Wheel locks?

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Sep 10, 2006
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Charlestown Indiana
I just got my wheels back from being powder coated and am getting new tires put on the wheels in a few days. Since I've made a substantial investment in wheels and tires, I started thinking about locking lug nuts. Are these worth the investment? It seems like they stop the novice thief and slow down the pro. What are your thoughts?
 
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My Camry came with them. I don't know how effective they are. Where do you park your car?
 
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I currently do not have locks, but have had brand new winter tires on rims stolen. On that car I installed some McGuard locks and the problem went away. Crooks always go for the easiest wheels to steal. However, if they REALLY like your wheels and you are parked someplace quiet, make sure your insurance company knows you own the cool wheels because the bad guys have tools to get them off.
 

PW01

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They're factory 5 spoke wheels that I had powder coated so I don't see the "discerning" thief going out of their way for them
 
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I suggest using anti-seize on your threads and being REAL SQUARED UP when you apply twist with the key. These come up OFTEN on the Volvo board. "Everyone" says to ditch them. I encounter them when doing a neighbor's Honda's oil. See my first sentence. Do not just run 'em on and forget 'em. Also, don't just let some careless meth head at a tire joint run 'em on for you. They are hateful people who don't care. They'll use an impact wrench on the key and pretend they don't know what's going on. Scum
 
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I don't run them. They are not worth the money and hassle IMHO. If a thief wants your wheels bad enough they are going to get them anyway.
 

PW01

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Originally Posted By: SubieRubyRoo
Well the impact fits the key socket.... what's the dealie-o? smile
I have the same question?
 
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I think the use of wheel locks would probably boil down to how much time is spent in sketchy areas or away from a parking garage or environment that makes them more invisible. I usually loosened the wheel lock lug myself and told anyone working on them of that situation...almost hand-tightened when it hit the shop...and then I watched. I used them on my old Mazda because at that time I spent more time in suspect urban areas where there was a greater likelihood to have them stolen. I think you'll probably find that you're more likely to have a tweaker smash your window for something ( even if there's nothing there ) than someone play with your wheels. As said, if someone really wants them, they'll probably get them...but it may delay them enough that they'll abort or hit an easier mark.
 
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Cheshire, England
If you let someone use an impact wrench on a locking wheel nut then forget carrying a spare wheel as you may not be able to get them loose at the side of the road. When I bought my current car the wheel nuts had been vastly overtightened, The only way I could slacken them was to use a jack between the garage wall and a T bar so that the key was forced hard into the locking nut. Must have taken over 200ftlbs to shift them. Frankly considering they are no great theft deterrent I consider then a curse. Anytime they are tightened by others you will have to slacken them off and re-torque them properly at home or risk getting stranded.
 

555

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Sometimes a person may have a flat tire and the same car and wheels as you! Happened to me, one wheel gone. Put on spare and had to purchase another wheel. I use and would use locks regardless of good area,bad area, or parking garage.
 
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Feb 1, 2008
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WI
I actually had to buy McGard wheel locks for my daughter's 10-year-old economy car. She called me from her college dorm to say one of her tires was flat and also that the tread on it looked in really bad condition. I was puzzled because all of the tires were almost new, but I figured maybe she had hit some road debris or something. It turned out that someone had stolen one of her tires and then replaced it with an identical (but older) rim with a dangerously bare and leaky tire. I was furious because she could have been in a serious accident. Thankfully that tire went flat before she next drove the car. The college cops couldn't have cared less about the theft nor the potential risk of an accident from the defective tire. In fact, they implied that they didn't believe me that someone had stolen and replaced it. The worst part was the older aluminum rim didn't have a TPMS sensor on it like the rest.
 

PW01

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Charlestown Indiana
Originally Posted By: Garak
I had a wheel lock stolen, of all things. Someone took the lock off one wheel when it was parked, but left the wheel. wink
That's pretty funny actually. Given the money I've spent on powder coat and tires, and the meth problem in the surrounding cities, I think I'll spend the $30. We go to the next city over for restaurants, concerts and just having fun pretty often. Agin, I'm far more concerned about some dopehead taking them for meth/heroin money than somebody that steals high end wheels for profit.
 
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buy a good set like McGard + let the thieves move on to easy pickings!! have you seen the price of even plain OE alloy wheels $$$$
 
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Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Originally Posted By: PW01
That's pretty funny actually. Given the money I've spent on powder coat and tires, and the meth problem in the surrounding cities, I think I'll spend the $30. We go to the next city over for restaurants, concerts and just having fun pretty often. Agin, I'm far more concerned about some dopehead taking them for meth/heroin money than somebody that steals high end wheels for profit.
It kind of was. They left the Infinti OEM wheels alone. Now, they're not the world's most artistic or well engineered wheels or anything, but I doubt they're cheap to replace. But, one night the lock was gone, and none of the other lugs were touched. Someone must have been missing that specific lock pattern lug on their set. wink McGard sent me a replacement without too much hassle. They have a pretty good system for replacing parts as needed. Maybe the thief lost his original paperwork and couldn't get replacement items from them. He needs to know if you purchase one online component from them, they keep your info in their database, and you don't have to resend paperwork each time.
 
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