I had my wheel lock key break while trying to remove the lock and have
read that other people have had the same problem. I was able to get
mine off with a method I haven't seen posted yet, so thought I'd share
it here. Maybe this and other solutions to this problem could even be
posted to the library.
Basically, I had a flat tire fixed at a small local tire shop and the
moron use his impact wrench to tighten all the bolts back on EXTREMELY
tight. My key actually sheered off when trying to remove the last bolt,
leaving the broken pieces of the key in the lock!! I eventually got the
pieces out and took the car to 2 VW dealers to have it removed. The
first one ruined THEIR key on it. The second one could try because their
key had already been stripped out too from another car. So I went to
Sears to see if they could use their wheel lock removal sockets. No
good. None of them would fit. I was about ready to give in and have
the dealer cut the wheel off, when one of the mechanics made a
suggestion. I followed his suggestion and it worked, thank God. Here's
what you do....
Go to Sears and buy an 18mm deep-well 12-point socket. It must be 12
point and it must be deep well. It will cost you around $7. The circle
formed by the 12 points is just slightly smaller than the outside
diameter of the wheel locks used on the A3 VWs.
You will need to pound the socket over the wheel lock. It wont be easy,
I had to use a sledge hammer!! At first, it will keep wanting to bounce
back out. Wrap a towel or cloth around the socket to hold it in the
bolt well. I gave up at first, but tried it later and had success.
Just keep trying. A sledge hammer will probably be ncessary. Of
course, the wheel lock and socket will be useless after this, but you'll
probably want to replace all those piece of shit wheel locks with
regular bolts anyway!! I did.
And if this hasn't happened to you, I would strongly suggest removing
them all and replacing them with regular bolts. God forbid if it broke
on you while on the side of the road trying to put on your spare! Of
you must keep them on, make sure whenever you have work done, that they
don't overtorque the bolts!! Better yet, just tell them to snug them
anf tighten them yourself.
96 Jetta VR6 - Garrett v.11
[gtivr6list] Broken wheel locks/keys
Sat, 8 Dec 2001 12:09:23 -0500
"John Newby" <johnnewby@ameritech<img src=/i/dn.gif border=0 width=35 height=15>>
<list@gti-vr6<img src=/i/dn.gif border=0 width=35 height=15>>
This morning I had to perform the procedure described in the Library under
the above heading as my wheel lock key was FUBAR'd - thankfully I didn't
have a puncture on the road before discovering it!
The given method with the 18mm deep socket worked well, but I suggest a
preliminary step that will make it much easier. My first bolt removal took
took half an hour, three wheel dings (on a wheel I have to replace anyway so
that's why I chose it for the beta-test), countless knuckle contacts, and a
lot of cussing - the rest took just a few seconds each.
The socket was very difficult to pound onto the first bolt - the deformation
of the points raised a large burr on the point. After the twentieth time
that the socket bounced off (third wheel ding), got out my Dremel and ground
a gradual lead up each of the socket points, removing the burr in the
process. BINGO! Two strikes with my 5-pound hammer got a firm hold of the
bolt and out she came. I knocked the bolt out of the socket and did the
others with the same socket - each with only two simple hammer blows to fix
the socket on the bolt.
So - what I suggest as an addition to the instructions in the subject post
is to take the as-bought socket and grind off half the depth of each of the
12 points for about 1/4" of the entry length and allow a shallow taper back
for another 1/8" to 1/4" to the full point shape. This will allow the
socket to be easily driven over the wheelbolt and grab it.
Brake pad replacement tomorrow - Ferodo's all round.
'98VR6 GTI, Garrett v11, DSR256's, etc.