Australia is a nation of car lovers, but not everyone is willing to pay for ownership. With stats from earlier this year showing that 148 vehicles are stolen every day
, it's important to ensure your car is properly secured at all times. The same applies for the wheels and tyres attached to it.
That’s why it is imperative to take the necessary steps to avoid having your tyres and wheels stolen. How? There are a number of ways
you can make your car more secure in general, and there are some special techniques you can use alongside good safety principles to keep your tyres and wheels from getting stolen.
Here are six ways you can guard against theft and ensure your tyres and wheels will still be attached to your car every time you go to drive it.
1. Lock the car in the garage
While theft is possible at any time, thieves usually like to work with a big window of time. This means that rather than trying to steal your wheels when you are in the supermarket for ten minutes, they’ll instead look for a good opportunity while you car is parked at home.
So, whether you live in the city or inner city suburbs, or further afield in a town or rural area, look to park your car in a garage where possible. By taking it off the street, you’ll make a thief’s job harder from the very beginning.
2. Put a camera near where you regularly park your car
If you can’t keep your car in a garage, installing a camera is your next best bet. Depending on where you live and work, you may not be able to drill a hole in a wall and install a state-of-the-art device. Nevertheless, even just hanging a camera outside a two-story window or affixing it to the top of a pole will probably be enough. Provided the tyre thief doesn't also bring a ladder with them to the job, you can be sure they’ll be deterred once they see the camera.
3. Cover up the wheel lugs
It sounds simple, but thieves are far more likely to steal what is easily visible. This means even a simple wheel cover can serve as a deterrent to keep your wheels from being stolen. While a determined thief may be willing to take the time to try and unscrew a wheel cap and access your wheels’ lugs, many opportunists will think it's too much trouble, and move on down the road.
4. Get special wheel lugs
We all feel frustrated sometimes. You go to get a screwdriver for a job, and it's the wrong type.
Be sure to make a thief feel this same frustration by getting specialised wheel lugs. While not every type of tyre or wheel manufacturer will offer this service, many brands such as Lexus provide custom lugs with a specialised tool.
If you don’t have the tool, you can’t unscrew the tyre. So, unless a thief brings a whole warehouse of tools to a theft, you can be sure your wheels will stay safe and secure.
5. Put an alarm on the car
Removing tyres can be difficult work involving a lot of elbow grease – and strong odds that the car might be bumped or jarred while doing so. If you have an alarm installed on your car, a sudden bump or adjustment of the car’s distribution due to a tyre being removed can set off the alarm.
While this might not stop an attempt to steal in the first place, it certainly will deter a thief from completing the job. Better yet, any alarm installation usually comes with a nifty looking “This car has an alarm” sticker to put on your window, and even a bright light that flashes from inside the car when not in use. Any thief that sees this deterrent will likely think twice about a theft.
6. Consider where you park
It would be nice to think you could park anywhere you wish in Australia without there being an increased chance of theft. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. So, if you have a really shiny brand new set of tyres, that’s great, but it does mean you should take extra care where you park.
Instead of parking on the street, pay a few dollars more and put your car in a secure garage. If a secure garage is not available, look to park in well-lit areas where your car will be visible to passers-by at all times. These tips are important not just for preventing theft of your vehicle or components, but are also good principles of personal safety as a car owner.
Losing your wheels and tyres may not be as devastating as finding your whole car stolen, but the effect is the same overall. It’s really annoying, and leaves you unable to drive your car. Having your wheels stolen is also more likely to happen than having your car stolen. Stealing a car can be a difficult process, but stealing wheels often just requires the right opportunity and the right tools.
By following our tips here you’ll be certain to dramatically decrease the odds your wheels will be stolen, and you’ll also improve the security of your car overall. And, if you do come across a thief in the act? Be sure not to engage the thief, but instead call police right away.
What other tips do you have for keeping your tyres and wheels safe? Let us know in the comments below: