USRider: Reminder to Locate Special Keys for Spare Tires

Credit: Thinkstock You may not be aware, but some tires have locking lug nuts and require a special key (tool) for removal. This also goes for your spare tire.

We’ve all been there. Stuck on the side of the road, in the middle of nowhere, with a flat tire. As equestrians, this situation is especially stressful when your sidekick is not a fan of standing quietly in the trailer. With this never being an enjoyable task, you may find it easier if you know the mechanics of how to remove your damaged tire and your spare tire.

You may not be aware, but some tires have locking lug nuts and require a special key (tool) for removal. This also goes for your spare tire. This feature is designed to add a layer of safety along with a certain level of peace of mind, by safeguarding tires from theft and tampering. If you know ahead of time where to find this key and how to use it, this will benefit you in the long run.

If you have recently purchased a new vehicle and/or suspect that your vehicle may have this feature, take a few minutes to acclimate yourself to this process. Most keys can be found underneath the passenger seat. When you locate the key, it is recommended that you either place it in your glove compartment or a storage area that is easily accessible–and that you will remember–in the event of a flat tire. Please be aware that one of the first lug nut keys was released in 1966. So don’t be fooled by older vehicles.

Without this key (tool), what may seem like a simple tire change can quickly turn into a nightmare. If you cannot locate this spare tire key or the locking lug nut, take your vehicle to an OEM dealer to verify if it is original equipment or aftermarket. It is important that you purchase the correct key so you will be prepared.

Lastly, USRider recommends that each time you take your vehicle for its routine oil change, have the nut and bolt lubricated on your spare-tire-holder assembly. This is a simple action that will save you time and further complication in the event you need to retrieve your spare tire.

USRider – in its 13th year of operation – is the only company to provide emergency roadside assistance for horse owners. Through the Equestrian Motor Plan, USRider provides nationwide roadside assistance and towing services along with other travel-related benefits to its Members. The plan includes standard features such as flat-tire repair, battery assistance, lockout services, and roadside repairs for tow vehicles and trailers with horses, plus towing up to 100 miles. As an additional service, USRider maintains a national database that includes emergency stabling, veterinary and farrier referrals. For more information about the USRider Equestrian Motor Plan, visit online or call (800) 844-1409. For additional safety and travel tips, visit the Equine Travel Safety Area on the USRider website at

The Equine Network provides, creates, and distributes relevant content and services to passionate horse enthusiasts while connecting them to each other and the marketplace. The Equine Network is the publisher of award-winning magazines: Horse & Rider, EQUUS, Dressage Today, The Trail Rider, Spin to Win Rodeo, American Cowboy, Practical Horseman, and Horse Journal. The Equine Network also publishes a proprietary line of books and DVDs for sale through its store, The Equine Network provides emergency roadside assistance through its acquisition of USRider, and is home to several websites including:,,,,, and






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