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A set of McGard "Tuner" locks for ATS-V and CTS-V. Each set of McGards comes with four wheel locks and one lock key. Additional keys can be ordered from McGard. Ordering instructions are included with the locks. Image: Author.
A set of McGard "Tuner" locks for ATS-V and CTS-V. Each set of McGards comes with four wheel locks and one lock key. Additional keys can be ordered from McGard. Ordering instructions are included with the locks. Image: Author.

[REVIEW] Safe your Wheels: McGard Locks for Cadillac ATS-V and CTS-V Wheels

Safe your Wheels.

McGard Locks for ATS-V and CTS-V Wheels.

by Hib Halverson

Maybe there was a time when V-Series Cadillacs came with wheel locks as standard equipment, but, of late, GM has, apparently, moved away from that trend. Nowadays, when you buy a car like an ATS-V, if you want your wheels protected, you have to either order the car with a “Safety and Security Package” a costly option which includes other features besides wheel locks, or buy a set of aftermarket locks. You’d think for the price of a Cadillac these days, GM would still give you a set of locks as standard equipment. In any event, both the ATS-Vs the Cadillac V-Net uses to test products were not ordered without a “Safety and Security Package”, so we needed some locks. We chose McGard Premium Wheel Locks.

McGard is an OE supplier to over 30 car lines around the world, so McGard’s locks meet or exceed OE standards for safety and durability. There are a number of technical features of these locks which I find attractive. These one-piece locks require a uniquely keyed tool for installation and removal. McGard’s computer-generated key designs allow for an almost infinite number of key patterns. The lock’s narrow key groove resists the forcing of improper removal tools into the pattern. The McGard key has a magnetic steel collar which guides it smoothly into the lock pattern–you put the key on the lock then turn until the patterns engage. The collar holds the key in alignment for easy installation or removal of the lock.

McGard’s materials choice and manufacturing process results in a wheel lock with outstanding durability. McGard uses “restricted-chemistry” steel, produced in a domestic foundry, specifically for its wheel locks. The high quality steel insures the lock’s the structural integrity. The locks are manufactured with CNC equipment and because of that, McGard’s standard for concentricity of the centerline of the bearing surface to the centerline of the thread diameter is 30% more precise than OE standards. This insures uniform seating of the lock to the wheel and even distribution of clamp load on the wheel. Every McGard Premium Wheel Lock is induction-hardened and tempered, processes which produce the depth of hardness needed for good security. Cheaper locks are case hardened which is only a surface treatment. Premium materials and precision machining enable McGard locks to meet or exceed the highest OE proof load standards of 135,000 to 160,000 PSI. McGard’s chrome-plating is three layers of nickel and one layer of microporous chrome. The first layer of nickel is for corrosion resistance; the second ls for luster and the third interacts with the chrome layer to further resist corrosion.

I believe the McGard design is a better choice than the splined locks made by Gorilla Automotive Products and others. The McGard locking system offers both security and convenience which are notably better than Gorilla’s stuff which was OE on some older GM vehicles I’ve owned, a 1995 Corvette and a 2001 Camaro. The Gorilla system relies on splines arranged in a unique manner for security. In comparison to the McGard key system, the spines wear such that, eventually, the Gorllia key socket no longer fits the lock. At that point, the locks have to be replaced or have the edges of their splies filed down to reform them such that the key will fit.

I think McGard is best wheel lock in the business right now and I have three sets of McGards on other vehicles which have protected wheels sucessfully for several years. For this article we installed a set of McGard Locks on each of the two ATS-Vs we have in the V-Net test fleet. There are two styles of McGards for ATS-Vs, the original design (PN 24215) and a smaller diameter lock which McGard calls  “Tuner” style (PN 25115) which is said by McGard to compatible with wheels which have less clearance around the wheel nut. We tried a set of each. We should note that ATS-Vs and CTS-Vs use a large “M14x1.5” wheel stud as opposed to the regular ATS’s M12x1.5 studs, so if you order McGards, make sure you get the right size. Another quirk of ATS-V wheel hardware is that two different types of OE wheel nuts were used during the 2016 model year. Wheel nuts on cars with serial number 114468 or lower are to be tightened to 110-lbft. Nuts on car with SNs 114469 or higher are torqued to 140-lbft. McGard Locks can be used at either torque figure.

For more information, visit http://www.mcgard.com

A set of McGard "Tuner" locks for ATS-V and CTS-V. Each set of McGards comes with four wheel locks and one lock key. Additional keys can be ordered from McGard. Ordering instructions are included with the locks. Image: Author.

A set of McGard “Tuner” locks for ATS-V and CTS-V. Each set of McGards comes with four wheel locks and one lock key. Additional keys can be ordered from McGard. Ordering instructions are included with the locks. Image: Author.

A standard McGard lock for the ATS-V and CTS-V along with it's key. Image: Author

A standard McGard lock for the ATS-V and CTS-V along with it’s key. Image: Author

The two styles of locks available for ATS-V and CTS-V. The "Tuner" style (at left) is for some aftermarket wheels with small diameter wheel nut holes.

The two styles of locks available for ATS-V and CTS-V. The “Tuner” style (at left) is for some aftermarket wheels with small diameter wheel nut holes. Image: Author

The McGard key is magnetic and "sticks" to the lock once the patterns engage. Image: Author

The McGard key is magnetic and “sticks” to the lock once the patterns engage. Image: Author

Like any wheel nut for an alumuinum wheel, the McGard locks must be tightened by increments in a star pattern. The "287" shown on our GearWrench Electronic Torque Wrench is actually 28.7 lbs/ft. We torque our 2016 ATS-V wheels nuts in either 3 or 4 passes depending on which wheel nuts are on the car. Image: Author

Like any wheel nut for an alumuinum wheel, the McGard locks must be tightened by increments in a star pattern. The “287” shown on our GearWrench Electronic Torque Wrench is actually 28.7 lbs/ft. We torque our 2016 ATS-V wheels nuts in either 3 or 4 passes depending on which wheel nuts are on the car. Image: Author

 

Image: Author

Image: Author

About Hib Halverson

Hib Halverson is an automotive writer and content supplier for print and internet media.