5 Best Wheel Locks 2018 Buyers Guide
Why do we need wheel locks? You’ll find a lot of people on the internet that say wheel locks are a waste of money. They break easily and they don’t do much to protect your wheel. What they don’t realize is that the best wheel locks are the only thing you can use to save your tires.
Still, don’t believe us? Keep reading on.
A couple of decades earlier people needed to protect only their cars. There were literally hundreds of people out there that made a living out of stealing and selling cars. If you lived in a bad neighborhood and you parked your car outside for one night, you can pretty much kiss goodbye to your ride because you won’t be seeing it again.
However, these days things are a little different because you don’t need to protect your cars anymore. The problem is that thieves stopped going for cars because they were a little harder to sell now. With all the paperwork and stuff that you have to get done before buying a car, it is almost impossible for people to sell cars without all the paperwork. So, the thieves stealing cars had to resort to some other means of employment. They started boosting tires instead of cars.
Tires are much easier to sell on the black market because no one really cares where they came from. Now, tires don’t cost that much but you do have to spend a couple hundred bucks to get them replaced. You have to get a truck to take your car to a workshop and pay a decent amount of money for replacements that aren’t even your fault. Sucks, doesn’t it?
Well, there is something you can do about it. You can use Wheel Locks. Wheels locks are highly similar to your ordinary tire lugs. However, instead of being able to open with any wrench, wheel locks require a special key to open. Some of the wheel locks are pretty vulnerable and can be opened if the right guy tried to bust it with the right tools. But, just the wheel locks themselves discourage the thieves and they might not even bother wasting time trying to open your wheel lock.
Top 5 Best Wheel Locks Our Picks
Now that we have talked about why you need to buy wheel locks, let’s talk about which wheel locks you need to buy. Just because there are a ton of wheel locks out there, we are about to list 5 of best wheel locks that you have to get your hands on.
Locks and key
4 Locks and 1 Key
M12 x 1.5
12mm x 1.50
4 locks and 1 key
5 locks and 1 key
4 locks and 2 key
McGard is one of the best wheel lock manufacturers out there. McGard’s wheel locks are just like any other wheel locks but they just put in their own special touch to things that really makes their product unique.
The best thing about McGard is their chemically treated steel. They make their own steel according to OEM Standards, specifically for their products. Their steel is really reliable and is infamous for its durability.
The McGard 24157 wheel locks come have a 12mm x 1.50 thread size with a length of 1.28 inches. The interior of the lock has their own steel and the outer side is plated with chrome to protect the lock from corrosion.
If you’ve bought multiple wheel locks from different manufacturers, you’ll see that packaging is a key factor. Most manufacturers, even some that are making the best wheel locks available, just chuck their locks in a box and that’s it. The locks are scratched and demolished during all the shipping. However, McGard offers the perfect shipping. They have their locks sealed in an air tight plastic bag and each lock is stored in completely different compartments.
One problem with wheel locks is that most manufacturers use the same key to open thousands of wheel locks. If the guy stealing your tires has your key by any chance, then consider your tires gone because the lock will be as easy remove as the lug. But, McGard is completely different in that case. McGard’s unique feature is that they don’t ship the same generic key to every customer. They use computer-coded patterns and make a unique key for each of their locks. This way, no one key would fit another wheel lock.
Benefits & Pros
- McGard uses their durable chemically treated steel that is really tough.
- A unique key is available for each set of locks.
- McGard has pretty decent packaging. The locks don’t touch each other in any way.
- Chrome plating prevents corrosion.
- McGard has pretty decent packaging. The locks don’t touch each other in any way.
- Full warranty. McGard offers replacement for all manufacturing defects.
- The key is made from cheap metal and it might break if you don’t use it carefully.
- McGard’s website might mislead customers because they claim to fit a ton of cars when they actually don’t.
Gorilla Automotive is probably one of the only wheel lock manufacturers that can stand toe to toe with McGard. Gorilla offers a large variety of thread sizes to go with their wheel locks. They have ½ inch, 7/16 inch, 12mm x 1.25, 12mm x 1.5 and 14mm x 1.50 with a length of 1.5 inches.
Gorilla Guard Locks also have the same structure as most of the wheel locks out there. The locks have the standard triple nickel plating with a chrome outing to finish the job. The chrome is perfect to protect the lock from corrosion and rust.
These locks are pretty good for the price that they come at. They are a lot cheaper than most of the best wheel locks on the market. But, the problem is, as we discussed earlier, the generic key. Gorilla doesn’t have a system to produce unique keys. Since Gorilla is one of the leading lock manufacturers out there, there is almost a certainty that a trained thief will have the key to these lugs.
Gorilla isn’t really famous for its packaging and most people complained that the locks came out damaged from the box. But Gorilla made a huge change with these locks. Just like McGard, these locks are stored in an airtight box in separate compartments so they don’t rub against each other.
Benefits & Pros
- Gorilla’s hardened steel makes the lock much more durable
- Chrome finish offers optimal protection against corrosion.
- The locks are pretty cheap.
- Good packaging makes sure that the locks don’t suffer damage before delivery.
- There isn’t an extra lock for your spare tire. You can live without it, but it would be nice to have a backup plan.
- The generic key is a huge drawback for Gorilla Guard Locks. If they start making unique keys, they might just surpass McGard.
- Lock might stick out about half an inch further than the lugs on most cars.
If we’re talking about the overall quality of an accessories’ manufacturer, it just doesn’t get better than DPAccessories. DPAccessories are highly known for their durability and reliability and their wheel locks are just the same.
DPAccessories are manufactured from cold forged and hardened steel to ensure that the locks stay the same for a long time. The lock contains 1/2"-20 thread size. The thread size for each lock is made with high precision so they fit your wheel perfectly.
These wheel locks allow you to choose a couple of things. The first thing they allow you to choose is the finish. There are two colors available; jet black and chrome. The second thing is the number of locks you want. DPAccessories allows you to choose either 4 or 5 locks. No other manufacturer does this. But, honestly, the extra lock can be pretty helpful if you need one for a spare tire.
DPAccessories is also one of the manufacturers that don’t make a generic key. All wheel locks have different keys and two different set of locks will never open with the same key.
DPAccessories has a pretty quick process for the replacement of a lost key. Since each key is unique, you’re going to have to contact the manufacturers if you want a replacement. The locks come with a special card for your key. In case you need a new key, you need to send this card to DPAccessories and they will send your key back as soon as possible.
Benefits & Pros
- Precision threading makes sure it fits all specified cars.
- Hardened steel makes it almost impossible to break.
- These wheel locks use a unique key for each lock.
- You can choose from two different colors.
- You can pick the five lock set if you want one for your spare tire.
- These locks blend in quite nicely with the other lugs.
- DPAccessories offers easy replacement for your key.
- The paint may brush off after some time.
- When the outer finishing comes off there is a chance that the lock may start rusting.
Muteki Lug Nuts are some of the best wheel locks out there. You might not be familiar with their brand because they aren’t that famous. But, rest assured, Muteki makes some pretty mean wheel locks. Muteki hasn’t made too many sales with their locks, but the people that do buy them don’t regret doing so.
Muteki Wheel Locks offer some pretty decent choices for their wheel locks. You can choose from two different thread sizes; 12mm x 1.25mm and 12mm x 1.5mm. You can also select your color preference from four different colors; Black, Purple, Chrome Titanium and Neon Chrome. But, remember one thing, don’t buy the Neon Chrome color unless you want your car to look like Barbie’s sedan.
Muteki 32901B is manufactured from pure chrome vanadium. If you don’t know what that is, then all you need to know is that it is one of the toughest steel alloys available. Chromium and vanadium combined make the steel tougher. Chromium helps to protect corrosion and abrasion. These locks use a heavy steel alloy but they weight almost nothing. The locks weigh about 2 ounces. 2 ounces is almost nothing considering that some of the wheel locks are much heavier.
Muteki comes with four locks and two keys inside a tightly packed air locked box. Muteki has 5-8 different key combinations so you don’t have to worry about thieves having your key. Muteki also provides two keys when you buy the locks. No other manufacturer does this but it can help you out when you lose your key.
Benefits & Pros
- Two thread sizes.
- You can choose from four different colors.
- Manufactured from Chrome Vanadium which makes the locks extremely durable.
- The chromium also helps prevent corrosion.
- 5-8 different key combinations make sure there is a very slim chance that a thief has your key.
- Muteki ships two keys so you don’t have problems if you lose one.
- The locks scratch pretty easily.
- The paint wears off.
- The color dulls within the first few months.
This is the second model of wheel locks from Gorilla Automotive. That just explains the fact that they’re one of the best in the business because almost all of their products are ranked the best in their respective categories.
Gorilla is one of the only manufacturers out there that makes wheel locks to replace every single lug on every tire. Most manufacturers only make one lock per wheel, while that offers pretty good protection, that is nothing compared to Gorilla’s 20 wheel lock set. Consider this, a guy looking to jack your tires might just spend the time and break through all locks on the tires. When a trained individual comes across a total of four locks, they will try to break them. But, when the same individual comes across 20 locks, he might just leave your car because he isn’t going to spend so much time on just a single set of tires. While these locks are much more expensive than some of the other ones, they might just be the very things that save your valuable tires.
The lock is manufactured from case hardened and forged steel. The outer portion of the lock is covered in chrome plating that protects the lock against corrosion. The plating is pretty secure and protects rusting even in the roughest weather conditions. But, once the paint starts wearing off, nothing can save the locks from rusting from the base to the tip.
The wheel locks are available in three different thread sizes to suit all cars; ½ inch, 12mm x 1.25 and 12mm x 1.5. The size of the locks is about 1.4 inches. The best thing about Gorilla’s wheel locks is that they have 20 pieces inside the box. This is perfect for people that have five lug tires. But, if you have four lug tires, it’s even better for you because you can have four locks for your spare tires.
There are a few issues with the Gorilla lock set that really puts them behind their competition. The first thing is the packaging. If you see some pictures online, these locks come in a neat box. But, that’s all there is because the locks are just chucked inside the box. During shipping, they will rub against each other and get all scratched up. This way the locks will be damaged before you even get to use them. The second thing is the keys. The keys for all Gorilla locks are generic, meaning all the locks from the same model have the same keys. So, there is a huge chance that your tires will be gone even though you used such expensive locks.
Benefits & Pros
- The case hardened steel makes them extremely durable.
- The chrome finish protects the locks against corrosion.
- Different thread sizes allow the locks to fit a variety of cars.
- Black Chrome Plating looks good on most rims.
- The paint on the locks isn’t very durable and it may come off.
- After the paint comes off, the lock is highly vulnerable to corrosion.
- These locks have the same generic keys.
Best Wheel Locks Buyer’s Guide
We hope that everything we just explained above might have shed some light on the best wheel locks for you. But, these wheel locks aren’t for everyone. They might be some of the best ones available right now, but that doesn’t mean they’re best to suit your needs.
So, there are certainly other brands and locks that you can choose from. But, instead of explaining every single wheel lock out there, we will just explain what you need to look for in a wheel lock. This way every one reading this will be able to choose the perfect lock for themselves.
Without further ado, let’s get into everything there is to know about buying the best wheel lock – More importantly, let’s get into everything you need to know about buying the best wheel locks out there.
Choosing the Right Material
Wheel locks are made of different steel and titanium alloys. Some materials are much stronger than some of the other. You need to pick the best material because buying cheap material means you’re not buying wheel locks, you’re just buying expensive wheel lugs.
If you don’t know what material is good for you then just go ahead and buy chrome vanadium or some other titanium alloy. The thing about chrome vanadium is that it’s pretty tough and anti corrosive. So, that may be one of the best locks you can buy.
Buying the Right Thread Size
If you haven’t figured it out by now, each car has a different thread size. Wheel locks typically come in 12mm x 1.25mm and 12mm x 1.50mm. But there are also some other thread sizes to accommodate all types of wheels.
You need to ensure that you buy the locks the thread size matches with the size of your car. Otherwise, you’re just going to have to take a trip to the store to get them changed.
Buy from Manufacturers that Make Unique Keys
Keys can be a deal breaker for any wheel locks. A good wheel lock will have a unique key. However, most manufacturers make locks with generic keys. This means that every model has the same key and there’s a huge chance that a thief might have your key. If he does, then he will be long gone – with your tires.
Pick Anti-Corrosive Locks
Corrosion is the worst thing that can happen to your wheel locks. Most wheel locks are covered in chrome plating which is one of the perfect materials to protect your locks from rusting. However, there are a few wheel locks that are pretty weak when it comes to their chrome plating. The outer paint could wear out and it leaves behind bare metal. Bare metal means that the locks will start rusting within a couple months.
Wheel locks are a necessity these days. Yes, they are a pretty expensive necessary, but what do you prefer? Spending less than $100 on the best wheel locks once or spending $500 on wheels every now and then? Well, we all know what we’re going to choose. It might be a bitter pill to swallow but trust us on this one, you definitely need wheel locks. Otherwise, there’s a huge chance that one day you come out and see your car standing on a couple of bricks.