Locking wheel nut removal on a BMW X5 in HA7

New customer called needing 4 new tyres on their BMW X5 in HA7.

Tyres sizes where 275/40/R20 and 315/35/R20 both run flats and both to be Bridgestone. Gave him a price which he was happy with and arrange to meet him that afternoon at home to replace them.

Arrived at the job and double checked that the tyres needed to be replaced (you would be surprised how often people are told that there tyres need replacing when they don't)

They did need replacing so got the locking wheel nut key out of the boot, looked at the locking wheel nut key and it looked deformed showed it to the customer who said that the last time he had the tyres changed (not by us) the wheel nuts (including the locking wheel nuts) had been gunned on. With a damaged wheel nut key it can be hit and miss as to if you can get the nuts off the wheel.

Had one tyre that was a priority so started on this one, managed to get the locking wheel nut off. Removed the wheel and changed and balanced the tyre and then put it back on the car, wheel nuts tightened up and finished off to the manufactures torque setting b using a torque wrench. Could not put locking wheel nut back on as I did not want to risk damaging the key before I finished the job.

On to the next wheel, customer was with me as I tried to undo the locking wheel nut. No luck, in fact the locking wheel nut key sheared as I was turning it. Only thing to do is get out the locking wheel nut removal tool that we carry on the vans. Assembled the tool and started to try and remove the locking wheel nut. Snap, the nut was on so tight it broke the tool, and this is not a light weight bit of metal, it's a great big lump of steel that these locking wheel nuts had just broken.

So what to do now, 3 tyres still to change, a broken locking wheel nut key and a busted locking wheel nut removal tool. This was going to need more work than can be done by the side of the road.

Took the car to a garage we use so we could work on the locking wheel nuts.

All of the normal tricks that we use to remove the locking wheel nuts did not work, these nuts where well and truly stuck, one more thing to do, we ordered a special tool that will fit all the BMW locking wheel nuts and it is made of a special hardened steel, this would arrive the next day.

Tool arrives so off to work on the locking wheel nuts again, attached the tool to the impact wrench and started to hammer them, after 10 minutes (with some breaks to get our breath back) I heard a crack, dam I thought the new tool was busted, but no, the locking wheel nut had loosened, went straight on to the next locking wheel nut and the same happened with the nut and then also with the last one.

Removed all the nuts and wheels and changed and balanced the tyres, put them all back on and retightened the nuts to the manufacturers specification, also fitted 4 new locking wheel nuts that we had ordered at the same time as the new wonder tool, these were also tightened up to the correct spec by hand.

So the outcome, job done but took a couple of days and the ordering of a new tool that we hope we don't have to use again, all because the locking wheel nuts had been gunned on instead of tightened by hand, not a cheap job but at least the job has been completed to the customers satisfaction.


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