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Wheel locks really work? #5349470 02/13/20 11:05 PM
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WhyMe Online Content OP
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my new civic has some nice wheels on it. it gets parked outside and i am concerned they might get pilfered. Thinking of getting some wheel locks ,but the vids i have watched seem to say they don't really work.

So are wheel locks worth the trouble?

Re: Wheel locks really work? [Re: WhyMe] #5349472 02/13/20 11:12 PM
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tomcat27 Offline
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certainly wheels get stolen - although not as much as they used to - it's easier to steal the whole car. are wheel locks worth it? it depends on your parking situation.
and how disciplined you are on keeping the key where it belongs. I have a horrible time with that and have had to remove locks a couple of times....


2019 Cherokee, 2018 Jetta, 2014 Sentra, 2001 Camry, 1995 Escort, 1970 Cougar, 2013 XT250, 2010 Vstar, 2014 CTX1300
Re: Wheel locks really work? [Re: WhyMe] #5349484 02/13/20 11:38 PM
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slacktide_bitog Offline
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Wheel locks are worthless crzy

You will lose the key, and it doesn't stop wheel theft one bit. You can just hammer on a socket just smaller than the wheel lock, get a breaker bar or impact gun, and the wheel comes off

Re: Wheel locks really work? [Re: WhyMe] #5349486 02/13/20 11:46 PM
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geeman789 Offline
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If you have ever watched an experienced dealership tech deal with a lost wheel lock key, you will know how useless they are against theft.

10 extra SECONDS per wheel. Maybe.

Spend your money on insurance ...


2011 SUBARU Impreza 5-door manual / 2016 HONDA Pilot / 2011 MAZDA 2 auto
Re: Wheel locks really work? [Re: WhyMe] #5349492 02/13/20 11:58 PM
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wdn Offline
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You will lose the key and then one day when you need to get your tires rotated or a new set of tires, the store won’t be able to. Or, they will be the ones to lose the key themselves and deny any responsibility.

Re: Wheel locks really work? [Re: WhyMe] #5349494 02/14/20 12:02 AM
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The_Nuke Offline
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Originally Posted by WhyMe
my new civic has some nice wheels on it. it gets parked outside and i am concerned they might get pilfered. Thinking of getting some wheel locks ,but the vids i have watched seem to say they don't really work.

So are wheel locks worth the trouble?


Pretty much a question only you can answer. Everyone else’s answers will apply to themselves, but you are the one that has to judge worthiness against the trouble of it within your context.


2012 Charger Pursuit aka "The Bacon Hauler"
- 5.7L + NAG1 (A5) + 2.65 (215mm)
Re: Wheel locks really work? [Re: WhyMe] #5349498 02/14/20 12:12 AM
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spasm3 Online Happy
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i took my wheel locks off.


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Re: Wheel locks really work? [Re: WhyMe] #5349503 02/14/20 12:23 AM
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Wolf359 Online Content
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Probably best to just save your money and if you want to spend it, spend it on a lower deductible on your insurance. I had wheel locks once, it was a pain to keep track of the key, normally I left it in the glove box. If you keep it at home, what do you do if you get a flat on the road? If they have enough time to steal your wheels, don't they have enough time to also look in the car like the glove box or trunk for the key?

Never had wheels stolen either although once I had my car stolen and it had BBS rims on it. I thought those were gone, but it was just a joyrider and the car was found a week later with just a popped ignition and broken glass, wheels were still there. I did see a car with wheels stolen before though, they had put the car up on milk crates and those didn't really handle the weight of the car and had collapsed. Probably held it up long enough or high enough to slide the jack out.

Re: Wheel locks really work? [Re: WhyMe] #5349509 02/14/20 12:32 AM
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UG_Passat Offline
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Wheel locks only work when the shop forgets to give you back your key and you get a flat tire, and stuck on the side of the road because you can't change your wheel to your spare wheel


2016 VW Tiguan|APR Stage 1|Neuspeed P-Flo|Osram CBI|Redline 5w30
Re: Wheel locks really work? [Re: WhyMe] #5349523 02/14/20 12:57 AM
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I am going to disagree with most opinions expressed here against wheel locks. I am very much in favor of them, and I am a recent convert after having been ambivalent about them for years. I recently ran into a guy (lets call him Kent) that I was acquaintances with since elementary school. We lived in the same general area, but were in different social groups. About 10 years ago I ran into him again and we got to talking, and it turns out he did a stint in prison for car theft. Not just any car theft , but industrial scale car theft, chop shops, back room deals with shady junk yards, insurance fraud. Pretty much anything you can think of in the realm of car and motorcycle theft. He was so successful that he bought into a small chain of junk yards and used them as a cover to move product.

We talked briefly about wheel locks, steering wheel clubs, home security, all sorts of topics. His take on wheel locks is that they are a good thing: "Wheel locks are easy to defeat if you have the right tools. But they take extra time and preparation to defeat, and they cause noise. It is difficult to defeat wheel locks without drawing attention to yourself. The act of removing wheel locks without the correct key is unusual, it draws attention. The banging and vibration sometimes set off car alarms. " He had a lot of opinions on what things are worth the time and money, and what things are worthless. His opinion is that spending $25-30 on a decent set of wheel locks is a cheap deterrent, " its very cost effective , it makes me do extra work. If I am planning on stealing the car then its just a nuisance , but on the off chance I am just trying to boost the rims it makes me think twice.". It cuts down on amateurs and crimes of opportunity.

He had a lot of other cool stories- if I remember some more details I might post some extra stuff. I mentioned I had a motorcycle stolen from my house about 15 years ago, and he asked me a few questions (make, model, condition, location), then said "it could have been just some average Joe, but I would bet was probably John Doe down in Smallville (fictitious name)- that's his specialty as the engines have a lot of demand". I expressed an interest in following up and he said not to bother, "he got killed execution style a few years ago, down in Florida." In the end " Kent " was caught by a combination of the scale of his enterprise, and mistakes made by junior members of his team. An insurance investigator was able to put some stats together, worked with local police and develop some solid leads and eventually his whole organization was rounded up. Turns out the insurance investigator also went to school with us.

Re: Wheel locks really work? [Re: rubberchicken] #5349566 02/14/20 05:25 AM
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MoneyJohn Offline
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My mechanic in favor of using wheel locks. And I really don't understand why you would lose the key? I always left it in glove box and never had a problem. The mechanic needed it only once a year at the time of inspection. Don't understand why it is such a bother.

Originally Posted by rubberchicken

He had a lot of other cool stories- if I remember some more details I might post some extra stuff.

I would be interested in the stories if you can recall and have time to write it up.

Re: Wheel locks really work? [Re: MoneyJohn] #5349580 02/14/20 05:53 AM
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Randy_R Online Content
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Wheel locks are a deterrent and a good idea. McGard made in Orchard Park, NY USA. I used to drive by almost every day. Get an extra key. They’re cheap compared to your deductible.


2018 Mazda CX-5 6600 miles Zepro advanced moly 0W-20 Mazda filter
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Re: Wheel locks really work? [Re: WhyMe] #5349597 02/14/20 06:30 AM
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Kestas Offline
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I removed them once my car was 19 years old.

Re: Wheel locks really work? [Re: WhyMe] #5349600 02/14/20 06:35 AM
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Kira Offline
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Glad this came up.
The inconvenience, added time and necessary noise created when attempting to defeat wheel locks is always what I thought they provided.

A neighbor uses them on a car I maintain. He keeps his key in the glove box.
Today it's in a drawstring velour bag in the glove box courtesy of me.
What you MUST do is use anti-seize and be REAL CEREBRAL when you tighten them.

The stories on the Volvo board regarding these locking bolts fusing in their bolt holes are indeed freightening.
You'd think, "Get rid of them [censored] locking bolts" was the service mark of the forum.

Trouble is, grease monkeys find such hardware personally insulting and bothersome. They may be sloppy workers to begin with but the shear number of chewed up keys affirms destructive behavior. (Didn't know I was as shrink, did you?)

I'd like to ask rubberchicken's friend "Kent" about the stolen car business as I'm under the impression that car theft has done nothing but go down over the past 2 decades due to built in anti-theft systems.

Re: Wheel locks really work? [Re: WhyMe] #5349614 02/14/20 06:54 AM
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I always thought they were to convince the thief to go down the road and rip off someone else’s wheels without locks. smile


If you want the job done right......do it yourself.
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