Slightly more affordable than McGuard and Gorilla products are DPAccessories’ wheel locks. They come in a variety of fitments, styles, and finishes and each set has its own unique matching key. These locks are manufactured from cold forged and heat treated steel to offer dependable strength and durability. You can also choose whether you want four or five locks when purchasing.
The chrome units feature triple chrome plating with layers of copper, nickel, and chrome to provide strength and corrosion resistance. If you prefer a set of black locks, DPAccessories use a proprietary cathodic black coating, which is said to give the durability of high quality chrome but the look of satin black paint. You can also purchase a full set of matching lugs to go with the locks.
DPAccessories says it uses a lengthy multi-point quality control process to ensure each lock it sells offers the best quality and theft protection it can.
Pros/Variety of fitments, styles, finishes, affordable, unique key to lock matching
Cons/May protrude a bit on some cars, allowing easy access to forcefully remove them
The cheapest option on our list comes from AccuWheel, which also offers a wide variety of lug nut and wheel lock sets. The locks do come with a unique matching key and feature a triple chrome plated finish to prevent against rust and corrosion. Overall, these wheel locks are fairly generic and there aren’t any standout features for them, but they are offered at almost half the price compared to some of the competition.
AccuWheel’s locks are ideal if you’re looking for an affordable option to add some peace of mind in securing your wheels and tires to your car. Some users have complained about rusting, so take that into consideration if you live in an area with rain or snow.
Pros/Extremely affordable, unique matching key, lug nut and wheel lock sets are available
Cons/Possible rust depending on your weather conditions, no real standout features
What are Wheel Locks?
Wheels locks replace your standard lug nuts and feature a special pattern on the face, which means they can only be removed with the special key that is included with the locks. They’re relatively inexpensive and you can swap them out on your own without having to take a trip to an auto repair shop or your dealership. That also means you need to keep the wheel lock key with you at all times, so you’re able to take the wheel and tire off your car when necessary.
Why do I Need Wheel Locks?
Even if you don’t have an expensive set of aftermarket wheels and tires, you’re still at risk of having your wheels stolen off your vehicle. Regardless of how old your vehicle is, there is value to your factory wheels and tires, especially if you purchased an optional upgrade. Think of wheel locks as a cheap insurance policy for your wheels and tires, since they are really difficult to remove without the special key.
In addition, thieves generally go for easy targets, so wheel locks may be enough to deter them from attempting to steal your wheels and tires.
What to Look for When Shopping for Wheel Locks
As you can imagine, most wheel locks are similar in design and style. The most important factor when you’re shopping for wheel locks is to make sure you’re getting the correct thread pattern (thread size, thread pattern) for your vehicle. You will also want to look at the seat type, length, and finish to make sure they match the rest of your lug nuts.
The seat type represents the area where the wheel lock actually makes contact with the wheel surface. Some of the more popular styles include conical or tapered seat, spherical or ball seat, mag seat, flat seat, and extended thread. Your car may also take lug bolts (often found on European vehicles) so keep that in mind when you’re looking for wheel locks.
Generally when you’re shopping for wheel locks, you can provide your vehicle and get the information you need to purchase the correct ones. It never hurts to verify however, as online guides and even guides in certain auto parts stores aren’t 100-percent accurate.
How Many Should I Buy?
Most wheel locks are sold in packs of four, under the assumption that you install one lock per wheel. For most car owners, that’s sufficient to add some security to your wheels and tires. But some companies do offer wheels locks in a set of 20, allowing you to fully replace all your lug nuts with locks that use a single key. If you want to go that route, you’ll want to make sure you’re picking up a complete set of wheel locks, otherwise you will be stuck with four different wheel lock keys – one for each wheel.
In addition, some companies offer lug nuts with four wheel locks, so that everything matches on your vehicle.
How to Install Wheel Locks
If you have ever changed a tire on your car, you should know how to install wheel locks. But there’s more to the process than simply taking off a lug nut and replacing it with a wheel lock. Here are some general steps to help you properly install you wheel locks.
1. Remove Wheel Covers
If your car has wheel covers or hubcaps, you will want to remove those first in order to gain easy access to the factory lug nuts. Some hubcaps are more difficult to remove than others, so refer to your owner’s manual to see how to safely and properly remove the hubcap.
2. Remove a Single Lug Nut to Verify
Before jumping in and removing one lug nut from every wheel, start by simply taking off a single lug nut from either the front or the rear of your car. You will want to use that lug nut to verify the wheel locks you purchased will be compatible. Check the style, seating surface style, and thread size and make sure it matches the lug nut you removed.
3. Check Your Studs
Depending on where you live and how old your vehicle is, there may be some rust on your wheel studs. If there is, use a wire brush to clean it off prior to installing the wheel locks.
4. Start Threading by Hand
Once you have verified the wheel lock is compatible with your vehicle, start threading it by hand. It’s highly recommended not to use an impact wrench when installing wheel locks as they could damage the lock and/or the key.
5. Properly Tighten the Wheel Lock
Using the McGard key and a torque wrench, properly tighten each lock to the torque specified in your owner’s manual. Make sure the key is firmly pressed against the lock when tightening. It is also recommended to retorque the locks after 25 miles of driving.
6. Repeat for the Remaining Three Wheels
Repeat the process for the remaining three wheels on your car until you have one wheel lock installed on each wheel.