Horse Trailer Tip: Locate Special Keys for Tires

Did you know that some wheels require a special lug nut key in order to remove tires from a vehicle? Your spare tire could also require a special key to unlock it.

Having locking lug nuts on each wheel and a lock on your spare tire holder provides an added layer of safety--and a certain level of peace of mind--by safeguarding tires from tampering and even theft. However, these locking devices require special tools for removal and replacement procedures.

Replacing a tire is never an enjoyable task. But it will be undoubtedly more frustrating if you cannot find the lug nut key or spare tire key.

"Without these special tools, a simple tire change can become a major event if you are on the side of the highway--this is especially true if you are towing a horse trailer," said Mark Cole, managing member for USRider, the national provider of roadside emergency assistance for equestrians.

"We recommend that horse owners take a few minutes to check to see if they can locate any lug nut key or spare tire key that came with their vehicle and make sure that it is in a safe place and easily accessible in the event of a flat tire," said Cole.

If you have purchased a used vehicle, be sure to check the spare tire holder and wheels for any locks or lug nuts that require special equipment for removal. Often, these items are not transferred to the new owner, and the new owner fails to realize the need for these items until an emergency.

If you cannot locate a needed lug nut or spare tire key, take your vehicle to the OEM dealer to verify if the locking lug nut or spare tire lock is original equipment or after market and purchase the correct key so you will be prepared when the time arrives. "Ensuring you have the necessary tools will help get you back on the road more quickly during a breakdown," added Cole.

Another tire-related tip is to lubricate the nut and bolt located on the spare tire holder assembly located under your vehicle each time you take your vehicle in for an oil change. This simple action will keep the bolt from rusting and prevent any further complications in the event you need to retrieve your spare.

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