In-Depth Review: Gorilla Guard Acorn Wheel Locks
Living in a big city, car and tire theft is common. Even though me and my neighbors take proper precautions to reduce car and tire theft, we never know if our cars will be where we parked them the next morning.
After having my front tires lifted off of my car a few years ago, I started using wheel locks. While I’ve used wheel locks that seem secure enough, I worry that it’s only a matter of time before someone breaks them off of my car. Wanting something more secure, I decided it was time to invest in something more reliable.After conducting extensive research, I found that many people chose Gorilla Guard’s Acorn Wheel Locks, so I thought I’d give them a try.
Do You Need Gorilla Guard Wheel Locks?
Who needs wheel locks, anyway? Won’t people who try and steal wheels get caught, given the amount of time it takes to get wheels off?
The truth is that thieves who make a career out of stealing wheels can do so very quickly, especially at night. If you live in a rough neighborhood, you probably already know that. If you merely live in a city where you park on the street every night, you’ve probably learned that.
You’re not the only one who could make use of these locks, though. Thieves can also beat or pry some wheel locks off with sockets and other tools.
However, Gorilla’s Acorn locks make that harder than any thief might like. The design takes into account the fact that someone can take a tool and beat or pry other kinds of wheel locks off, making them virtually useless.
Gorilla’s locks require the key for easy removal. By the time someone manages to get them off without the key, there’s a high probability that they’ve damaged the wheel so severely that it’s useless to take it.
Here’s What You Need to Know About These Wheel Locks
What are these wheel locks and how do they work? Here’s what you should know:
- Made from heavy-duty, cold-forged steel
- 60-degree conical seat
- Free-spinning sleeve with a narrow groove
- Different internal configuration on each lock
- Available in sets of four
- Variety of sizes and lengths to fit most wheels
- Chrome finish for enhanced looks
- Affordable (although you will need more than four packs if your wheels have more than four lugnuts each)
- Comes with either one or two keys
Their construction ensures you can’t use a socket to remove these locks. The tooth patterns inside don’t fit standard tools, and you can’t get enough torque with a socket wrench to remove them from the outside.
While you might worry that you’ll have a problem should you lose your key, Gorilla will replace it for you. Be sure to keep your key-code information when you buy these, just in case.
Given my track record with other types of wheel locks, my expectations were relatively neutral to low. I’d like to think that I’m realistic and if a car thief really wants to take my car, or my wheels, they will do it. Even though I park my vehicle in a parking garage at work, I don’t feel confident on the security of the garage. Sometimes I have to park my car on the street at home, so I always feel better when I have an extra layer of security.
Most wheel locks come with a solid body, which can be somewhat problematic because someone could jam a socket onto them and rip them off with enough torque. One of the reasons that I purchased the Gorilla Guard locks was because they have a free-spinning sleeve which adds an extra layer of security (and hopefully deters thieves).
When my locks arrived I took them out of the package and inspected each one. They looked well-made, felt heavy duty, and I saw no signs of “weak” areas. I still wasn’t entirely sure how I felt about them but figured only time would tell.
I also liked that there was replacement information included in the packaging with a registration number and contact information to use if you lose your key.
Installing The Guard Locks
I have experience installing wheel locks and even though the instructions are relatively clear, the free spinning sleeve design makes first time installation a little tricky. If you’ve never used wheel locks before, I strongly recommend watching a video on YouTube or at least reading through the instructions a few times before putting the locks on your wheels.
Once you know how to install them properly, you can practice doing so in the safety of your garage or driveway. Much like learning how to change your tires, you should get used to how they work, how they feel, and how to use the key on them. This way, if you need to change a tire while you’re out, you already know what you’re doing.
These wheel locks may also rust, which means you’d need to replace them. If you let the rust go too long, someone may be able to remove them because rust will weaken the metal. People who live in Rust Belt areas may have to replace these every year to every other year because of the rust.
These are good wheel locks despite the installation difficulty and the fact that they can rust. People have had wheels stolen before, but not since installing these. After using the locks for a few months, I haven’t noticed that the locks, or my wheels, have been tampered with.
Before you buy keep in mind that the wheel locks:
- Are larger size than expected
- Don’t fit older wheels with wheel caps
- Improper installation or a bad set can shear off lug nuts
- Won’t necessarily fit a few standard wheels from auto manufacturers (requiring extra research)
It’s also important to note that these do not replace your lug nuts, so you don’t have to worry that they’ll fail while you’re driving and put you in danger.
Final Thoughts on Gorilla Guard’s Acorn Wheel Locks
Compared to the other wheel locks out there, Gorilla Guard’s Acorn Wheel Locks are a great product. They’re affordable, they’re durable, and thieves can’t remove them with a socket wrench and a lot of force.
Furthermore, they’re an excellent investment for your car, especially if wheel theft is a problem where you live. Most of us know that cars are expensive, repairs are costly, and replacing wheels is pricey. Adding the cost of towing your car compounds all of that.
I give these wheel locks 4.5/5 stars, based on what I’ve learned using them on my own car and after checking out what others have to say.. If you’d like to know more, check out our guide to the best wheel locks for your car.