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Remove Your Vehicle’s Wheel Locks

By Robert Ostfield on June 14, 2017

If you have purchased a vehicle in the past ten years, it’s very possible the car came equipped with a set of wheel locks. For those of you who are unfamiliar, wheel locks are special nuts located on each wheel of your car, requiring a specialized socket to remove that particular nut.

The idea behind wheel locks is to prevent theft of your tires and rims. Believe it or not, the tires and rims that came equipped with your car can be worth thousands of dollars, and for obvious reasons thieves want them.

Although the intention of wheel locks are noble, in practice they are more of a pain than they are worth. Here is why:

  • If a thief really want your tires and rims, they are going to get them, wheel lock or no wheel lock. Assuming it’s not the crook’s first day on the job, they might have a master set of wheel lock keys, or he/she will have the knowhow to break the lock with a hammer. The wheel locks will add another five minutes to the theft of the rims and tires.
  • People have a habit of losing their wheel lock keys. We regularly have customers who misplace their wheel lock key, or the last technician who serviced the vehicle forgot to return the wheel lock key. This creates an an issue of having to remove the wheel locks with a master set or hammer, and a question of who will pay to remove the wheel locks.
  • Not having the wheel lock key when getting your vehicle serviced is certainly an inconvenience, but not having the key when you have a flat tire on the side of the road is a safety risk. Imagine being pulled over on the side of the highway with a flat, trying to install the spare tire, only to learn you can’t get the flat tire off the car. Not a good situation.

Understandably if you have very expensive rims and tires, and you want peace of mind, feel free to leave on your wheel locks – just don’t lose the key. For everyone else, replace your wheel locks with a regular nut, and throw away the key.

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