How To Remove Spare Tire Lock Without Key?

Have you ever been in a helpless situation before? For instance, when you want to fix a spare tire and discover that you can’t because the key to the hoist is missing.

This situation is very common among Ford F-150 owners. They might have misplaced the key or forgotten to collect it from a previous owner during the car sale.

While this is an annoying situation, all hope is not lost. There is a solution. In this article, you will learn how to remove a spare tire lock without a key.

What do you do if you lose your wheel lock key?

A car wheel can bust anywhere, leaving you sometimes with no option but to replace it with a spare wheel.

However, if you park and find out you are without a key to your wheel lock, you shouldn’t panic.

The first thing you should do is search around. You can check the toolbox or safe keeps in your vehicle. Who knows? The spare tire key may just be around somewhere.

If you cannot find the wheel lock key, another thing you could do is visit a nearby tire shop. You could possibly get a replacement key from them or have them unlock for you at a fee.

The other thing you can do is to gain access yourself by using a couple of tools and that is what you are about to find out in this article.

How to remove spare tire lock without key

A wheel lock is supposed to provide good security for an extra wheel. However, if the situation comes where you have to breach that security, then you need to know what to do.

The whole process involves loosening and removing the wheel lock with these tools and repairing it when you have the time.

And as straightforward as this process can be, you need to be careful.

Tools You Need

Before you unlock your wheel without a key, you need the following tools:

  • A wheel lock removal tool kit
  • A heavy rubber mallet or hammer
  • A flathead screwdriver
  • Lug nuts wrench
  • Others include an extender, a jack, blocks, crank, a ratchet, and a 14mm or 12-point socket.

Step by Step Guide

Below is a step-by-step guide on how to remove spare tires from the wheel lock without a key.

1. Park the car on plain ground

The first thing you need to do is to park your vehicle on a flat surface. You need to effectively secure your car by applying the parking brake – it prevents the vehicle from rolling.

For more securing, you can apply blocks to hold the tires and raise your car over a height.

2. Clean the wheel lock

Once you have successfully secured your automotive, the next part is to observe the wheel lock.

There is a good chance that the wheel lock could have gotten dirty from it not being in use. Therefore, you should clean it first before working on it.

3. Get the right size 12-point socket

The next thing to do is to get the right size 12-point socket. This tool makes it easy to attach extenders so you can work on the locking device.

4. Secure the Socket to the Lock

With the right 12-point socket in hand, locate the channel where you have to release your backup tire. This channel is often marked by a hole in the rear bumper to the left part of the license plate.

This hole permits the entry and exit of tools to lock the device.

When you find this, you can then secure your socket to one or several extenders that would possibly give you an opportunity to reach the lock.

Next, gently knock on the opposite side of the extender using a mallet or hammer to drive the socket successfully into the lock. You shouldn’t apply too much force.

5. Crank to Release the Spare Tire

With the 12-point socket attached to the lock, you can now release your extra tire. But to do that successfully, you should attach a ratchet to the extender to start cranking.

This feature will loosen the lock until it releases the spare tire from its assembly. Then, you can remove the tire from under.

6. Raise the Car (if Needed)

Now before you proceed with the next steps, you need to make sure your automotive is elevated properly.

The reason you have to do this is that you will be working underneath the vehicle and thus, you have to fit in safely and comfortably.

And as you raise the truck, ensure to apply the blocks well and enable the parking brake so it doesn’t slide.

More importantly, ensure to loosen the lug nuts of the affected tire before raising the truck to work underneath.

7. Remove the socket

Now that you are underneath the truck, you should find the spot where you installed the extender. There should be a plastic tube from the bumper to the spare tire housing.

The tube from the bumper directs the extension when inserted. However, in this case, you should remove it by hand.

Then, find the socket and lock on the spare tire housing, and use a flat head screwdriver to loosen it.

8. Raise the Spare Hoist

With the lock assembly out of place, the crank shouldn’t be difficult to raise and the spare lowered.

Then, fix your spare tire by raising the hoist before reversing cranking.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to remove spare tire from a ford f250 without key?

If you are on the highway and you have a flat tire that unfortunately you cannot replace with a spare because you are without a key, what you need is a removal tool, which can come in various forms.

According to Wendle Ford, this method works perfectly, especially for people driving the Ford F-150.

However, if you drive a Ford F-250, the only difference is that you have to grab the locking mechanism with a 9/16″ socket.

Check why to use a 12-point socket.


If you want to release a spare wheel without a key, you can do that. You don’t have to worry anymore because, with the right set of tools (i.e., a screwdriver, hammer, etc.), you should be able to do it.

However, before you start working on your truck, you should make sure you pull the brakes on a flat surface and ensure to raise it over a good height.

In the end, you can enjoy safe driving.


Dean Alvarez, TireForge Head Author

Thanks for reading our article! We've written this article with a lot of thought and care. If you're interested in seeing more of our content, please check out our Tires section and find an answer to your questions!

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