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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.
The thieves are not stealing steel wheels, only alloy wheels. They can't make enough money on steel wheels to make it worth their while. It's pretty obvious on an alloy wheel how many lug bolts there are. The thieves are specifically targeting smart cars because they've figured out how easy it is to steal wheels from them.
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.
I'm definitely not giving them too much credit. Theft of smart car wheels is "a thing" here in the Rose City. smart cars are being targeted for wheel theft. Silver Mojito reported his wheels stolen just about a year ago and he lives directly across from a police station!

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. :)
Yep, if you only have 5-6 smart cars around you don't have much to worry about. But smart cars are ubiquitous here. For example, I just returned from my nightly stroll around the neighborhood. I counted 11 smart cars on my 1 hour walk. 6 were Car2Go's. Of the remaining 5, three were ED's. One was missing both of it's rear wheels....
 

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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.
We've had similar problems here. A neighbor came home from vacation to find his copper gutters and downspouts missing. I wish the scraps yards here were held more accountable as you describe.
 

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I hope most of the wheel thieves in your area are smart enough to also carry a 15mm socket in addition to the 17mm. Stock smart wheel bolts are 15mm. The aftermarket ones are 17mm. Just a bit of help to make it easier on the local street thugs. >:D
 

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I hope most of the wheel thieves in your area are smart enough to also carry a 15mm socket in addition to the 17mm. Stock smart wheel bolts are 15mm. The aftermarket ones are 17mm. Just a bit of help to make it easier on the local street thugs. >:D
I intentionally gave the wrong socket size to misdirect potential thieves. Thanks for correcting me! :nerd:
 

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I hope most of the wheel thieves in your area are smart enough to also carry a 15mm socket in addition to the 17mm. Stock smart wheel bolts are 15mm. The aftermarket ones are 17mm. Just a bit of help to make it easier on the local street thugs. >:D


I intentionally gave the wrong socket size to misdirect potential thieves. Thanks for correcting me! :nerd:

I was gonna say something, as I remember the inconvenience of having to go to the store to buy a 15mm deep socket, then decided to just keep quiet. I think you can still edit it out, (and so will I)!
 

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It's a no brainer to spend $35 to purchase a set on 4 lock lugs. At least you'll keep honest and stupid people from stealing your wheels.

Anyone who really wants your stuff, will find a way. Many will just move on to the next car if you make it difficult for them. Hopefully, they won't key your car for outsmarting them.
See what I did...out smart. OK...OK.

I use to work in a fitness center in a strip mall in Columbia, SC. Some man walked in and asked if anyone had a Z28 Camero? I ran outside and 4 black guys were stealing my wheels in broad daylight. They got the lugs off, but not my tires. The cops even knew who they were, but couldn't arrest them because they didn't see them do anything. Bad people are so brazen.
 

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It amazes me that thieves will go to all the trouble to grab a set of tires and rims off a smart when that is the only car they will fit. I doubt any pawn shop would even give you anything for them so unless you know someone who could use them and would buy stolen goods, a waste of time. But if they are foolish enough to take them, they would still be gone, so I guess locks are not a bad idea.

I guess I am lucky to be in an area where tires and rims are in a low demand, haven't lost any yet. I always thought the locks would just slow them down a bit anyhow. Had a foolish thief try to stake the AM radio out of my Corvair convert, Door was unlocked and he still cut the top to get in, radio would only fit a corvair, and I walked up as he was stuck under the dash trying to remove it. He had a little trouble getting away with a broken leg and we found a bunch of stereos in the trunk of his car (it was at a voc-tech school) and a few of my classmates got their radios back. When the police showed up, he was begging to be arrested. Since the school was on private property, He said he really couldn't arrest him as the owner of the property didn't file a complaint.....When the officer asked how he got hurt, we said he fell down... A lot. After they took him away, and a few radios for evidence, his car mysteriously got stripped and disappeared. Rule #1 , don't piss off a bunch of post high school auto mechanics (to be)

Of course that would never happen nowdays. the thief would probably make money on us if he got a scratch from breaking in a car
 

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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.
I don't know if they are worth what a dealer charges or the difference in quality from those carried in an auto parts store.

Just the fact that Discount tire had to break the bolt or wheel stud with an impact wrench, tells me locking lug nuts are more than a slight deterrent. They obviously worked enough that a shop who does this work for 8 - 10 hours a day with professional tools struggled somewhat and had to break something to get them off. Will locking lug nuts stop the professional their probably not, ( are professional thief's looking for Smart rims) meth heads looking for a quick score, locking lug nuts should keep them at bay.
 

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Unless you live in Detroit, where any and all cars get stripped down to nothing on the regular. :(

Dodge actually loses a lot of press cars that way.
 

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The OE wheel locks for the 451 seem to have a special design, kind of like the lugnuts themselves. They have hollow centers on the "nut" part. I think it has something to do with breakaway forces in an accident. If I could do it all over again, I would choose the OE ones over the McGard. I don't want a wheel coming into me in an accident because the McGard lock is too strong. But I'm not going to pay extra now to switch over....
 

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Just a guess, but you have a better chance of being struck by lightning than having your 3 bolt wheels stolen. :)
Of all the math courses I took in CECS, Probability was the most challenging!!! This sounds like a very, very, very, very, very low probability!
 

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Just a guess, but you have a better chance of being struck by lightning than having your 3 bolt wheels stolen. :)


I don't know. I've had several people compliment my wheels and then they mention they know where I park my car while at work and not to be surprised when I come out and suddenly have a set of 9-spoke in place of my 3 spoke. 🤣


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I don't know. I've had several people compliment my wheels and then they mention they know where I park my car while at work and not to be surprised when I come out and suddenly have a set of 9-spoke in place of my 3 spoke. 🤣


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Mine are prettier than those 9-spoke wheels. (I won't feel so guilty. What a great idea to swap!)

Better rush there now before you change your mind and get one of these:

Gorilla Automotive Products

I got "The System" for one car in the house. Every single nut/bolt is a lock!!! (I'm guessing the one for the smart is 48176N-20.)
 
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