Have you just purchased new wheels and rims for your car?
Then, you are not the only one who is attracted to them. Maybe, there is a chance that someone else also has their eyes on the price.
They are probably waiting for you to disappear so that they can take the new rims and wheel out of the car in your absence. In situations like these, it is best to purchase the best wheel locks so no one runs off with your new and costly rims and wheels.
The above situation is one of the many reasons why people should invest in anti-theft lug nuts, or simply, best wheel locks. You don’t have to be reminded how expensive replacing your wheels are.
But, why is it so difficult to find tire and wheel theft statistics?
This is because it is almost impossible for law enforcement and the police to track down stolen wheels. If your wheels and rims get stolen, by the time you realize it, there is a high chance that your tire will have already hit the black market and will be sold within a span of few minutes.
As a matter of fact, most of these crimes are not reported to the local police authorities as well. The victims are left scratching their heads and keep blaming their luck.
These are the reasons why this type of thievery is on the rise again, all because there is a guaranteed profit by selling the parts on the black market. Without wheel locks, sooner or later, you might find a familiar set of wheels for online sale.
Table of Contents
- What are wheel locks?
- What are the different types of wheel locks?
- How does wheel lock work?
- Things to consider before buying a wheel lock
- Best Wheel Locks Reviews 2018
- 1. Honda Genuine Accessories Alloy Wheel Lock
- 2. BMW Genuine Wheel Lock Set
- 3. Acorn Gorilla Guard Locks
- 4. McGard 24157 Chrome Cone Seat Wheel Locks
- 5. Utopicar Wheel locks
- Where do I keep my lock key?
- How to remove wheel locks without key?
- Final Thoughts
What are wheel locks?
A wheel lock is an extra deterrent that is used against car thieves and criminals who are after your shiny wheels or rims. While most people also use wheel clamps to prevent their car wheels from getting stolen, wheel locks are a better and cheaper way of locking the wheel lugs.
What are the different types of wheel locks?
There are many different types of wheel locks in the market today. You need to pick the best wheel locks, which is dependent on your rim and wheel.
Some different types of wheel locks include:
Alloy wheel lock
As the name suggests, alloy wheel locks are made up of strong and solid alloy materials. These locks are constructed optimally and provide a smooth security to your vehicle. Normally, these locks arrive with the cars from the manufacturers. For removing the lock, you will need a specialty socket that is provided by the manufacturer.
The spline drive wheel lock is one of the best wheel locks that provide a great amount of security to your car. It has a very close-ended design and provides a great stud engagement and gripping power. These locks are very easy to understand and install and are perfect for thicker lug-designed vehicles.
Clamp wheel lock
This type of wheel lock is different than other locks. It is guaranteed that no one will be able to budge the car an inch when this lock is attached. This implies that the car, along with your wheel and rim, will be secured with it. To move the car, you will first have to remove the clamp. This clamp lock is also known as Denver boot, wheel boot or a parking boot.
With unique rigged patterns, opening this lock is almost next to impossible with a typical wrench. The key is designed specifically to remove the lock. This type of wheel lock is attached on the exterior surface of the rim and is extremely difficult to break with normal force.
How does wheel lock work?
A standard set of wheel lock is packed with 4 to 5 lug nuts and a special removal tool. These nuts look a lot different than your regular lug nuts; they have a different shape and are usually larger than normal nuts. This shape prevents a standard socket from fitting on the nut. This is the reason why you will need a special key to remove the lock nuts from your wheel, which only you possess.
As a life hack, you can replace one lug nut on each wheel with another locking nut. You can keep the spare lug nuts in a safe storage in case you need to purchase new wheels in the future. Although most thieves will be able to remove most of the total lug nuts, they will not be able to remove the last nut, whatsoever.
This is another highly recommended tactic; if you feel overprotective of your new wheels, you can purchase 4 sets of wheel locks and replace all your regular lug nuts with the ones that need a special key to remove.
What are the advantages of wheel locks?
- Unlike other generic locks, the best wheel locks are designed specifically to secure your vehicle and make it completely unmovable.
- These locks are one-stop kits as you do not need anything more than a drill to fit it in your vehicle’s wheel. The assembly time will not take more than 10 minutes.
- The designs of most of these wheel bolts are such that it is difficult to tamper with the locks because of either fitting the lock next to the wheel or underneath the pre-folded part of the frame.
- Most of these locks come with a lifetime guarantee and have no size restrictions.
- Each lock comes with a unique key that opens with only one set of locks. But, you must be careful not to lose your unique key, lest you fall into problems for losing one.
Things to consider before buying a wheel lock
Before heading to our list of the best wheel locks, it is essential that you know what your priorities are. Make the following considerations before making a final purchase:
It is very important to know the size of your vehicle and wheel diameter before buying wheel locks. You will find a lot of locks of different sizes. Hence, if you do not know the measurements, you might end up with a smaller lock that will not fit your car. You also need to read the instructions to make sure the wheels are compatible with the locks so that you don’t end up making an expensive mistake.
Normally, a wheel lock set will have four locks. But, there are some brands that offer more than just four locks. It is advantageous for you to buy wheel lock sets with more than four bolts. By doing so, you will have a replacement ready when/if the lock you are using breaks away. Additionally, it is not harmful to have some spares ready as well.
Investing in an expensive wheel lock is not a bad thing. You should never, under any circumstances, compromise on the safety of your car by purchasing bad-quality wheel locks that can be broken easily and quietly using the most basic power tools. You just need to make sure to relate each product’s features against the pricing to make the best decision.
Here are some of the best wheel locks in the market today:
Best Wheel Locks Reviews 2018
1. Honda Genuine Accessories Alloy Wheel Lock
Honda offers some of the best accessories to protect your vehicle from prying eyes. Although on the expensive side, Honda wheel locks provide a lot of good features. This is the best trailer wheel lock designed by considering strength and durability.
These wheel locks are made hardened steel and triple-plated robust nickel to offer the best security even under the direst pressures. The external layer is plated with chrome which protects the lock from weather elements and corrosion. This triple-nickel finish also brings a natural shine to the lock. You can rely on the durability, stability, and quality of the materials used to design these wheel locks.
Honda pays attention to key and ensures its protection by providing a pouch, unlike many other companies who want you to lose the key so that they can charge you for one. They can blend nicely with regular lugs and does not stand out. These are the best locking lug nuts and will not only provide the best protection to your Honda car, these solidly-designed and durable locks will protect your new rim and wheel from disappearing.
- Convenient, durable and reliable wheel locks made of steel and nickel
- Tested for strength and durability
- Includes a pouch to store the keys of the lock and not lose them
- The lock is easy to install or remove
- Are expensive and out of budget for many people
- They are good only for Honda vehicles; some reviews also state it may not fit all Honda vehicles
2. BMW Genuine Wheel Lock Set
BMW’s genuine wheel lock set will prevent your expensive BMW car from getting stolen. As great are its cars, BMW also manufactures the best accessories. BMW wheel locks are just one aspect of those awesome accessories.
These wheel locks are manufactured according to the standards set by OEM. This implies that all the raw products have been shipped and manufactured by OEM. Therefore, the built quality of this wheel lock cannot get any better since the toughest and the best materials in the market are being used.
They are one of the best wheel locks and are all available in different sizes, each unique to each model of the BMW car. The tough and hardened steel is capable of bearing great amounts of torque and pressure without cracking. The bolts are plated with chrome to prevent rusting and corrosion.
BMW also offers a year’s warranty period if the locks arrive at you in a damaged condition or have failed to work within a year. As the name goes, it might not be the cheapest wheel key in the list, but its features are worth the price. They can easily outperform any other typical wheel lock by a mile.
- Follows standards laid down by OEM for durability and toughness
- There are different wheel locks for different BMW models
- The building-materials used guarantees the lock’s ability to withstand long and rough uses
- Easy return policies and complete warranty
- This wheel lock is expensive for most people
- It is difficult to remember which BMW lock fits in which BMW car, lest you end up with the wrong pair
3. Acorn Gorilla Guard Locks
The company, Gorilla Automotive, manufactures a wide range of wheel locks that are top-of-the-line standards of production and manufacturing. Every Gorilla wheel locks have different progressions of an assembly that will outwit any thief who will try to attempt running away with your wheel or rim.
The main highlight of this lock is its security design, which is extremely tough to screw out without its unique key. The locks will secure your car fantastically while the steel is chromed and calloused for a long-lasting beauty. These locks are equipped with a chrome finish to prevent corrosion and triple-nickel plating for extra strength and durability.
The purchase comes with 4- wheel locks and one unique key. These lugs cannot e removed with traditional power tools or wrench. The lock also has a narrow and fine interior, thereby making it virtually impossible to get into the tough interior once it is installed onto your vehicle’s tires.
- The tough and hardened exterior makes the lock a lot tougher than it looks
- The chrome finish gives a certain shine on the lock
- With triple nickel plating, the lock can counter corrosion
- Comes in extremely safe packaging to prevent any damage to the locks
- With only 4 locks, you will not have one for your spare tire
- Some reviews state that the lock started rusting after a year in damp environments
- It has also been reported that mechanics can remove the lock with a generic key
- Since every Gorilla lock has the same key, there are chances that the thief might have a key as well
4. McGard 24157 Chrome Cone Seat Wheel Locks
The company, McGard, is highly known for its steel that is chemically treated. This steel is used in all McGard products. Similarly, these locks are no exceptions. These locks are made in the United States and follow the set OEM standards for durability and reliability.
As mentioned above, the lock is made up of treated steel, which provides a lot of toughness to the lock, while the outer side is plated with chrome to prevent damage by weather elements and corrosion. The company also offers warranty for poor workmanship or damage for a year. Therefore, if your locks get damaged before the year, you can exchange it with no problems.
A special key is required to install or remove the lug nuts. This means that no thief can get your vehicle’s tires off, thereby eliminating the possibility of stolen rims and tires. The lock is installed with a computer-generated key design system; this means that the locks can be installed with as many numbers of key patterns you can possibly think.
The extremely narrow grove further prevents the possibility of using narrow power tools such as pliers to remove the locks.
- The hardened and chemically-treated steel makes it virtually impenetrable
- Great packaging prevents the locks from getting damaged
- Each lock in the set has a unique key
- Comes with a one-year warranty period
- In contrast, the key is made up of weak metal that can break easily
- The website of the company is often wrong about the wheel locks that fit into certain cars
5. Utopicar Wheel locks
Comparatively new to the market of wheel locks, Utopicar wheel locks are already creating a name for themselves in the market today. The lug nuts are exactly the thing you might have been looking for to protect your rims and tires. These wheel locks are made up of threads that are extremely precise and can fit into your car.
For reliability and durability, these wheel locks are made up of hardened and cold-forged steel. The outer body can easily prevent corrosion for a long duration of time. Perhaps, the best part of this lock is that it does not have a generic key. Every model will have a separate key, which won’t work on two different locks.
This product is also compatible with McGard 24215. The company also offers a free replacement for your key or any damages to your lock within a year. All you need to do is send the product back and you will be given a brand new lock set or a single key.
- Precise threading makes this lock fit into most vehicles
- The built of this lock is a lot tougher than other locks by default
- Free replacement and warranty available
- Can be removed using high-end pliers at the right torque and positioning
- May start corroding after a year
- Some reviews state that the paint may come off as well
Where do I keep my lock key?
You should never keep your wheel lock key in the glove box. They must be kept somewhere secure and safe. You must keep in mind that if the thief gets his hands on the key, he can access the lug nut key and remove the wheels within a few minutes. Preferably, you can hide the key in a special compartment, under your seat or in the trunk.
How to remove wheel locks without key?
Many times, you will find yourself in situations like losing your wheel lock key. In situations like these, you should know how to remove wheel locks without key:
- Find someone with the same wheel bolts or nuts
This should be your first call. Try calling your car dealer. If that does not work, drive around your locality and ask your neighbors and friends with the same model of wheel lock. If you do not find your solution here as well, try every garage in your town as your last resort.
- Standard socket and a drill, Torx or hammer
This is one of the methods that work. But the risk here is you wrecking a decent wheel lock docket. Also, this method may not work if the bolts are too tight.
All you need to do is take the standard socket a bit smaller than the locking nut or bolt and hammer it hard. The socket’s splines will bite into the locking bolt and hold it tight. If you are lucky enough, you will be able to undo the locking nut with ease.
- Welding the socket or bolt
This method works well, but you risk damaging your wheel. If care is not taken or anything goes wrong, it can damage the wheels and prove to be a very expensive mistake. The primary idea is to weld a bolt to the end of the locking wheel bolt. But before you go ahead, make sure the locking bolt and the bolt are made of steel. Make a strong weld and cover your wheels so that the alloys do not get splattered. Done correctly, this technique always works out.
- Getting the locking wheel nuts and bolts rounded or drilled out
You should never try this method by yourself. This method always works but will damage the wheel a bit. If you attempt to do this on your own, you might end up with a ruined alloy wheel or, in the worst case, a structurally damaged set of wheels. A professional will remove the bolt while trying to minimize the damage to the wheel but will charge a fortune for their services. Therefore, you should never try this solution if you have any other solution in your head.
Above are some of the best wheel locks today in the market. In the end, it is up to the customer to evaluate and decide carefully which feature he/she is looking for in a wheel lock. If you wish to invest in a good wheel lock, go through all the pros, cons and reviews very carefully.