Due to the increasing theft of cars, wheels, rims, etc., a wheel lock system is highly adopted as an anti-theft kit. Cars, wheels, and rims worth thousands of dollars to thieves, especially in case of highly modified cars. Thieves can take off the wheels and rims in no time and make you bear the loss. People modify and install various expensive wheels, rims, or tires for various reasons, be it performance or aesthetic. These installations are often investments or have sentimental value. Thieves steal them and either resell to other collectors or get its scrap value. So one must be aware of and prevent themselves from such loss. Wheel locks are the locks used to prevent theft of wheel rims and tires. It protects the wheel rims of the car from stealing.
One thing about these locksets is that they all have a different and unique pattern. None of these patterns matches with other sets. This unique pattern key is very important to unlock the wheel rims. Each key belongs to a pattern, and if the key is lost, no other key or alternate key can unlock the lug-nuts. The wheel lock key safety is very important, so make sure it stays in your car all time or some safe space. Wheel locks are inexpensive means of protecting the expensive investments in the car. These ensure the safety of your car even if the car is parked in an unknown place. For wheel lock, there is a need to understand the method of theft, which gives rise to the necessity of wheel locks.
Method of theft
Removing tires and wheel rims requires more than a team, as it cannot be done alone. Thieves work in a group just like the pit crew on a race track. A car must be uplifted or towed for taking off the wheel and rims. So without getting caught, they work super fast. They try to steal on only those vehicles, which are the easy target or on which time taken is less. But if your car is protected with certain barriers, then thieves might drop the plan for stealing as it will take more time to remove the tire and increases their chances of getting caught.
Below are some preventions discussed that can be taken in advance:
- Make sure to park the car in a closed garage.
- Install the car alarm with the sensors linked with the wheels.
- When in public, make sure to park the car in an area with a lot of movement.
- Turn the wheels while parking. Turning the wheels makes it more difficult for thieves to separate them.
- Install the steering lock in the car.
- Use wheel locks on all the wheels. It makes lug nut extremely difficult to remove without a key.
How to purchase the wheel locks?
Anti-theft wheel locks can be purchased either from the company dealers, which is the same as one’s car company, or from other various brands available online. Car companies have their wheel locks and other accessories, too, which can be directly purchased from their dealers or their work stations. Brands other than the car company also offer various compatible wheel lock key set. One can choose the best suitable wheel lock key set after comparison or market research.
What does the wheel lock key set contain?
A wheel lock key set consists of 4 lug-nuts, one for each tire, and a special key. Both keys and lug nut have the same pattern. Key is the crucial thing to take care of for the future.
Equipment required for Installation:
For the Installation of wheel lock following types of equipment are required:
- Compatible wheel locks according to the car. One can search the lock for a specific car model; there is a wheel lock for every model.
- A long lug wrench or breaker bar or tire iron that provides enough torque to remove lug nut manually.
The installation process of the wheel lock is very simple. It takes approximately 20-25 minutes to install. The installation steps are discussed as follows:
Step 1- Turn off the engine and pull the hand brake so that car does not move while removing lug nut.
Step 2- Remove the hub caps from the wheel if you have any.
Step 3- Now that the hub cap is removed, one can access the lug nut. Go ahead and use the lug wrench or tire iron or tire iron to remove it.
Step 4- Replace all the lug with wheel lug key and spin it with hand initially. Wrench it up with a little bit of torque. Make sure don’t over-torque the lug nut with the key or else it will strip the threads, damage the wheel, shear off the lug stud, or can come loose lug nut due to catastrophic consequences. Press the key inwards and tight it properly. When installing a lug nut, one must make sure that they are torqued to the proper specification.
Step 5- Repeat the same process on the other three wheels.
Step 6- Re-tight the new locking nuts after 25 minutes of driving to ensure that they are not too loose or too tight.
What happens if the key is lost?
As it has been discussed that the unique pattern of the key makes it important for further use. If the key is lost, then it is very difficult to remove the lug-nuts. There are three options for this problem.
If the wheel lock set is purchased from the same company as the car is, one can go directly to the company’s dealer. The company dealer has a master wheel lock key set. So the dealer can determine the wheel lock key pattern that the car has and open the lug-nuts. One can either purchase a duplicate wheel lock key for the same pattern or get a whole new wheel lockset and get it to install.
If the wheel lock set is purchased from other brands, then one can purchase a whole new wheel lock set with the same pattern because duplicate keys are not available separately purchasing whole new wheel lock set is the only option.
The third option is to remove lug nuts by force, which is quite dangerous and might break some parts around the wheels too. When the above two options are not available, then one can go to the work station and take it off by force under the supervision of some professionals.
When you have lost or damaged your wheel lock key, there are solutions to get you out of that situation, but the best would be to find the wheel lock key. It is best to store it somewhere safe so that you don’t have to search for it when you need it.
Also, to prevent any damage, it’s better if you don’t use air equipment to loosen the wheel locks. These tools tend to exert too much pressure on the wheel lock, resulting in a crack in your wheel lock.