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How to Protect Your Wheels from Getting Stolen

Tire theft is a major problem for car owners. If you don't take proper precautions, thieves can easily steal your tires and sell them at scrap yards or online.

Tires are expensive, and they're also very important. They provide traction and stability, and they're essential for safe driving. Unfortunately, tire thefts happen all too often.

Here are some tips on how to protect your wheels from being stolen:


Use Alarms for the Tires

It's one of the best things you can do for your wheels to protect them against theft. 

Alarm systems come in two main types: Motion-detecting and vibration-detecting. 

These alarms detect any movement or vibrations caused by someone trying to steal your vehicle. 

So, if someone tries to break into your car with their foot on the gas pedal, this alarm will go off. Of course, it won't be enough to deter a determined thief, but it might prevent someone who doesn't have much time or motivation from stealing a vehicle.


Motion-detecting alarms 

These should be placed inside each wheel well. It means that they need to be installed before you put them on your car. Motion-detection alarms work better when there's not much traffic near your vehicle. You can place these alarms outside as long as you've got a clear view of where cars drive past you.

An excellent way to install motion-detecting alarms is to use adhesive tape. Peel off a strip, stick it around the wheel well, and then press down so that it sticks tightly.


Vibration-detecting alarms

These alarms are more flexible than their counterparts. They require less installation work, which makes them easier to use. They're also less likely to get stolen. However, they're only effective if you keep the rims clean. Thieves will see the dirt stuck between the spokes and try to pull it out. Also, make sure that the rim isn't warped because this could cause noise.

The best way to install vibration-detecting alarms would be using a clamp. Place the clamps over the wheel well, tighten them until they fit firmly, and remove any excess material. It's easy to find clamps online or even at hardware stores.


Install Security Cameras

Another great thing that you can do to protect your tires is to install security cameras. Security cameras allow you to monitor what's going on outside while you're inside.


So, if somebody breaks into your car and steals your tires, you'll know about it immediately. You can record a video of the whole episode. And if that happens, you'll have proof of what happened. There's no doubt that this footage will help you pursue charges against the culprits.


Security cameras aren't cheap. But they're definitely worth the money. By the way, many manufacturers offer quality security products such as DVRs (digital video recorders), HDTVs (high-definition television sets), and other home surveillance equipment.


You'll want to purchase a camera covering the area directly around your tires. And if possible, you should buy several models; otherwise, thieves may notice that a camera is missing and decide to move on.


Keep Your Tires' Treads Full

One of the most common methods used by tire thieves is cutting through the center of the tire's tread. The reason why they do this is simple. You don't leave a mark when you cut a hole in the middle of your tread. 

That's why the police often look for drivers whose tires have been slashed. Unfortunately, that method doesn't work very well anymore. Newer tires are made from softer rubber compounds. As a result, when you hit a pothole or a speed bump, the tire moves independently of the rest of the tire.


As soon as that happens, the tire will crack or tear. If you continue driving like this, eventually, you'll end up with a flat tire. So, what should you do now? Well, one option is to replace all four tires. After that, you'll never run into this problem again!


But you can still take advantage of the benefits of having a full set of tires. Make sure that the treads of all your tires are full. When that happens, the tire won't absorb road shock. Instead, the tread stays fixed to the ground. 


If the treads are too worn, the tire will become loose. Then, it's more likely that you'll encounter a problem when you drive. For example, you may experience uneven braking or steering when you turn left or right.


Use Wheel Locks

Wheel locks are the most effective way to keep your car's wheels safe from theft. These specialized devices go inside your wheel wells and prevent thieves from stealing your tires.


When installed correctly, wheel locks also act as an alarm system. This means that the thief won't be able to start your car without triggering an alert. They'll also hear a loud noise that will tell them to get away from your vehicle before it explodes. Plus, these devices will make it harder for burglars to break into your car.


First, insert wheel locks into the wheel wells to use wheel locks effectively. Next, place the device between two bolts. Do not put it close to the edge because you'll need to disconnect the bolts to remove the wheel.


Finally, tighten each bolt using a wrench. You might consider getting special tools called "wheel boot kits." These come with the necessary wrenches, which makes installation much easier.


Install Anti-Theft Devices

Anti-theft devices are similar to wheel locks. However, instead of protecting your car's wheels, these devices protect your vehicle itself. For example, some anti-theft devices include alarms, tracking systems, and remote controls.


These devices range in price from $200 to $500. Many people claim that installing one of these devices prevents thefts. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), however, there isn't any evidence supporting such claims. 


NICB says there isn't even any proof that is putting a keyless ignition switch on a vehicle works. It only seems to increase the risk of being robbed. But if you're worried about your car being stolen, you could install one of these anti-theft devices. Just remember, though, that no anti-theft device is 100% reliable.


male thieves stealing car wheels - drawn artistic concept

Use Specialty Lug Nuts Locks

Lug nuts are a lock used to secure lug nuts onto a wheel hub. These lugs provide extra security by preventing thieves from taking off the wheel. Once they have removed the lug nuts, they'll have a hard time removing the remaining parts of the wheel.


These locks can be used instead of standard lug nuts. The main drawback is that they're more expensive than standard lug nuts. These locks cost around $20 to $30 per pair. Some people prefer these locks over standard lug nuts because they look nice. Others like them because they offer better protection.


Also, unlike lug nuts, these locks don't loosen easily. That means that they can withstand harsh weather conditions. Finally, these locks are easy to install. You have to unscrew the existing lug nut and replace it with the new one. Most importantly, though, these locks work just fine and will take time to unlock, reducing theft.


Other Measures to Keep Your Wheels Safe

One way to do this is by making sure that your car has a good locking mechanism. Of course, the best solution is to keep your car safe at all times. Here are a few ways to help:


  • You should always park your car in well-lit areas and avoid parking near dark alleys. If you must park somewhere else, you can turn off the engine and leave a note instructing others to find the keys. Also, never leave your vehicle unlocked when you go inside your home or office.
  • You should use a steering wheel lock. This kind of lock is designed specifically for cars. They usually cost between $50 and $100. Unlike other steering wheel locks, these require two keys installed through the wheel.
  • Your car needs a good locking system, especially for the truck where your spare wheel is stored. The best option is a keyless entry system. This option allows you to start your car without inserting a key in the ignition. 
  • Some vehicles also allow you to open doors remotely. So, you won't need to carry a spare set of keys with you. Instead, you can get into your car using a remote control. Even if you choose not to use a keyless entry system, you should still protect your car's steering wheel.
  • Use special tire rims that include locking mechanisms. These kinds of rims can be found online or at auto parts stores. They range in price from $40 to $300.
  • The most popular brand is called the Anti-Theft Wheel System. It includes a central hub and four spokes, which form a circle. When you place your wheel on top of these spokes, the center hub becomes locked. This makes removing the wheel very difficult.
  • Another great option is the Lock-It Rimlock Technology. It comes with an integrated locking ring that surrounds the rim. You press down on the ring, and it expands, securely securing your wheel.

Final Thoughts and Observations

Nowadays, thieves are becoming smarter. They're able to break into even the strongest locks. However, there are proven methods to make your car less vulnerable. Some of these techniques might also keep your car from getting broken into. 

However, before you implement any security measure, you should first consult with your local police department so they can help you understand how serious the problem is in your area. There may be laws against installing certain devices.

Also, you should take these tips into consideration if you plan on making your UTV street-legal.

You should also know whether your car insurance company offers coverage against loss or damage due to criminal activity. If so, read the policy carefully to ensure that it covers your car.