Stock Wheel Lock - A Liability?

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TeCKis300

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Recently was working on my brakes and had the stock wheel lock socket fail. While I service and tinker with my vehicle more than most, I was surprised it failed in the fashion it did. I solely use it with hand tools so it wasn't abuse of an impact over time that cause it to fail.

I wish I took a picture. In the stock wheel lock, the pattern element has splines and is pressed into the overall socket housing. It separated. Another common failure mode is the pattern itself breaking.

As I was in the middle of the project, and I have a press, I just quickly fixed it by pressing the components back together. Seems to have seated solidly again, but makes me think, if I was out on the road with minimal resources and had this failure, I'd be SOL.

It's time for me to get rid of the locks. I get the security risk running without wheel locks, but that's a minimal risk in my mind.

Thoughts?

Anyone have extra standard stock lugs (4) they'd be willing to sell? PM me.
 
Out on the road you could put it between the jack and the frame and press it back together that way, assuming the press force is less than that to lift the truck. Or find a nice rock and bash it a bunch.

I don't have them on mine, but I rest easy knowing the market for beat up OEM LC wheels aren't in high demand.
 
I've had this happen on couple vehicles over the years, and I've always had success hammering a bigger sized socket over the nut and removing it. There are better security lug options out there.
 
The dealer broke mine on my last interval service and had to order a new set of lock to replace it. They have a dealer set so they were able to do the rotation, i would just be screwed in the meantime with a flat. They covered it under warranty so I didn’t complain.

but agree, this could be a problem on the trail. I bought a set of 4 to do my trailer, maybe I’ll consider swapping the locks when we do a longer, riskier trip.

thanks for the heads up.
 
Also, when the dealer gave me the new locks, it came with the MCguard registration card. Maybe work ordering a second to keep in pristine condition in the toolkit.
 
If the locks for a LC works on your LX wheels, I've got mine sitting in the garage with the tool if you really wanted a set and can't find anyone else close.
 
Ditch the locks. They are a hassle and liability that provide zero security.
 
The dealer broke mine on my last interval service and had to order a new set of lock to replace it. They have a dealer set so they were able to do the rotation, i would just be screwed in the meantime with a flat. They covered it under warranty so I didn’t complain.

but agree, this could be a problem on the trail. I bought a set of 4 to do my trailer, maybe I’ll consider swapping the locks when we do a longer, riskier trip.

thanks for the heads up.
Why wait? Murphys Law always applies at the worst possible time. Mall parking lot, your garage or the middle of nowhere needing to change a wheel is changing a wheel. Just my .02.
 
This q has come up regularly for ages.

Dump the locks.
FAR more likely to prevent YOU from changing a flat than preventing theft.

Dump, dump and dump again.
 
Recently was working on my brakes and had the stock wheel lock socket fail. While I service and tinker with my vehicle more than most, I was surprised it failed in the fashion it did. I solely use it with hand tools so it wasn't abuse of an impact over time that cause it to fail.

I wish I took a picture. In the stock wheel lock, the pattern element has splines and is pressed into the overall socket housing. It separated. Another common failure mode is the pattern itself breaking.

As I was in the middle of the project, and I have a press, I just quickly fixed it by pressing the components back together. Seems to have seated solidly again, but makes me think, if I was out on the road with minimal resources and had this failure, I'd be SOL.

It's time for me to get rid of the locks. I get the security risk running without wheel locks, but that's a minimal risk in my mind.

Thoughts?

Anyone have extra standard stock lugs (4) they'd be willing to sell? PM me.

I’ve been there twice already, last time I had to wait for my uncle to bring a 19 mm and did the old hammer trick to get the nut out. The locking nut was the only thing that stopped me from getting myself out without needing help.

I think I have 2 extra nuts from the bag @grinchy sent me, so if someone else donates 2 we are in business! Let me know and I’ll post it to you.
 
Not to beat a dead horse, but I too opted to skip the locks when I upgraded to RW's. The car is garage kept both at home and at work.
 
I have several sets of those stupid locks in ZipLok bags out in the garage, gathering dust. I don't know why I'm keeping them. If anybody wants them, let me know. They'll probably go in the trash next spring when I do my annual garage cleaning.
 
If someone wants to take the wheels, they'll take the wheels. These locks do virtually nothing for security and can be removed quite easily... except when you've got a flat on the side of the road and no key with you! Wheel locks are more of a pain than a help IMO.
 
I had the lock nut fail on my 4Runner years ago and had to drive the flat to a tire shop. No lock nuts for me. There’s probably more tales of failure than tales of thefts On this board.
 
What a pain! Can never find them when you need them and, as it turn out, the toyota/lexus locks only have ten variations. So if someone is in the business of stealing wheels, they are likely to have the full set.
 
I have some spare oem lugs. Drop me a pm and I can get them out to you ASAP.
 
Many years ago (2001, I think?) I was wheeling out at the old Paragon Park with Bud R (BudBuilt) and his son Chip, and there was a guy in our small group in basically a brand new Jeep. He had bought the thing, took it to 4WP, and had them install a bunch of stuff (lift, wheels, tires, etc). Then he came over to Paragon to try it out. We were on a pretty tough trail, and at one point he wedged one of his new BFG MT's in a spot and peeled the tire off the rim. POOF it was instantly flat. Oh, did I mention he was totally deaf? He had a hot GF doing all the sign language conversions for us, it was actually pretty fun.

We tore that Jeep apart and could not find the key for the McGard wheel lock on his nice shiny new rim. The lock was buried in a deep recess in the wheel, and no socket we tried could be pounded onto the damned thing. Then I found an old Craftsman 12 pt socket in the bottom of my box and sure enough it was a really tight fit, but we didn't spare the hammer when we pounded it on.

There was no way that socket was ever coming back off that wheel lock. So I handed it to him and he got the pleasure of pitching that thing out into the woods as far as he could.

Lesson learned, I've never had them on any of my vehicles since.
 
Thanks for offering guys. PMs sent.

Yeah, I'm not at all concerned about the security of the wheels. They have no real market value. Just that I've never had extra lugs of the right size to replace the locks. I'm pretty gentle on the locks knowing they can fail, yet this one still came apart on me. Some good ideas shared, but still would suck on the trail.

Take this as a PSA, prob good idea to replace stock locks with standard lugs.
 

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