.


Now that you have learned the steps on how to remove spare tire lock without key, you can save time and money by not having to buy special removal keys such as a Ford spare tire lock key.

Detaching your extra wheel will seem like a walk in the park, as long as you have the right tools and equipment and have read and followed the steps we provided in this article.

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