Is locking the lug nuts on your tires a deterrent from someone stealing the tires and rims?
September 29, 2005 7:46 AM   Subscribe

Is locking the lug nuts an effective deterrent from someone stealing the tires and rims?

I woke up yesterday and found all 4 tires and rims on my car gone. My car was on the ground lying on the frame. When I get the tires replaced, will putting a lock on the lug nuts keep them from stealing them again? Or is that also just a waste of money? I don't want this to happen again if I can do something to help avoid the situation.
posted by Gooney to Travel & Transportation (7 answers total)
I have locking lugs on my car.. My tires+rims are probably worth about $1000.. I would never consider not having the locks.

They can still be removed by force, but this serves as an extra deterrent. Surely worth it.
posted by eas98 at 7:55 AM on September 29, 2005

Most locks can probably be defeated fairly easily, however it might make the thief try an easier target instead.
posted by reverendX at 7:56 AM on September 29, 2005

Well, putting locknuts on couldn't hurt, and it isn't expensive. You only need one per wheel and a kit doesn't cost that much. I have locknuts on my wheels and I think the kit ran me about CAD$30 or so. Since my wheels haven't been stolen, they're at least as effective as that rock I have that keeps tigers away.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 7:58 AM on September 29, 2005

I've always scoffed at those things, but then I live in suburbia and use the metro when I go into the city. Plus, well, you'd have to see my car. I think you can expect them to be as effective as The Club - you can steal a car with the club, but why would you bother when that car over there doesn't have a club? Unless of course this car is a Terterosa and that's a Focus.

The common way I've heard of the keys being defeated is to put a socket that's marginally too small on it and whack it with a big hammer. It ruins the socket but gets the nut off. True cheapskates use a Craftsman socket and take it for free replacement.

The big fear I have about those things is not being able to fix a flat somewhere. If someone steals my wheels it leaves me stranded in a location I already decided to stop. A flat could be anywhere. I'd suggest you buy a can of that horrible fix-a-flat stuff too for such occassions and be sure to keep the key(s) with the lug wrench in your trunk, not in the glove box where someone might smash&grab stuff.
posted by phearlez at 8:10 AM on September 29, 2005

Its pretty easy to defeat these "lockable" nuts but the whole idea is to deter a thief and make them move to a different vehicle.

With my previous car I had a flat but couldn't find the key when roadside assistance showed up. No worries, he had a hard socket with a softer lead centre that he hammered onto the lug with a rubber mallet then loosened as normal.
posted by jeffmik at 10:08 AM on September 29, 2005

Oh, and The Club? The way around that is to hacksaw through the steering wheel

Right. Which is more trouble than that car over there which doesn't have a club on it. Thus, deterrant.
posted by phearlez at 1:39 PM on September 29, 2005

I swear there was an AskMe early on from a Mefite whose rims were stolen twice in a row. That's the problem -- if they stole them from you once, they know where you live park.
posted by dhartung at 1:53 AM on October 1, 2005

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