The Mother of all locking lug, broken key , socket stuck, driver broken off in it - problems

Hello all,

The mechanic, when removing a wheel , used an airgun set to screw on and stripped the McGard lock " tooth " off the key so it was stuck inside the groove on the lug. Ok looked up how to get it off, put a socket on it ( wish I’d known 6 star not 12) mechanic pounded a socket on very tight, then broke off the driver in the socket. To finish it off he used a large drill to make sure it was all twisted to the right as tight as possible.

Wish I’d seen how to just use a chisel in the beginning to twist it off. Any suggestions? I am in Thailand so have limited access to real tools (and mechanics.)


Seems like you’re going to have to break off the stud and replace it. Buy one (stud) first then let “muscle-man mechanic” try to break it off, he’s done everything but that so far. of course you’ll also need a new lug nut, change both and then change mechanics. Rocketman

He could heat the nut with a torch and then try to get it off or weld a nut to it.

pipe wrench with a breaker pipe on the end of it?

Steel wheel? Aluminum? Fully recessed lugnuts? Somewhat open? Sometimes the lugnut is very hard to get ahold of.

Once you get the old stud replaced…you should also replace the LUG NUT that tightened them down and broke it.


If it is accessible use a air chisel to remove the lugnut. If it is recessed drill down through the nut and stud, he may need to start with a small drill as a pilot and increase sizes until the stud is out.

Did this idiot send you home with this problem? Honestly, I would wonder about the condition of all of the other studs too… unless, of course, he had enough brain matter to stop the project immediately and not do more damage.

The “mechanic” (and I use the term loosely) should have simply broken the stud off, removed the hub, and pressed in a new stud. All at his cost, of course.

Thanks for this I do not dare allow that mechanic to go near it again so am at a specialty shop where they seem to be going with the drill it out theory. The lug is recessed and has a socket pounded firmly onto it to the acess around it is nil. it also has a broken off drive in the center of the socket . This is the rear wheel with a drum brake so cutting off the bolt won’t work either. Someone has suggested welding a bar onto it that might work . The mechanics have been at it for about 30 minutes so will go out and peek at progress Thanks again for the posts.

OK they have welded a bar onto it (electric )but seem to be trying to pull the socket off instead of using it to twist off. They also have the car running so is that OK?

pulling it off with a slide hammer? i guess that is one way to do it. youtube anyone?

I’d be inclined to take a cutoff wheel and cut the stud as close to the rim as possible. That’d greatly reduce the amount of force needed to remove the remainder of the locking nut, and may even allow the remainder to be unscrewed. Whatever you do, the hub is going to need to be removed and the stud replaced anyway. There’s been way too much done to it already to consider it reliable IMHO.