Locking Lug Nuts - are they worth the money? - Page 2 - Smart Car Forums
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post #11 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-18-2015, 01:55 AM
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I've been driving for 45 years and have not once had a wheel stolen. At least not off of a car of mine. I did have a bicycle wheel stolen.
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post #12 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-18-2015, 07:42 AM
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I would look up the stock lug bolt/nut and get an aftermarket set. you can get 2 new alloy wheels for $195! i paid less than $20 for a set of 4 locking lug bolts.
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post #13 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-18-2015, 08:03 AM
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Honestly, unless you live in Europe or Detroit, I wouldn't worry so much about people stealing specific parts of your car. Stock wheels aren't all that useful to anyone other than other smart owners (even the 453's).

Though, if you get super expensive custom wheels, then I'd opt for it. The 453's bolt pattern is a little more universal.
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post #14 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-18-2015, 10:19 AM
 
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I was surprised to find locking lug bolts, for us 451 enthusiasts.
McGard Lug Bolt Wheel Locks - FREE SHIPPING
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post #15 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-18-2015, 10:59 PM
 
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In November 2014 I bought McGard wheel locks for my 2009 Passion from amazon for $23.78
Amazon.com: McGard 28175 Chrome Bolt Style Radius Seat Bolt Locks (M12 x 1.5 Thread Size) - Set of 4: Automotive
Then I sent in the registration card with the order form for 2 more keys and 2 zippered storage pouches. I decided to secure all of my wheels because it took me quite some time to obtain three 15x5 inch 9-spoke rear wheels in my price point. I paid about $150 per wheel (includes shipping) on the used market. I decided that if someone wanted a 5 finger discount on my rims, then they'd have to work for them.
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post #16 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-19-2015, 04:11 AM
 
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Canadian prices tend to be high. Next time you're in the US pick up a set at normal prices. Either that or wait for a company like McGard or Gorilla Automotive to produce them.
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post #17 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-21-2015, 08:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coupe1942 View Post
After watching the guy break them off in the manner he did, I believe it is sort of a "feel good" approach to believe that they keep a determined thief from stealing a tire and wheel if they want it bad enough. They sure didn't keep him from removing them quickly, as he had them off in a pretty quick timeframe that day. If they make you feel secure, then fine, but for me they simply were more of a pain than anything good at the time.
I agree that nothing will stop a determined theft, but to be frank one doesn't have to be that determined to steal a smart car wheel. Since the wheels are just held on by 3 lug bolts (4 on a model 453) and they are bolts not nuts, one doesn't even have to jack up a smart car to get the wheels off. All you need is a 17mm socket wrench which is easy to conceal in a jacket.

I would classify the typical smart car wheel thief around here as anything but determined. They're usually meth addicts looking for a quick score. By putting locking lug bolts on my smart, they will likely move on to an easier target like the dozens of other smart cars in my neighborhood without wheel locks.

FWIW, I don't have locking lug nuts on my 2005 Altima even though it has much heavier alloy wheels because a thief would have to jack the car up and remove 5 lug nuts for each wheel. This takes significantly longer and requires more tools than it does to steel a smart wheel.

You've obviously made a choice you're comfortable with, but for me $35 is really cheap insurance to avoid a $1500 loss (all four wheels stolen).

Last edited by svaraman; 11-21-2015 at 11:07 PM.
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post #18 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-21-2015, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Neonspinnazz View Post
Stock wheels aren't all that useful to anyone other than other smart owners (even the 453's).
Around here, smart wheels are being stolen to be sold as scrap to fund a drug habit. Meth heads think of them as giant hunks of scrap aluminum not as car parts.
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post #19 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-21-2015, 10:35 PM
 
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Just as an interesting note to the idea that a Smart only has 3 lug nuts (bolts), thus making it easier to steal. Most folk would not know that readily as the wheel covers on a Smart steely generally have 5 lug nuts shown on them and unless you were familiar with Smarts to begin with, the average person would not really know there were two less nuts beneath those wheel covers. In addition, the person would also have to be aware as to the exact size of the lug nuts (bolts) to even think to carry a 17mm socket and wrench along for removal. In other words, they have to pretty well be an educated Smart car wheel thief to begin with when you think about it. I am not so sure that the typical meth head Smart Car wheel thief is not being given a bit too much credit. That said, the end result is still that if the price is worth it to someone for their own peace of mind and security, then such a need is totally justified for them and their comfort to be had.


Me, having never pulled a Smart wheel of until just lately and not being a dedicated wheel thief to begin with, I was educated about the lug nuts (bolts) only after I removed the plastic wheel covers and had to go find the right tools for the job. It actually helped me, as I know now what size socket and wrench to carry in the car for any wheel removal needs in the future. If I ever decide to become a wheel thief in the future, I now know what to keep in my bag of tricks for my 5 finger discount services. That said, of the 5-6 Smart Cars located in my city of about 105,000 people, I'll have to plot out their location at the local WalMart parking lot so I can find them with my GPS when the time comes to strike with my tools in hand. It sure don't look like much profit in store for me with so few Smarts on hand locally though. :-)


Just joking, but it is some interesting things to think about though. :-)
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post #20 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-21-2015, 10:42 PM
 
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I have been scrapping out defective aluminum ladders, old plumbing fixtures & valves, etc. When you take them to a scrap yard or recycling facility, they photograph the items and you have to show ID which they scan and you also have to provide a fingerprint before they will pay you. With brass, copper, and bronze, you have to provide a mailing address and they forward a check. This is to discourage thieves who have been taking apart fire hydrants, unearthing copper pipes taking brass valves located on our streets and within our city parks and schools. I don't know if this is a huge deterrent, but if one wanted to file a police report that your tire/wheel assemblies were stolen, it should be possible to go through the photographic records at the local recycling facilities and ID the thief.
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