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      10-14-2019, 02:15 PM   #1
johnung
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Any opinions on the BMW McGard-style wheel locks vs the BMW spline-style wheel locks?

I have the McGard-style now but someone overtorqued them causing wear to the key which I now have to replace. Dealer is trying to talk me into the BMW spline-style wheel locks which they claim have less chance of the key being damaged.

Not sure how the two compare as far as theft protection because it looked like I could buy master sets of the BMW spline-style keys very cheaply on Amazon but didn't see the same with McGard.

UPDATE: My dealer told me that he only sees five possible key combinations for the spline-style wheel locks, so the McGards must be more theft proof.

Note: Worn key couldn't get a grip on over tightened McGard lock bolt using a socket and two-foot bar. Dealer got it off using the key with one of those manual impact things that you hold in one hand and smack with a small sledgehammer. Then reset it for another smack. Harbor Freight, Sears and lots of tool places sell them <$20.

Any advice is appreciated.
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      10-17-2019, 10:53 AM   #2
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There's probably not much difference to a good thief that's equipped to get around wheel locks - if they want it they'll get it. Go with the option that won't fail YOU when you need to get your wheels off. I know people that have stopped using wheel locks altogether, even on expensive aftermarket wheels.
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      10-17-2019, 11:25 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by draggy View Post
There's probably not much difference to a good thief that's equipped to get around wheel locks - if they want it they'll get it. Go with the option that won't fail YOU when you need to get your wheels off. I know people that have stopped using wheel locks altogether, even on expensive aftermarket wheels.
Thanks for your reply. Only car I ever had without wheel locks had its wheels stolen in broad daylight in the safest place I could imagine. So now I use McGard locks forever after.

In the future prior to having my car serviced I will remove the locks myself. Just can't trust anyone not to be lazy, stupid or make a mistake. I literally watched the last guy, who I respect, tighten my wheels with his torque wrench. It must be a defective wrench or he didn't notice that it was set too high.

Recently had an issue with a family car with steel wheels rusting to the wheel hub. Had a flat tire and could not get wheel off on the side of the road after bolts were out. Checked other family cars with steel wheels and they had the same problem! Had to hammer wheels off from behind with heavy plastic mallet. Wire brushed hubs with Formula 409, sprayed clean with brake cleaner and wiped surface that contacts wheel with very thin coat of lithium grease to prevent future rust seizing.
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      10-19-2019, 01:33 PM   #4
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This is why I don't buy $3000 set wheels.

1. Park in garage.
2. Park on a well lit parking lot with lots of human traffic.
3. Don't bring your car on ghetto area of the city.
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      10-19-2019, 07:16 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Gen13 F36 View Post
This is why I don't buy $3000 set wheels.

1. Park in garage.
2. Park on a well lit parking lot with lots of human traffic.
3. Don't bring your car on ghetto area of the city.
HaHa. Easier said than done. At the time I had a brand new upscale sedan with the stock alloys and tires. I hadn't thought to add wheel locks yet. Suburbs. A few three story office buildings surrounded by nice residential neighborhoods. No obvious crime areas for at least 10 miles in any direction.

Came back to my office from lunch at 1:00pm on a weekday and at 1:45pm my car was spotted minus wheels/tires when someone returning from a late lunch called police. It was sitting on top of two old tires. My office friends were shocked that it happened at that location.

My car (and it's wheels) was in its first model year. Cops thought it could have been on a target list. There wouldn't be any wheels on the used market yet so would bring a good price if sold to auto body shops. A couple guys with a quick jack and tools could have grabbed them and been gone in a couple of minutes.
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      10-19-2019, 08:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnung View Post
HaHa. Easier said than done. At the time I had a brand new upscale sedan with the stock alloys and tires. I hadn't thought to add wheel locks yet. Suburbs. A few three story office buildings surrounded by nice residential neighborhoods. No obvious crime areas for at least 10 miles in any direction.

Came back to my office from lunch at 1:00pm on a weekday and at 1:45pm my car was spotted minus wheels/tires when someone returning from a late lunch called police. It was sitting on top of two old tires. My office friends were shocked that it happened at that location.

My car (and it's wheels) was in its first model year. Cops thought it could have been on a target list. There wouldn't be any wheels on the used market yet so would bring a good price if sold to auto body shops. A couple guys with a quick jack and tools could have grabbed them and been gone in a couple of minutes.
Are you serious... your tires didn't came with wheel locks from the dealer. Mine F36 m-sport, my friend base model 320i even came with a wheel locks from the dealer.
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      10-19-2019, 10:34 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Gen13 F36 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnung View Post
HaHa. Easier said than done. At the time I had a brand new upscale sedan with the stock alloys and tires. I hadn't thought to add wheel locks yet. Suburbs. A few three story office buildings surrounded by nice residential neighborhoods. No obvious crime areas for at least 10 miles in any direction.

Came back to my office from lunch at 1:00pm on a weekday and at 1:45pm my car was spotted minus wheels/tires when someone returning from a late lunch called police. It was sitting on top of two old tires. My office friends were shocked that it happened at that location.

My car (and it's wheels) was in its first model year. Cops thought it could have been on a target list. There wouldn't be any wheels on the used market yet so would bring a good price if sold to auto body shops. A couple guys with a quick jack and tools could have grabbed them and been gone in a couple of minutes.
Are you serious... your tires didn't came with wheel locks from the dealer. Mine F36 m-sport, my friend base model 320i even came with a wheel locks from the dealer.
My BMW 2015 335ix was bought used as CPO car. I insisted that the dealer add wheel locks as part of the deal.

The car in my wheel theft story was a brand spanking new 1999 Volvo S80 twin-turbo. Beautiful fast roomy car that taught me to really really hate turbo lag and to always install McGard wheel locks on day one!
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      10-19-2019, 11:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gen13 F36 View Post
This is why I don't buy $3000 set wheels.

1. Park in garage.
2. Park on a well lit parking lot with lots of human traffic.
3. Don't bring your car on ghetto area of the city.

LOL! Hard not to find very many area's not ghetto in LA. Grew up there, just spent 2 weeks in Woodland Hills, Grenada Hills, Santa Monica and Temecula.

40 Billion people per sq mile... eventually your shits gunna get jacked

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      10-27-2019, 08:22 AM   #9
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John - having lost the splined keys for both our X1 and 328, I can say there's more like 20+ combinations of keys. Thompson BMW had to come out to the car with a little plastic compartment kit and try every key on my car. There were 2 kits he had, so I want to say the key combination is decently significant. That's not to say that a thief doesn't spend the $500 - 800 buying all the keys. Also FWIW my X1 and 328, though the locks look very, very similar, have different keys.
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      10-27-2019, 12:38 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by 5mall5nail5 View Post
John - having lost the splined keys for both our X1 and 328, I can say there's more like 20+ combinations of keys. Thompson BMW had to come out to the car with a little plastic compartment kit and try every key on my car. There were 2 kits he had, so I want to say the key combination is decently significant. That's not to say that a thief doesn't spend the $500 - 800 buying all the keys. Also FWIW my X1 and 328, though the locks look very, very similar, have different keys.
Thanks! Good to know! It was the dealer that told me there were only 5 keys. First time a dealer gave me bad information.
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