[A4] FYI - Removing Locking Bolts

Mitchell Segal MSegal at nsbgroup.com
Wed Nov 10 14:46:50 EST 2004

Hello all,

I just wanted to relate to you something I learned yesterday, in the hope
that it helps even one other person out there.

On Monday night while driving somewhere, I found out I had a flat time (a
nice BIG nail right in the center of my tread).  I was in a hurry, so I
figured to just change the tire as fast as possible, toss everything back in
the trunk, and be on my way.  

Well, in my haste, as the last step, I was tightening the lock-bolt I have
on my car, the emergency wrench slips, and I broke the pins off the lock key
for the bolt.  This was a major problem, since 
(a) the spare I put on to replace the flat had a bent rim I got 3 days
before from a nice pothole (we won't go there right now), so it was
(b) it's Winter here, and I need to put on my winter tires and rims

So, I go back to the store where I bought the locks (not Audi original), and
found out the company that made them is no longer in business.  We search
through about 200 spares they had, but none matched my code.  I then asked
them what they do in this situation (ie: many people lose the keys), and
they told me that since the bolts are so deep into the mag (2001.5 A4 1.8TQS
w/ 17" mags), the usual bolt extractor wouldn't fit.  So the only other
option would be to weld a nut onto the lockbolt, and then remove it that

I tried a professional tire place just down the street, and got basically
the same answer.  I wasn't looking forward to this, as there was possibility
of damage to the wheel.

Before going ahead, I decided I would stop by a local general mechanic that
I trusted, to see if they had any good ideas, or at least they would
probably charge less than the performance or tire shops.  It was a good
thing I did, because he had them off within 5 minutes.  The solution?

12-point socket set.  He simply found the one that would slip over the whole
lock bolt, hammered it on a bit, and then removed the whole lock bolt as
normal with a breaker bar.  Easy as pie, barely even nicked them. 

He told me it works just about every time.  Didn't damage the socket at all
(since they're usually stronger than the bolts).  Also, he said that this
was the way that theives usually get the locks off when they want to steal
your mags.

So, if anyone in the future is facing a problem with lock nuts, and missing
or broken key, try using a 12-point socket (closer fit than a 6-point
socket, more contact points, better grip).  

Hope this helps someone!!

Mitchell Segal

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