The days of “rims being more expensive than the car” are probably over for most JNCs, but a set of wheel locks is still a good investment, especially if you have super fancy expensive rollers. If you’re lucky, it’ll be just the wheels that are gone, but you know how scummy thieves can be. In a hurry to do the deed, they’ll often damage the car itself by not jacking it up on the right points or drop it to the ground as they leave. Wheel locks can serve as a good deterrent that prevents them from getting that far to begin with.
If you haven’t seen Project Farm on YouTube, you’re missing out. Each episode tests a variety of tools and products until they break to find out which ones are the best. Usually the subjects span a range of prices from Amazon cheapos to really expensive options (and the pricey ones don’t always win). The level of testing Project Farm subjects the tools to is, to quote the host, very impressive. Let’s just say there are often torque meters and spreadsheets involved.
The latest episode subjects wheel locks to evaluation. Perhaps not surprisingly, the most inexpensive brands are fairly easy to defeat for the seasoned lowlife. It takes only seconds to get past them. With a bit of ingenuity and a $15 extractor tool, even the medium-priced ones don’t last long. However, one $90 set of cone-shaped locks withstood nearly every test. They were finally overcome by using a portable welder to change the shape of the metal so other tools could get a grip.
Project Farm has plenty of other auto-related tests that might be of interest to the do-it-yourselfer with a heap of old JNCs to manage. Recent episodes have compared RTV gasket goop, jack stands, battery jump starters, and rounded nut extractors, but there’s lots more to dive into. The tests are so thorough that sometimes we watch for fun even if it’s a tool we’ll never need.