wheel crime

Image: Adobe Stock

Put the brakes on vehicle crime in SA – get a tighter grip on wheel theft

The nuts and bolts of wheel protection: SA company has new solution for the infuriating and costly thefts of your wheel and tyres.

wheel crime

Image: Adobe Stock

There is very little that is more soul-destroying than arriving at your vehicle only to find it mounted on bricks with thousands of rands of mag wheels and tyres having disappeared into thin air.

Wheels, along with car radios and sound systems, batteries, radio antennas, wheels covers and even car badges have long been been a firm favourite in the basket of ‘midnight spares’ sought by petty thieves in South Africa.

The nuts and bolts of wheel protection locally

But Grip-Tech, a manufacturer of mechanical anti-theft devices, has now added a new weapon to its arsenal in the fight against theft — this time specifically for wheel crime.

And importantly, the Grip-Tech system was designed and is being manufactured locally, making the anti–theft system appropriate to thwart local criminals and their many modus operandi.

Protective pedigree

The new LNX locknuts and LBX lockbolts for cars and light commercials take a similar approach to the acclaimed GTX truck range by combining of the toughest metals and an innovative five-pin “key” are headline features.

More than 600 unique combinations can be created using a computer algorithm, making the removal of the nut (or bolt) virtually impossible without the matching tool.

The matching key/tool is in effect a male version of the locknut and will fit closely over it once the five hardened steel pins match and are correctly aligned. Identification marks on both the nut and the tool make this process straightforward.

The tool also incorporates the standard vehicle hex profile and the nut can be tightened or loosened in the usual way with a standard wheel wrench.

Tried and tested

Designed and manufactured locally, the new Auto-Grip products have been tested extensively and with competitive prices for a set of four wheellocks and the adapter tool, it is a cost-effective solution to an increasingly commonplace problem.

Lifting of lockdowns expected to unlock more crime

Manuel Reis, managing director of Grip-Tech and the engineering mind behind the Auto-Grip products, said:

“Recent trends show a drop in vehicle crime but with the economy and travel of all kinds opening open again, the reprieve will likely only be temporary. While you may – or may not – successfully claim the value of your stolen wheels and tyres back from your insurer, the lost time and productivity is something you’ll never recover.”

Backed up top SA bakkie brands

In addition to the primary road wheels, the LBX lock/anti-theft nuts are now the design of choice for the company’s extensive range of spare wheel locks, which are approved by most of South Africa’s top bakkie brands.

Existing locks will transition or be updated to the LBX key design. The theft of a spare wheel is much more than a financial loss: Because it is out of sight, the loss is invariably only discovered when the wheel is needed, potentially turning an inconvenience into a catastrophe.

Local is lekker and smarter too

Image: Motorpress

“We are a proudly South African brand, and while we find ourselves competing against a host of imported and sometimes cheaper products, we have a number of advantages too: we have complete control over our designs and the materials used, plus their provenance can be traced if necessary.

“We can supply orders big or small at short notice and bring design changes and new products to market within weeks if necessary. The fact that the likes of Toyota, Nissan, Ford, Isuzu, Mitsubishi, GWM, and Mahindra have given out spare wheel locks the thumbs-up for aftermarket is a huge vote of confidence.”

Where to get a grip on Auto-Grip products

Auto-Grip products can be purchased via the company’s e-commerce platform where you can easily search by vehicle make/model to find the correct product.