If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times: check yer bind spot! More than a few collisions (notice we didn’t call them “accidents”) occur because drivers heedlessly heave their car into an adjacent lane only to find themselves occupying the same time and space as another vehicle. This leads to Expensive Noises.
We’ll preface this post with the admonition that, unless you’re reasonably familiar with the environs of an engine bay, you should keep your paws off stuff like this. However, a case can be made that anyone who’s fleet is comprised of machines that actually need these products is probably intimately familiar with the contents of a rusty toolbox.
Your car’s lug nuts are a lot like your car’s insurance policy – doing its job in silence, not thought of until needed, and cursed upon failure. They are also, like your author, routinely ignored. There is a buying demographic for aftermarket lug nuts, however, a group that mostly includes people trying to spruce up a used car or hapless DIYers who stepped on the hubcap during a tire change and sent the OEM lugs flying into oblivion.
It’s a fantasy harbored by every single gearhead on the planet: the ability to jump aboard any supercar or race machine in the world and rip off a lap of their favorite racetrack. The likes of Forza, Gran Turismo, and iRacing now affords us that opportunity, albeit digitally. Still, you’re left with steering your way around Eau Rouge with a joystick or d-pad and mashing the throttle of a McLaren Senna with your right index finger.
Sauntering out to one’s vehicle and twisting the key (or jabbing the start button) only to come up with a whole handful of nothing is one of the automotive world’s most frustrating experiences. Dead batteries are the bane of a gearhead’s existence. Thankfully, most cars turn off their headlights or dome lights automatically these days. They emphatically did not when your author was a kid.
Let’s get something clear right from the start: these locks are best thought of as a deterrent to the scourge that is vehicle theft and not an outright prevention tool. If two identical cars are parked side by each, one with a steering wheel lock and one without, there’s a good chance the robber is going to target the one sans lock.
Gearheads are lucky. We’re interested in vehicles, so the natural extension of our interest is to pick up a set of tools to poke and prod at the very machines we enjoy. Someone who is interested in horses would be well-advised not to do the same, for example. Or those who have more than a passing interest in household electricity.