Smart Car of America Forum banner

1 - 20 of 41 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've declined on getting the Locking Lug Nuts for my new 2016 smart fortwo.
Dealer wanted $195.00 Canadian. Didn't think it was worth the money.
Your thoughts?
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
17,358 Posts
Well, it depends on what you're looking for.

Someone who is determined to get your wheels will get them regardless if they're locked or not. The tools to get locks off are hilariously cheap and the locks can be defeated with some cheap household tools.

But some inexperienced thief would likely skip the wheels and just vandalize your car.

In the case for smarts, I think wheel locks are more of a placebo effect.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,297 Posts
Well, it depends on what you're looking for.

Someone who is determined to get your wheels will get them regardless if they're locked or not. The tools to get locks off are hilariously cheap and the locks can be defeated with some cheap household tools.

But some inexperienced thief would likely skip the wheels and just vandalize your car.

In the case for smarts, I think wheel locks are more of a placebo effect.
Eh, I don't trust my smart BRABUS rims in any sketchy neighborhood. The locking lugs are just as effective for a smart as they are for any other car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,871 Posts
Not a big demand for smart alloy wheels. My daughter lived in a large college town. No one bothers with the car. It now sits outside at a apartment complex. No one touched it. Not too many cars out, used three lug wheels. Kind of a waste buying locking lug bolts.

I surprise too, it hasn't been tipped.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
347 Posts
We had such on our Kia Soul, but at some point one of the guys changing tires at the dealership actually lost the key or didn't put it back into the trunk where it was supposed to be stored away. The next time we had a problem with a tire, we went to Discount Tire and they ended up having to break them with an impact wrench to remove the things. We searched the car high and low for that special key, but never found the thing. It is not like you can replace the key, as the blanks are all done/cut at random the dealership said. We had the whole set of lug nut locks then removed, as being on a back road with a flat and finding out you don't have a special key to remove the lug nuts when you have a flat is not going to be a fun experience at all. Me, I would not be all that worried over tires and wheels being removed by a thief, myself. No way do I ever want to have the things put on in the future on any vehicle I own, but that is just me after my own experience with the things.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
456 Posts
Not a big demand for smart alloy wheels.
Just so ya know, they're not stealing them to resell them. They're stealing them to sell them as scrap to fund their drug habit.

FWIW, we have a problem with smart car wheels being stolen here in Portland. They're easy to steal. Just pick up the front or back, throw a rock under it, spin off 3 lug bolts and you're on the way to your next meth hit.

For that reason, I have locking lug bolts, but I paid something like $35(USD) for them not $195.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
456 Posts
It is not like you can replace the key, as the blanks are all done/cut at random the dealership said.
The McGard locking wheel bolts for my smart came with a card imprinted with identifying information one could use to order another key. I ordered a spare. I keep them in separate places. I think your dealer needs a reality check...nothing is done at random in the manufacturing world.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
347 Posts
This info regarding the key was not from the dealership guys, but was what they were told when they contacted Kia that day to see about another key being cut or a special number for such. Oddly, the same thing was said at Discount Tires, too. Me, I have no idea as to them being right or wrong, but it has not changed my opinion of ever wanting them again. I simply do not for myself. 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.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
17,358 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
787 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,781 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
456 Posts
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).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
347 Posts
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. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,471 Posts
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.
 
1 - 20 of 41 Posts
Top