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Discussion Starter #1
It seems to me that most cars sold have the wheel lock keys somewhere with the spare tire and jack. One could put it in the glove box or central console too. But these are limited and well-known locations. Wouldn't a wheel thief be willing to open the trunk (using a crow bar or through the window) and get the key to take the wheels? Is the lock itself enough of a deterrent? Or do you have a better hiding place for the key?
 

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If you're worried about it I'm sure you could find a good hiding place for it. BTW, those locking lug nuts can be defeated fairly easily so if a thief really wants your tires they'll be gone.
 

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The last couple of cars I bought, I demanded that the dealer take the locking lug nuts off and put normal ones. I think they're a waste of time, much more likely to cause a great inconvenience than to prevent one. Noone around here steals wheels -- that's something that happened in 1974 when "mags" were valuable. These days, who the hell would want a stock set of wheels from an F150 that didn't already have a perfectly good set?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Topo, are you worried you'll find your car looking like this? :)

Funny! I guess that is why every car I've bought (except for one) has the locks. Are they after the tires or the wheels? Maybe some fancy wheels?

I agree with the above posts that it is not very important nor effective, so one might as well keep the key handy for convenience.
 

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Funny! I guess that is why every car I've bought (except for one) has the locks. Are they after the tires or the wheels? Maybe some fancy wheels?
Like filling your tires with nitrogen. Good sales pitch I guess

I agree with the above posts that it is not very important nor effective, so one might as well keep the key handy for convenience.
What good is a spare tire if you lock the wheels and leave the key at home?
 

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My wife and I decided on a new car in 2015. An brand new entry level with steel wheels and plastic hub caps. I came down with a bad cold and my wife decided to go back to the dealership to finalize the purchase. I had done some research and found out the dealers cost. I think we decided to add $500 to that and make that our offer. My wife came back, happy as ever, exclaiming she got the price we wanted.

I took a look at the sales receipt and there was a fee.....I think it was $100 for the wheel locks and a fee of $500 for window etching (a form of theft identification). we picked up the phone and demanded a refund. They quickly obliged.

i do recall wheel thefts in the 1990s in my neighbourhood, they are a complete waste of money on steel wheels though.
 

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Timely post in that the car we just bought came with the locking nuts. I too am asking myself are they worth using or not. I think I'll see what my mechanic thinks. We certainly don't live in a high crime area. The special wrench socket is currently kept beside the spare tire. It isn't difficult to access at all but also isn't difficult to find at all which leads me to Topo's question of what's the point if a thief can as easily access it as I can.
 

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The last couple of cars I bought, I demanded that the dealer take the locking lug nuts off and put normal ones. I think they're a waste of time, much more likely to cause a great inconvenience than to prevent one. Noone around here steals wheels -- that's something that happened in 1974 when "mags" were valuable. These days, who the hell would want a stock set of wheels from an F150 that didn't already have a perfectly good set?
I stopped using mine, too. They are kind of pointless. If someone wants your wheels, the locking nuts aren't going to be that much of a deterrent. And if you have the other equipment you need for it, like jacks, etc. it's not hard to have a collection of the fairly small number of keys.
 

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I took a look at the sales receipt and there was a fee.....I think it was $100 for the wheel locks and a fee of $500 for window etching (a form of theft identification). we picked up the phone and demanded a refund. They quickly obliged.
No $200 for nitrogen filled tires and green caps??

I stopped using mine, too. They are kind of pointless. If someone wants your wheels, the locking nuts aren't going to be that much of a deterrent.
Youtube has many simple ways to defeat them. Looks easier to defeat them then to buy/carry multiple keys
 

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I doubt I would ever choose to buy them but when they come with the car anyway, I see no inconvenience in just using them. I think I will just leave them on as they are already there. Anyone have any practical reason for suggesting removing them rather than the question of is there any point to putting them on?

On a side note of some similarity, I always chuckle when people talk about putting locks on their luggage to deter thieves. They will of course deter some casual opportunist thieves but watch this video showing how easily they can be defeated.

Never pack anything you aren't willing to lose in a suitcase with a zipper is the lesson to learn.
 

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I doubt I would ever choose to buy them but when they come with the car anyway, I see no inconvenience in just using them. I think I will just leave them on as they are already there. Anyone have any practical reason for suggesting removing them rather than the question of is there any point to putting them on?

On a side note of some similarity, I always chuckle when people talk about putting locks on their luggage to deter thieves. They will of course deter some casual opportunist thieves but watch this video showing how easily they can be defeated.

Never pack anything you aren't willing to lose in a suitcase with a zipper is the lesson to learn.
There is the risk of misplacing the special key, rare as it might be.
 

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There is the risk of misplacing the special key, rare as it might be.
Our 2019 Subaru is in isolation during pandemic (no insurance). I can't take it to dealer for the service it is supposed to have every 6 months regardless of km driven (another peeve!)
I should do an oil change and rotate the tires. But then I will have to find that key. Never used it and no idea where it is in car!
 

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If it is sitting I'd be more worried about the battery than anything. I plugged mine into a 2amp trickle charger. I get slightly more tire wear up front from the steering and weight but AWD wears mostly even. I wouldn't worry about rotating tires every 6 months

Besides oil/oil filter at 2 years I'd look at air filter, cabin air filter (glove box) brake fluid. The air filters are easy to buy on amazon etc and change yourself because they are famously overpriced at dealer. Brake fluid you prob want to pay for but not really critical (most neglect it)
 

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I would worry more about my catalytic converter. Easy, fast, to boost. Can be done in minutes. Lightweight, easy to handle, takes up little room and has value to those who know where and how to dispose of it.
 

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They can get stripped much easier than regular lug nuts if one doesn't apply enough forward pressure.
And in areas where there is winter and road salt, the chances of corrosion freezing the lug nuts or lug bolts in place is considerable. The special key may not be able to apply enough torque to a corroded fastener to break it free. I used to have to put a 3 foot pipe on the lug wrench to get them free sometimes, before I started using anti-seize.
 

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Careful with anti-seize on the lugs though it affects the torque. I put it between the hub and wheel and try to wipe it off the lugs. Even a tiny bit makes the lugs come off so easily
 
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