Best Locking Lug Nuts: Anti-Theft Devices for Your Wheels
Make it harder for thieves to steal your wheels with these high-strength locking lug nuts
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PUBLISHED ON October 21, 2019
It's easy for a thief to take your vehicle's wheels and tires if they aren't secured. Even cars with the most advanced alarm systems are vulnerable. The best thing you can do is to tire out the criminal by making the thieving process last as long as possible. You can do that by installing any of the locking lug nuts in our review below.
- Best OverallDPAccessories Wheel LocksSummarySummaryA set of five locking lug nuts and one key with a unique key-to-lock combination.ProsProsTemperature-, rust-, and corrosion-resistant. Tough construction. Looks good on both dark and light alloys. Each package has a different key and lock combination. Resistant to intrusion by lock removal toolsConsConsNot a perfect fit for every vehicle. Not as secure as the pricier lug nuts. It only comes with one key.
- Best ValueMcGard Wheel LocksSummarySummaryA set of five marine and automotive lock lug nuts designed to meet OEM standards. Fits Dodge Ramcharger, Ford Bronco II, and Jeep CJ, Cherokee, Wrangler, and Liberty.ProsProsCost-effective. Hardened for durability. Features a corrosion-resistant chrome plating. Minimal chances of key duplication. Features different computer-generated patterns on each key.ConsConsMay be too small for most trucks and SUVs. The inner threads may get rusty and jam. No spare locking nut included.
- Honorable MentionGorilla Automotive Wheel LocksSummarySummaryA set of 20 wheel lug nut locks featuring a unique, external security pattern.ProsProsAttractive high shine finish. Chrome plated for enhanced durability. Features narrow groove design for a secure hold. Tough steel construction. Available in several thread sizes. Resistant to weather changes.ConsConsExpensive. It may be a bit complex to slide in and lock the key. May break during installation.
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All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, and practical experience with each product we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
- Do not hide the locking lug nut key in your glove box. It's easy for thieves to access it there. Consider hiding it in your trunk; it's much safer and will be within reach when you want to remove your tire in case of a flat.
- Roll up your windows and lock your doors if you plan to leave your vehicle for a long time to prevent theft.
- Park your vehicle in a well-lit area with a lot of traffic. It’s more difficult for thieves to steal your car or the wheels when people are watching.
- Invest in a highly sensitive alarm system for your car that will make a loud sound when anyone tries to tamper with it. You should also be able to get an alert on your phone in such instances.
Q: Is it possible to remove the locking lug nut without the key?
A: If you lose the key, contact the manufacturer for a replacement. You can also visit your nearest mechanic for help to remove the lug nut. Alternatively, you can attach a lug wrench on the nut and hammer it slowly until it comes loose. However, the latter method may not work on most high-quality lug nut locks.
Q: Is a clamp lock more secure than a locking lug nut?
A: Most power saws can cut through standard clamp locks. All you have to do is cut off one of the clamp's arms, and you will have an easier time taking out the lock. Locking lug nuts, however, offer a more secure fit and can't be easily removed without a compatible key. It may also take hours to hammer out the entire lug nut set on one tire.
Q: Do car rims make my wheels a target for thieves?
A: Yes. The more appealing the wheel is, the more likely it is to get stolen. This is also true for new tires on shiny wheels. You can discourage thieves by doubling the security: install both a clamp lock and a lug nut. Most thieves won’t risk getting caught while struggling with the locks.
Our top pick is the DPAccessories Wheel Locks. It offers the user peace of mind since there’s no chance of duplicating the locking key pattern, and it’s made up of durable hardened steel.
If you are on a tighter budget, consider the McGard Wheel Locks, which is a quick fix to your wheel security problem.