Choosing the Right Lug Nut or Wheel Lock

When replacing your tyres, you will be asked at the shop if there is a wheel lock key. If your car is a newer model, the wheels will have a locking lug nut. Or if you get after-market rims, you can still get wheel locks. There is a cut out in this lug nut that will require a key to remove.

There will be a key to each wheel lock set. These are used to prevent the theft of wheels. If the key gets damaged, you can get a new one from the manufacturer or the dealer. There are certain factors to consider when selecting the right lug nut for your vehicle. One such parameter is the thread size.

If you don’t know the thread size, you can take the one lug nut to the hardware store to find out. You can also measure it at home by using a thread pitch gauge. The thread size is the outer diameter of your wheel stud. Wheel studs are the threaded studs that extend through the holes in your wheels. The lug nuts are threaded onto these. The minimum number of threaded bolts is 4 numbers per wheel. It can go up to about 8 numbers. You can refer to the owner’s manual to find factory stud sizes.

You can find so many finishes and colours for wheel locks. Some examples are stainless steel; chrome plated, black chrome and zinc. Some examples of colours are silver, red and blue. The distance between the threads is called the thread pitch and it is measured in millimetres. For non-metric studs, this is defined as threads per inch. The seat is the part of the lug nut that comes into contact with the surface of the wheel. You have to know the seat type of the lug nut.

There are mag seats which have a flat seat surface, tapered seats and ball seats. Make sure that you recheck the dimensions of the lug nut. The lug nut should be properly fitted to ensure safety and this will also affect the aesthetics of the vehicle.

To remove a wheel lock, you will need a specific key in the set. And there are different types of wheel locks available depending on the style of the wheel. Many people that purchase custom rims use wheel locks to ensure that nobody steals them. There are many instances of custom rim sets and wheels getting stolen and resold by the thieves. You can replace each lug nut with a wheel lock.

But you should take care to install the wheel locks properly. You can check which torque wrench is recommended for the job before you start.  If the wheel lock is not properly seated, it will be difficult to remove the bolt. There is a certain torque specification that is required to install a lug nut. You should check this before you lock it in place. Because each wheel lock needs a unique key, it deters would-be thieves. You will not be able to remove a wheel lock using a prying tool.