Wheel locks

Messages
2,789
Location
California, USA
My GF's Mazda3 came with wheel locks -- I think it's a dealer installed money grab option (which fortunately we didn't really have to pay for given the great deal we got on the car). I rotated the tires today for the first time, and looking around in the spare tire jack compartment I noticed a little envelope where the dealer had apparently put the 4 original lug nuts they replaced with the locks. I don't really see the point in having wheel locks on this car. Sure, the wheels are nice looking, but they're the stock 16" alloys on a relatively inexpensive compact car. Not exactly talking racing wheels here. Does anyone have any insights or anecdotes that might deter me from replacing the locks with the plain lug nuts next time I have to take them off, so I don't have to deal with the key anymore?
 
Messages
1,606
Location
Oahu, Hawaii
If you have to park your car outside in a sketchy 'hood. If it's garaged and your GF does not go anywhere that is suspicious, then swap them out with the plain lug nuts.
 
Messages
6,991
Location
Everett, Washington
I have locks on my taurus Aluminum wheels and sometimes wonder why........ I guess you don't need them until someone goes to steal them. Pretty thoughtful for the dealer to put the lug nuts back in the car. Lots of shops would have tossed them in the garbage.
 
Messages
1,904
Location
Canada
I got rid of my fancy keyed bolts. Complete PITA when it was time to do the tyre rotations. The risk, of course, is that somehow the keyed bolt would get displaced (ie: at a tyre shop), and then, well, one would have a big problem on their hands.
 
Messages
962
Location
San Antonio, Texas
Leave them on. You may not think the wheels are that great but someone that needs cash will be more than happy to take them, and they'll be able to sell them fairly easily. I've known of at least 2 body shops over the years that would go out and steal rims for cars they were repairing. Then charge the ins. co. full dealer price for them. They're thieves of opportunity. The wheel locks make that opportunity much less appealing.
 
Messages
35,965
Location
ME
It's the same dealer money grab as those factory anti theft radio codes that they'll happily reset for an hours' labor... The tech that put the lugnuts in the trunk probably did so for his own professional courtesy in case he ever had to deal with the car again.
 
Messages
14,714
Location
Santa Barbara, CA
when i would do PDIs on mazdas, they came with them in the car from the factory. we would put them on and then throw the old lug nuts in with the spare and put the key int eh glove box with the registration card. personally i would never have them on a car i owned, too much to deal with.
 
Messages
9,382
Location
Canuck living in California
My mazda came with the locks. The regular ones were put in the trunk with the key by the dealer, just like in the OP's case. At first I thought it's a good deterant for thieves so I kept them on. This spring, when I was changing my my winter wheels to summer ones, the [censored] key broke!!! It's one of those flower looking ones, and it sheared off nice and clean at the base, so it was totally ruined. I called my dealer and they agreed to lend me their master key. I removed all of the locks at my dealer's parking lot and replaced them with regular ones. I am not planning to put the locks back on, not after my experiance, major PITA
 

rationull

Thread starter
Messages
2,789
Location
California, USA
 Originally Posted By: oilboy123
Another thought is is you go hiking on trails in the mountains you have a better chance of the wheels being on your vehicle when you get back.
That's a good point, but
 Originally Posted By: KrisZ
This spring, when I was changing my my winter wheels to summer ones, the [censored] key broke!!! It's one of those flower looking ones, and it sheared off nice and clean at the base, so it was totally ruined.
Ouch! This key seems fairly robust but I did get some pangs of dread when I went to torque down the locks yesterday. Where this car is usually parked, I'm not too worried about theft. OTOH with cheap stock wheels like this, premeditated theft is less likely to be a problem than a theft of opportunity so the locks might actually be a help. Hmmm.. I guess I'll just decide next time I have to take the wheels off.
 

rationull

Thread starter
Messages
2,789
Location
California, USA
 Originally Posted By: bdcardinal
when i would do PDIs on mazdas, they came with them in the car from the factory. we would put them on and then throw the old lug nuts in with the spare and put the key int eh glove box with the registration card. personally i would never have them on a car i owned, too much to deal with.
Interesting, I just assumed the dealer decided to add them -- didn't know they were shipped with the cars. What you described is pretty close to what I found, which makes sense. We bought the car at your dealership :)
 
Last edited:
Messages
14,714
Location
Santa Barbara, CA
 Originally Posted By: rationull
 Originally Posted By: bdcardinal
when i would do PDIs on mazdas, they came with them in the car from the factory. we would put them on and then throw the old lug nuts in with the spare and put the key int eh glove box with the registration card. personally i would never have them on a car i owned, too much to deal with.
Interesting, I just assumed the dealer decided to add them -- didn't know they were shipped with the cars. What you described is pretty close to what I found, which makes sense. We bought the car at your dealership :)
they used to come with them, i dont know about the new ones, i woudl assume some do and some dont. hopefully the purchasing experience was nice. not really now, but about a year ago and earlier they prided themselves on being a very low key purchase experience.
 

rationull

Thread starter
Messages
2,789
Location
California, USA
It was a good experience. We're not actually in SB, but they had the specific car we wanted. We arranged the whole thing online and got a great deal on an 08 model earlier this year (old inventory). No hassle and a ridiculous out-the-door price quote. To be honest, coming away from the deal I couldn't help but feel like I got a little ripped off .......... when I bought my Honda close to MSRP in January 07!
 
Messages
729
Location
Chicago
Never had wheel locks on any car I owned. Until the wifes car was on blocks when I went to get the morning paper.We also had an incident of loosened lug nuts. I say keep em on.
 
Messages
1,007
Location
Dallas, TX
My friend's Integra (with rather ordinary 16" wheels) was found up on blocks when she started out for work one morning. If crackheads think they can get $10 for something, they'll steal it....especially if you make it easy. So, $1600 later, she had new wheels and added locks. How can you get a pipe wrench on a lugnut? Mine are sunk deeply inside my wheels and you can barely fit a socket inside the holes.
 
Messages
606
Location
essex ontario
True about the pipe wrench and sunken nuts,how about a taperedsocket with pipe wrench "jaws" inside ,a SCUBA tank with a big air gun and just turn right until they just snap off? Fast easy
 
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