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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Wheels and Tires Forum Sponsored by The Tire Rack > Broken locking wheel nut key



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      04-17-2019, 09:19 AM   #1
james green
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Broken locking wheel nut key

Okay chaps so my locking wheel nut key for my 2011 3 series snapped. Today i went to my local BMW who issued me with a new key, when i got back and tried to use this one it also snapped. I then went back to my local BMW who said that they can drill them off but are unable to give a price, they said it usually take hours to do and i will be charged the hourly labour rate. Is this honestly the only way to remove these? Going by what they are saying, then it is due to be extremely expensive.

Last edited by james green; 04-17-2019 at 09:19 AM. Reason: spelling
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      04-17-2019, 09:30 AM   #2
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I'd forget the dealership and find a tire shop or Independent. Odds are they will have more experience with it and charge you a fraction of what BMW would. How did you snap two keys? Who installed the wheel before this? It sounds like it was overtorqued by a great deal.
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      04-17-2019, 09:44 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by james green View Post
Okay chaps so my locking wheel nut key for my 2011 3 series snapped. Today i went to my local BMW who issued me with a new key, when i got back and tried to use this one it also snapped. I then went back to my local BMW who said that they can drill them off but are unable to give a price, they said it usually take hours to do and i will be charged the hourly labour rate. Is this honestly the only way to remove these? Going by what they are saying, then it is due to be extremely expensive.
There are a few options and specialty removal tools.

http://www.jamesandtracy.co.uk/howto...ut_removal.htm
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      04-17-2019, 10:29 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by tcphoto View Post
I'd forget the dealership and find a tire shop or Independent. Odds are they will have more experience with it and charge you a fraction of what BMW would. How did you snap two keys? Who installed the wheel before this? It sounds like it was overtorqued by a great deal.
Yeah, must have been the tyre shop when i last got them changed. If i try call them now they will more than likely denny it. Worth a try i guess
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      04-17-2019, 10:30 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Dpc2u View Post
There are a few options and specialty removal tools.

http://www.jamesandtracy.co.uk/howto...nut_removl.htm
Thats a great link, i will have a look now and see if i can find the tools online somewhere.

Last edited by james green; 04-17-2019 at 10:31 AM. Reason: speling
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      04-17-2019, 01:28 PM   #6
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Thats a great link, i will have a look now and see if i can find the tools online somewhere.
Okay so my local garage had that dynomec tool. They tried to use it but it snapped the end piece of their tool inside the locking wheel nut. I think the only option now is welding or drilling.
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      04-17-2019, 01:32 PM   #7
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Sorry to hear that, it must be crazy tight!
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      04-17-2019, 02:22 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by james green View Post
Yeah, must have been the tyre shop when i last got them changed. If i try call them now they will more than likely denny it. Worth a try i guess
I would gather my receipts for the original service, two broke keys and whatever the current shop charges and bring them to the shop. If they don't work with you, I'd use it as an opportunity to teach them about the dangers of using the wrong tool for the job. I'd also post a bad review about their service.
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      04-18-2019, 02:57 AM   #9
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Sorry to hear that, it must be crazy tight!
Yeah they said that tool only ever fails when they are on really tight.
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      04-18-2019, 02:59 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by tcphoto View Post
I would gather my receipts for the original service, two broke keys and whatever the current shop charges and bring them to the shop. If they don't work with you, I'd use it as an opportunity to teach them about the dangers of using the wrong tool for the job. I'd also post a bad review about their service.
They are only a small tyre shop so i highly doubt they will accept responsibility for it. I will have another search round today and see if i can find someone to be able to get them off. I would have never thought that these locking wheel nuts would be such a pain to get off.
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      04-18-2019, 09:41 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by james green View Post
They are only a small tyre shop so i highly doubt they will accept responsibility for it. I will have another search round today and see if i can find someone to be able to get them off. I would have never thought that these locking wheel nuts would be such a pain to get off.
I help out a few of my bimmer friends f30, e9x, e46 and they've all had similar issues. It's a common issue. I've broken their keys, several of my tools and adapters trying to un-torque these ridiculously tight lug bolts and the best part? When you eventually get them off, they're rounded/stripped to shit. The specialty locking tools linked are likely destructive in nature so you'll need to buy a replacement set ahead of time. For e9x, the torque spec is only 88 ft-lbs iirc. You don't even need an impact or breaker bar, that's arm tight.
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      04-18-2019, 05:09 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by tisdrew View Post
I help out a few of my bimmer friends f30, e9x, e46 and they've all had similar issues. It's a common issue. I've broken their keys, several of my tools and adapters trying to un-torque these ridiculously tight lug bolts and the best part? When you eventually get them off, they're rounded/stripped to shit. The specialty locking tools linked are likely destructive in nature so you'll need to buy a replacement set ahead of time. For e9x, the torque spec is only 88 ft-lbs iirc. You don't even need an impact or breaker bar, that's arm tight.
Yeah i think this is the biggest problem. I mean you see all too often garages using impact guns to tighten up locking wheel nuts, and for what, to save a few seconds on refitting a tyre?
Maybe its to do with the pressure put on them by bosses to get "x" amount of cars in and out per day? or maybe just to get out for lunch earlier
But for these so called professionals to do something like this that in the end costs the customer a lot of money just seem ridiculous.

Anyway folks, i have now managed to get these pesky bolts off after searching far and wide i managed to find this company www.lockingwheelnutremovers.co.uk who are local to me. They seem to guarantee removal of any locking wheel nut so i thought i would call them out on that offer. The chap arrived earlier and managed to get them off in literally minutes. When i questioned him about it he said that BMW are one of his most common cars to do! When i questioned him as to why garages can not get them off and yet he can, he laughed and said that it's all about knowledge and that he makes his own tools to be able to get them off.
I ca not explain the relief when he said they were off!
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      04-19-2019, 06:18 AM   #13
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Goog deal, glad the torch or grinder didn't have to be dragged out. That could get ugly in the hands of a rookie.
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