You may have invested a severe amount of money in some shiny new wheels. Do you think they need to be secured? Unfortunately, in today’s world, they do.
Finding the best wheel locks is something you probably need to do at the same time as you choose your wheels. And when those wheels are fitted, the wheel locks need to go on at the same time.
There will be times when you have to leave your vehicle. You can’t be with it all the time. Every time you go, there needs to be security.
You lock the doors, don’t you?
And it’s not only shiny new wheels on shiny new cars. Some years ago, a friend of ours returned to a multi-story car park in London to find all four wheels gone. The car up on bricks. It wasn’t a new car, nor were they expensive wheels. He didn’t find it at all amusing.
So, let’s have a look at what’s around and find the ideal wheel locks for your vehicle…
- 1 Top 10 Best Wheel Locks On The Market Reviews
- 1.1 1 McGard 24157 Chrome Cone Seat Wheel Locks (M12 x 1.5 Thread Size) – Set of 4 – Best Computer Generated Key Wheel Locks
- 1.2 2 Trimax TCL65 Wheel Chock Lock – Best Long Term Wheel Lock Clamp
- 1.3 3 Gorilla Automotive 61631Guard Locks (12mm x 1.50 Thread Size) – Pack of 4 – Best Affordable Wheel Locks
- 1.4 4 Homdox Wheel Lock and Anti-Theft Wheel Clamp – Best Easy Install Wheel Lock Clamp
- 1.5 5 TMS Wheel Lock Clamp – Best Budget Wheel Lock Clamp
- 1.6 6 BOLT Lock 5922986 Spare Tire and Wheel Lock for 2007-2018 Jeep Wrangler JK – Best Jeep Wrangler Wheel Lock
- 1.7 7 TOYOTA Genuine Accessories 00276-00900 Wheel Lock – Best Toyota Wheel Lock
- 1.8 8 Honda Genuine Accessories 08W42-SNA-100 Alloy Wheel Lock – Best Honda Wheel Lock
- 1.9 8 McGard 24216 Black Cone Seat Wheel Locks – Most Durable Seat Wheel Locks
- 1.10 10 Gorilla Automotive 24631 Cone Seat Hex Socket Bolt Locks – Best Cone Seat Bolt Wheel Locks
- 2 A Buyer’s Guide to the Best Wheel Locks
- 3 If Security is truly a concern…
- 4 So, what are the Best Wheel Locks?
Top 10 Best Wheel Locks On The Market Reviews
1 McGard 24157 Chrome Cone Seat Wheel Locks (M12 x 1.5 Thread Size) – Set of 4 – Best Computer Generated Key Wheel Locks
This is a brand of well-known wheel nuts, so we have started with a popular product. They are made from a specially treated steel and given three platings of nickel. They are then given a chrome plating, so they look nice. And therefore, they are very strong but are also resistant to the elements, mostly rust and corrosion.
This shiny covering also makes them quite attractive to look at. That can be a good thing and a bad thing, of course, where potential thieves are knocking around.
How does it all work?
This is a locking wheel nut that has a code that is generated by a computer. It is a cone seat style of lock. The four locks come with one key. With there being a nearly endless series of potential key patterns, it is hard to create a replica.
The duplication of the key to open the locks then becomes one less thing to worry about. This, in turn, makes it difficult for the casual thief to get their hand on your wheels. There are, of course, some professionals who know all the tricks. But even they will struggle with these.
They fit a thread size of M12 by 1.5, and they are 1,28 inches in length. If you still use OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) wheels, it is best to consult the car manufacturer regarding compatibility.
Stylish and efficient, but they are quite expensive.
- Solid steel construction.
- Chrome plating.
- Computer-generated key with four locks.
- Quite expensive.
2 Trimax TCL65 Wheel Chock Lock – Best Long Term Wheel Lock Clamp
This is a wheel clamp that is not designed to protect a single wheel but to protect the vehicle itself. This would apply, mostly if whatever vehicle it is, is left for some time and not garaged.
This is a functional wheel clamp that will suit most vehicles, including cars, trailers, ATVs, and boats. It is quick and easy to fit and has a built-in chock. This prevents any potential ‘rollaway.’ Once it is attached, it makes it all but impossible to move the vehicle. This includes towing and obviously driving it away. The design means that the wheel is entirely unable to move.
What’s the hitch?
Of course, the problem with this kind of design is that the wheel could still be removed with the clamp attached. But, that would take some effort and time, and it would also have to be replaced with a spare tire. Most thieves would probably consider that not to be a realistic option.
It is made of heavy gauge steel that is powder-coated. The locking arms are rubber-coated to protect the wheel itself and prevent scratching.
Any other positives?
The locking mechanism is very secure and would be very difficult to pick. The clamp comes with two keys.
This is a basic wheel clamping system, and it would only protect one wheel, though. And the pricing would make using it for all four unreasonable. If you want to store or leave a vehicle out of the garage for a while, this is a good option to prevent vehicle removal.
The price point for clamping one wheel is reasonable. Even though it’s a clamp, it should be considered as one of the best wheel locks for long term outdoor storage.
- Well made.
- Steel and rubber protection on arms.
- Difficult to pick, secure locking mechanism.
- Only secures one wheel.
3 Gorilla Automotive 61631Guard Locks (12mm x 1.50 Thread Size) – Pack of 4 – Best Affordable Wheel Locks
If you are looking for a tough set of wheel locks for all four wheels at a great price, this could be it. They certainly should be considered as one of the best wheel lock options on a tighter budget.
These really provide a lot of security features, and they come in five different sizes. But for the purpose of this look at them, we are concentrating on the 12mm x 1.50 thread size.
They are made from hardened cold-forged steel, which gives you an idea of how strong they are. They also have been designed with narrow face grooves for locking. That adds to the security for you, and to the problems for anyone who decides to, shall we say, ‘acquire’ them. Each locking nut is then finished off with a plated finish.
Another reason we like them?
When these are on the wheels, they look quite nice, but they also have a look that says ‘just don’t bother.’ They have an overall length of one and a half inches. In the pack, you’ll find the four locking wheel nuts and one key.
If there’s one thing that might be considered disappointing with these, it is that there are only four nuts. Some manufacturers include five, one for the spare wheel. Saying that might be a bit unfair as they are considerably less money than similar products elsewhere. They will, of course, work with a variety of vehicles.
A very strong and cost-effective set of wheel locks and an attractive option. Therefore, they should be considered as one of the best affordable locks for wheels you can buy.
- Good strong build.
- Very attractive price.
- Four locking wheel nuts.
- No locking nut for a spare wheel.
4 Homdox Wheel Lock and Anti-Theft Wheel Clamp – Best Easy Install Wheel Lock Clamp
This is another strongly built wheel clamp. It is made from very heavy-duty steel that has been given a coating to resist corrosion and rust. This makes it both durable and resistant to bad weather. It is a well-designed clamp that has a tilting action. That ensures that it won’t damage the wheel or rim but will still provide a tight grip. It also has a softened PVC edging to prevent scratching.
This wheel clamp is designed to be able to be adjusted to fit variations of tire and rim sizes, and it will work well on a variety of vehicles, including cars, caravans, trailers, SUVs, etc. It should be noted, though, that the radius of the tire should be less than fourteen inches. It weighs fourteen pounds, so it would be easy to stow it away in the back of a vehicle and carry it with you.
As a security device, clamps can work very well. They aren’t theft-proof to the professional, but they do act as a deterrent. Even the yellow color it is painted announces that it is here, don’t touch it. They do, though, prevent the wheel from rotating, and that makes life a little more awkward for the car thief.
Why this clamp?
Leaving your vehicle on a long term basis where it is not garaged also means a clamp will improve security. The good thing about this clamp, though, is that it is easy to put on. But for someone without the key, it is a devil to get it off.
A suitable clamp if that is what you need, but like most clamps, then it can be a little expensive if you need more than one.
- Good design.
- Plenty of protection for your rim and tire.
- Adjustable to fit a variety of wheels.
- Quite an expensive option for wheel protection only.
5 TMS Wheel Lock Clamp – Best Budget Wheel Lock Clamp
This is another heavy-duty locking clamp, but this one is what you might call a budget option. It is designed so that it will immobilize your vehicle thoroughly. And it will therefore prevent the clamped wheel from turning.
It is made from steel that has a weather-resistant treatment. But despite its strong construction, it is surprisingly lightweight, weighing less than six and a half pounds. Very easy to carry around in the back of your vehicle in case it is needed. It will adjust in its size to accommodate working with wheels from 6 ¾ inches to 10 ½ inches.
It does not have any rubber or soft padding on the inside of the clamping arms. There is what they call a ‘soft-coating’ instead. It will work on most vehicles that have the correct size wheels, including cars, bikes, trucks or RVs, trailers, etc.
This has a very brightly colored design that announces its presence and may well put off the casual thief, and it comes with two unlocking keys.
Simple but effective…
It is a simple design at a very cost-effective price. It will, in the opinion of most, operate better if it is attached to a wheel at the front of the vehicle.
As a clamp to protect a vehicle, it is a good purchase for what is essentially a budget range clamp.
- Made of steel.
- Adjustments for wheel size.
- Cost-effective price.
- Some will need a stronger clamp.
6 BOLT Lock 5922986 Spare Tire and Wheel Lock for 2007-2018 Jeep Wrangler JK – Best Jeep Wrangler Wheel Lock
This is a locking device designed specifically for a Jeep Wrangler. So, these are definitely the best wheel locks for that model; however, it applies only to vehicles made between 2007 up to 2018.
This has an exciting concept for security and wheel lock protocols. The lock will remember the first key that is inserted in it. So you set the lock and insert the key of your choice.
Presumably, the safest bet would be the ignition key…
When the key is inserted, you turn it once, and the lock’s mechanism will automatically remember that key. It will reject any other entered. These locks from Bolt cannot be reset, so once it has recognized your ignition key, that is it for that individual lock.
Now, there are some advantages to that system, but we can also see a downside. It isn’t about what happens if you sell the vehicle. Presumably, the ignition key and the wheel locking system will go to the new owner. They won’t be impressed not to have the ignition key. More of a problem is what happens if you are out and lose your ignition key.
And, it may be the only copy. Then it will be time to break-in to your own car, but then don’t get a puncture as you will not be able to remove the wheel. The message is, don’t lose the key or carry a spare one somewhere.
It is quite a strong build with a spring lock that will spring back automatically when the key is removed. And, it is quite a secure lock with a six plated tumbler design. That will make it very difficult to pick.
Exciting but pricey…
This lock will fit most OEM wheels for the Jeep but checking with the manufacturer is always a good idea. An exciting idea for a lock, but it comes at a price.
- Set the unlock key to a key of your choice.
- Good strong build.
- Only for a Jeep Wrangler in the given years.
- Quite expensive.
7 TOYOTA Genuine Accessories 00276-00900 Wheel Lock – Best Toyota Wheel Lock
These wheel locking nuts are genuine Toyota products. They have a special tool and a color guide to help you make the installation on your Toyota.
Made for the road…
These have a strong build, being made from hardened steel that is precision machined. They are triple nickel-plated and have been given a chrome-plated finish. That reduces the risk of rust and other corrosion problems.
These locking nuts in one way do stand above the others. That is that they are weight-balanced. This means that there is a need for any extra wheel balancing once you have them installed, which isn’t always the case with some products.
There is a downside to them, though…
They are not delivered to you with a unique unlocking key. This is a potential problem in that if a thief gets hold of a key from Toyota, then they could open them. It might be an outside chance, of course, but nevertheless, it is possible.
Installation is easy and relatively quick, and they are set at a reasonable price point. They are, though, a little more expensive than some compatible products. Manufacturers’ products usually are, so we shouldn’t be surprised. For Toyota owners, these are a reasonable purchase and offer basic security for the wheels.
- Built quite well.
- Come with a special installation tool.
- Potential security problem with the key.
8 Honda Genuine Accessories 08W42-SNA-100 Alloy Wheel Lock – Best Honda Wheel Lock
Continuing the theme of manufacturer manufactured products, these are a set of locking nuts from Honda. Some people always prefer to use extra parts that are presented by the carmaker.
These locking wheel locks offer a protection level that is quite basic. But in most circumstances, they will be sufficient enough. They are not the sort of locking nuts that are full of themselves. Some offer large designs and bright colors. These aren’t like that and are quite subtle. In fact, when they are fitted, they are not even particularly visible. That does not really matter, though.
They will do their job…
They are made from hardened steel that makes them durable and weather resistant. Also, they have a triple nickel coating and are finished with shiny chrome. You also get a useful pouch to store the key socket so that you can keep it safe and not lose it.
Once again, a manufacturer provides an option. Once again, though, over the price point of most of its competitors.
- Understated design.
- Protects your wheels.
- Genuine Honda parts.
- Quite expensive for such a basic product.
8 McGard 24216 Black Cone Seat Wheel Locks – Most Durable Seat Wheel Locks
Back we go again to McGard for another locking wheel nut option. These are black cone seat locks. They are machine prepared hardened steel, and every lock is what they term as ‘through-hardened.’ This means that the hardening goes deeper into the steel base metal, unlike ‘case hardening,’ which is very much a surface treatment.
They are then given three layers of nickel for added strength and which also helps to repel corrosion. Finally, they are finished off with the blackened look.
How do they work?
The key itself is prepared and computer-generated to have very thin patterns. This makes it very hard even to insert lock removal tools. They have a thread size of M14 by 1.5, and a dual hex size of 21mm and 22mm, and the locks have a length of 1.639 inches. With the package, you get the four locks and a key.
As with some other McGard products, they do not provide a fifth locking nut for a spare, which is a bit disappointing. We presume they are working on the basis that, in most cases, the spare is locked away somewhere inside the car. This is true in some cases, of course, but not all.
An attractive option…
Nevertheless, the price point is a little cheaper than some others, making this an attractive option.
A typical McGard product that is well-made and does its job at a decent price point.
- Well-made with suitable materials.
- Attractive price point.
- No fifth locking nut for a spare.
10 Gorilla Automotive 24631 Cone Seat Hex Socket Bolt Locks – Best Cone Seat Bolt Wheel Locks
For our final look at what is on offer, we go back to Gorilla Automotive. This is a company that has been producing automotive accessories for over 40 years. Most of their products are directly associated with wheels, so we can be assured they know what they are doing. They are based in Los Angeles.
These are a cone seat socket design bolt lock. They are very typically a Gorilla product, which means they are well-made. They have produced these wheel locks with toughened hardened steel that has been given heat treatment.
Who can use them?
The thread size is 12mm by 1,50, and they have a dual hex key of ¾ inch and 13/16 inch. They come as a set of four-wheel locks and have a key. One small thing to remind potential buyers is to be sure your car uses bolts and not nuts. If they are fitted with nuts, then these bolted locks are not appropriate.
They come at a very competitive price, which makes them an attractive option. However, they do not have a fifth lock for a spare wheel.
- Well-made basic locking wheel nut.
- Competitive price.
- Some may just want a few extra security features.
A Buyer’s Guide to the Best Wheel Locks
‘Change the Locks’
So sang Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and he may well have been right. Wheels, tires, etc. are big business, if thieves can get their hands on them. And they can. You need to protect them if you don’t want a hefty bill. And of course, the inconvenience.
What are the options?
Basically, just two. The wheel nut lock and the clamp. Both have their plus points, but at the end of the day, the wheel locking nut is going to protect a wheel, and the clamp is going to protect the vehicle. You can defend all five wheels or, in some cases four, or tires for the price of one clamp.
But wheel locking nuts are not going to stop someone getting into your vehicle and driving off with it. Clamps will. It is a bit of a balancing act with possibly only one solution.
More on that soon…
What makes the best wheel lock?
The ideal wheel locks need to be made from a sturdy material, of course. But they also need to have complex design structures. Key Patterns with a unique design are sometimes the best bet. The more complex they are, the harder they will be to be removed quickly.
What should they be made of?
As we have just said, something very strong. Steel is probably the best. Thieves will use a variety of things to get your wheels off. Wrenches, hammers, even in some cases, drills. The stronger they are, the better. Weaker materials will always be vulnerable.
What is the solution for total protection?
So let’s go back to the balancing act of getting this right. You want to protect your wheels, quite rightly. Especially if they are an extra, and cost a bit. But in protecting the wheels, the vehicle itself is vulnerable. They get in and drive away, and you’ve not only lost your wheels, but you have also lost the locking nuts you bought, and the vehicle as well.
Have both. Wheel locking nuts are essential. They will have a hard time getting your wheels off, and only the pros will see it through, and some of them won’t. But also use a clamp if the vehicle is left for any period of time.
It is a simple equation. Wheels secure + Vehicle ain’t going anywhere = Peace of mind.
And the extra cost of buying two security options? An awful lot less than replacing the wheels, let alone the vehicle.
If Security is truly a concern…
Back to wheel locks…
So, what are the Best Wheel Locks?
We are going to break with tradition here and not just choose one product. In the light of our last comments, that would seem off track. So we are going to go with both options, we would buy locking wheel nuts and a clamp, and we would get the…
… for our wheel locks and the…
With both in place, we are inclined to say, “go on, then fella now steal it or them.”
Security and peace of mind at a reasonable cost.