Wheel Woes


Old 10-24-05, 05:22 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 279
Wheel Woes

I bought some McGard wheel locks a little less than a year ago. Actually, the dealer (Mazda) sold them to me. So all I've ever done with them (the key and locks) was install them on my wheels. And install them I did, no air compressed tools, just a bunch of elbow grease. I got them on good and well and after a few months they began to rust. That didn't bother me as much as I'm guessing it should have. Anyway, my brake pads started to wear down so to change them, this past weekend I tried to remove my wheels, starting with the wheel locks. The driver side, front wheel lock wouldn't quite accept the key very flush and had a little play in it. It refused to open. The other side opened fine and well. To make a frustrating story short, I spent $7 at a tire repair shop for the guy to break my key and bust the lock off the wheel. So I sent the key into McGard asking them to replace it under warranty, which by right they should as well as the wheel lock. What I'm asking you guys is is there a more reputable manufacturer of wheel locks in terms of durability and quality?

Also, before even starting to change my brake pads, I thought it to be a good idea to gravity bleed my brakes (almost 30K the car has on it now). But, after removing the wheel locks and the lug nuts from both rear wheels, I couldn't separate the wheels from the rotor. What tricks do you guys use to pop the wheels off? I noticed the other end of the tire iron that came with the car is beveled and I figured it may be to pry the things off but I didn't quite know how to rip into 'em. Please help. Thanks.
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Old 10-24-05, 05:32 PM
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Livonia, Michigan
Posts: 923
One way to break the bond between wheel and rotor is to loosen the lug nuts until there is just a hint of play, then drive half a block with some side-to-side motion to break this bond.

Brakes are usually bled after a brake job, though there's no reason to prevent you from doing it before a brake job. Brakes should be bled every two years, not according to miles driven.
Old 10-24-05, 05:52 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 279
Hey thanks for the advice, I'll try that and I'll change the rear disc brakes before I bleed them now.
Old 10-26-05, 11:27 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 100
A safer trick I use is to leave one lug nut on a few turns to keep the wheel from falling off and whack the tire with a small sledge hammer. Sometimes you can get away with just kicking them. Works every time for me.
Old 10-28-05, 12:48 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 335
yeah, i try kicking it first, if that doesnt work you might have do drive back and fourth a bit.
Old 10-28-05, 01:03 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 279
Yeah, I certainly tried kicking it.
Old 10-28-05, 01:07 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: WI/MN
Posts: 18,497
I use the sledgehammer method.

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