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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’ve owned a Honda HRV for 5 years now, and have become aware that the lug nut wheel locks are seized. I am the only owner.

Has this happened to others? What was your experience?

The only instances when the wheels would have been removed occurred during routine service, at the same Honda dealership in Westchester, NY, over a four year period.

The tires were consistently rotated, as recommended, and the last time being in November 2021, just prior to relocating to California. (We decided to drive the HRV, instead of shipping)

Now that we reside in California, the local Honda dealership is claiming the wheel locks are seized/frozen. They originally claimed this in March, 2022, but after a return to the dealership today, NOV 2022, it seems to be an issue, still. They are also unable to remove the wheels, without charging EXTRA.

is this a common occurrence? Do wheel locks seize on vehicles in California that originate from the east coast/New York? This was the dealerships explanation

Either way, I’ll get this taken care of immediately. I am curious to hear everyone thoughts and experiences.

Thank you for reading + listening
 

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Brilliant Sporty Blue Honda HR-V 1.5 iVTEC SE 6 Speed Manual
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Cannot comment on Honda locking wheel nuts as, prior to you, I have not heard of anyone experience this issue. However, on my previous vehicles owners forum there were a number of threads and debates on the value of keeping the locking wheel nuts on as there had been a number of cases on that forum covering a number of models where the locking wheel nuts had seized.

If, as it reads, you are implying all four locking wheel nuts are seized, then I would suspect the last person who fitted your wheels has overtightened them. Proving that fact is going to be the fun part. If the dealerships solution is quite costly, it may be worth taking your vehicle to a wheel specialist and see what they suggest/cost.

My only experience of having issues with locking wheel nuts was on my previous vehicle where the local independent gnarled the crap out of it whilst swapping my wheels over. They had to purchase a replacement locking wheel nut key from my local dealer. This garage had swapped my wheels over on several occasions previously without issue, so am not sure why they had issues on this occasion.
 

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2018 HR-V EX AWD CVT
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Growing up in ice/snow and heavy road salt country, my dad taught me to remove the lug nuts the day you purchase a new or used vehicle and apply anti-seize compound to the threads. I've followed his advice for years and never had an issue. And yes, I did it on my HRV the moment I got home after purchasing the car.
I live in road salt happy Pennsylvania. While I too have used Anti-Seize on lug nuts if threads are rusted and binding, it is not recommend to do so. Torque specs are based on clean, dry threads and lubricating the threads will cause increased torque on rotors and wheels.

Most times difficultly in removing lug nuts is caused by the flat-rate tech at the dealer or tire shop hammering them on with a air gun. They are more concerned about a wheel falling off, than you being able to remove the lugs if out on the road and you get a flat tire. I do all my own work but there are times that I go to the dealer to get the required state inspection. Afterwards, I back-off the lugs (sometimes they are very tight) and re-torque to spec using an accurate Torque Wrench. I actually write the torque specs under the hood of my cars so I can quickly refer to it. Finding it in the manuals can require some searching.
 

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I live in road salt happy Pennsylvania. While I too have used Anti-Seize on lug nuts if threads are rusted and binding, it is not recommend to do so. Torque specs are based on clean, dry threads and lubricating the threads will cause increased torque on rotors and wheels.

Most times difficultly in removing lug nuts is caused by the flat-rate tech at the dealer or tire shop hammering them on with a air gun. They are more concerned about a wheel falling off, than you being able to remove the lugs if out on the road and you get a flat tire. I do all my own work but there are times that I go to the dealer to get the required state inspection. Afterwards, I back-off the lugs (sometimes they are very tight) and re-torque to spec using an accurate Torque Wrench. I actually write the torque specs under the hood of my cars so I can quickly refer to it. Finding it in the manuals can require some searching.
To ensure there is no misunderstanding especially by some of the guys out there who prescribe to the "if a little works, then alot will work better" philosophy: If you're going to utilize anti-seize, do so very, very sparingly...a dab (smaller than pea size) will do ya. DO NOT frost the threads like you're frosting your kid's birthday cake! ;) And yes, the torque monsters at the dealership (or worse at the local 28 second lube/tire shops) tend to forget there are torque specs for lug nuts but see them as a guideline rather than a specification.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you everyone for commenting. I’m grateful for your responses, as they’ve been extremely helpful.

At this point, it makes no difference to the dealer how the wheel locks became frozen. Plus, as it was mentioned, proving it will be next to impossible, and not change the facts.

I was a bit naive to think that services received exclusively from a dealer would avoid these type of issues. Lesson learned.

They were able to remove 3 out of 4 wheel locks, for a total of $180, and applied a penetrating lubricant to the 4th wheel lock, which is on the front left. They recommended waiting a week before returning in order for a second attempt at removal.

If it doesn’t become free, they’re recommending to remove the entire wheel and suspension components in order to remove the wheel lock from behind the suspension. They’ve also noted large amounts of rust, which is somewhat shocking - a 5 year old car with 30,000 miles doesn’t seem like it would be rusting already. But that could be an another case of naivety on my part.

Along with the estimate to perform the work, the amount of effort seems overly intrusive for the outcome. So, if the wheel lock does not come loose as a result of the lubricant, I’ll get an opinion from a wheel/tires specialist in the area.

I’ll monitor this thread, and provide updates
 

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Thank you everyone for commenting. I’m grateful for your responses, as they’ve been extremely helpful.

At this point, it makes no difference to the dealer how the wheel locks became frozen. Plus, as it was mentioned, proving it will be next to impossible, and not change the facts.

I was a bit naive to think that services received exclusively from a dealer would avoid these type of issues. Lesson learned.

They were able to remove 3 out of 4 wheel locks, for a total of $180, and applied a penetrating lubricant to the 4th wheel lock, which is on the front left. They recommended waiting a week before returning in order for a second attempt at removal.

If it doesn’t become free, they’re recommending to remove the entire wheel and suspension components in order to remove the wheel lock from behind the suspension. They’ve also noted large amounts of rust, which is somewhat shocking - a 5 year old car with 30,000 miles doesn’t seem like it would be rusting already. But that could be an another case of naivety on my part.

Along with the estimate to perform the work, the amount of effort seems overly intrusive for the outcome. So, if the wheel lock does not come loose as a result of the lubricant, I’ll get an opinion from a wheel/tires specialist in the area.
What would be a normal amount of rust for a NY mechanic, could look like a large amount of rust to a CA mechanic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The final wheel lock was removed today, and without any damage to the wheel 🛞

Also, I’m not sure if I feel grateful, or suspicious… my battery died, immediately after I pulled into the service center.

Thanks again everyone for sharing your thoughts, experiences, and advice! I will pay it forward.
 

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Unless you live in a bad area or have some expensive aftermarket wheels, I wouldn't bother with the locks. Stock HRV wheels aren't sought after by thieves. If you do decide to replace them, make sure to stick to recommended torque specs. A tiny dab of Anti-Seize on the locks probably wouldn't hurt. The quality of the metal in them might not be the best and more prone to rust.
 

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Unless you live in a bad area or have some expensive aftermarket wheels, I wouldn't bother with the locks. Stock HRV wheels aren't sought after by thieves. If you do decide to replace them, make sure to stick to recommended torque specs. A tiny dab of Anti-Seize on the locks probably wouldn't hurt. The quality of the metal in them might not be the best and more prone to rust.
I wouldn't bother with locks at all! They are super easy to remove.
 
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