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Old 04-18-2013, 05:28 AM   #1
jon_l OP
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tool found in car

This morning, I found a tool in my car that I can't identify. Fuzzy cell phone pic:



It is heavy on the nuts end, and steel as tested with a magnet. The only writing on it is "vanadium". End opposite the nuts is hollow, with machined recesses on the inside walls. It is 3-1/2" long x just over 3/4" dia.

I had tires installed last weekend, so am wondering if it may have been left in the car by a tech at the tire shop.

Any help identifying this?

Thank you.
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Old 04-18-2013, 05:35 AM   #2
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That would be a socket for anti theft lug nuts. Check the lug nuts and you may find a funny looking one on each wheel. This socket should match it.

I tend to get rid of the "theft proof" lug nuts. They can cause more problems than what they are worth. Besides, the determined wheel theif has the tools to cercumvent this.

The 80's GM sedans had this same type of tool for their hubcaps as well.

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Old 04-18-2013, 07:52 AM   #3
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I have this exact tool in my shop. It's for spline drive lug nuts. You may want to check if you have any of them installed

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Old 04-18-2013, 04:05 PM   #4
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Thanks, it does seem to fit the lug nut. Is this something I should have for changing a flat? Or did the tech just leave it by mistake?
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Old 04-18-2013, 04:29 PM   #5
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You should have one in your tire kit.
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Old 04-18-2013, 04:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jon_l View Post
Thanks, it does seem to fit the lug nut. Is this something I should have for changing a flat? Or did the tech just leave it by mistake?
You only need it if you want to remove the wheel...

Just messin' with ya. If they added a different type of lug nut, you should also check to make sure your lug wrench will fit everything. It could be a problem if you have a factory wrench with only one size. I had to buy a 4-way "star" for that, and the fact that I went to a deep dish wheel, so my factory wrench wouldn't reach the lug nuts before hitting the tire.
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Old 04-18-2013, 04:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jon_l View Post
Thanks, it does seem to fit the lug nut. Is this something I should have for changing a flat? Or did the tech just leave it by mistake?
Are all the lug nuts identical?
Do you have a tool in the trunk that fits them?

As stated, there are usually 4 'special' nuts which can only be engaged with a special tool.
It's an anti-theft deterrent.

Edit: Actually, I think I should've said it is a theft deterrent, anti-theft device.
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Old 04-18-2013, 04:46 PM   #8
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It may be one nut on all the wheels, or all the nuts on all the wheels that that socket fits. I've seen em both ways. Dont lose it or first time you have a flat youll be calling a tow truck/

as stated above, make sure you have a lug wrench that fits that socket. the factory wrench usually dosent fit it.
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Old 04-19-2013, 03:13 AM   #9
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Good advice, thank you all. I'll dig out the lug wrench and see whether it fits the new wheels.
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Old 04-19-2013, 09:57 AM   #10
Dave in Wi
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I'd just take it back to the tire shop. The tech SHOULD be very grateful that you returned it. Usually they have to buy & supply their own tools.
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Old 04-19-2013, 12:33 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Dave in Wi View Post
I'd just take it back to the tire shop. The tech SHOULD be very grateful that you returned it. Usually they have to buy & supply their own tools.


Why would the tech have a socket that only fits the OP's car? Those sockets only fit the nuts that come with them.


http://www.gorilla-auto.com/
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Old 04-19-2013, 12:41 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by mike View Post
Why would the tech have a socket that only fits the OP's car? Those sockets only fit the nuts that come with them.


http://www.gorilla-auto.com/
It might be the op's socket out of his tool kit. Lots of techs will fish them out then leave them for you to put back.
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Old 04-19-2013, 04:06 PM   #13
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They are for Tuner nuts for mag wheels. Do you have 2 sets of wheels?
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Old 04-21-2013, 04:51 AM   #14
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Well I agreed with Dave in WI, and went back to the tire shop. The guy thanked me, said the tool should stay in the car for when I need it, and that they have lots of them. In fact, he gave me a 2nd one, so I put one in the trunk with the OEM lug wrench (which it fits), and put the other one in the glove box for the mechanic to use for my next brake or bearing job.

Thanks for your feedback all.
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