by Chris Huth
Volkswagen have added an anti-theft wheel bolt to the new models of the Amarok. While this is a great thing to deter would be wheel thieves, sometimes it pays to read the manual to make sure you aren’t caught out.
Page 263 of the 06.2016 Edition of the Owner’s Manual recommends you carry the wheel bolt adapter in the vehicle toolkit at all times. It also highlights that there is a code number stamped on the front of the adapter, which you will need to replace the adapter if you lose it. We found this out the hard way after an ACQ trip as it seems its bad news when it comes to a missing anti-theft adaptor!!!
Volkswagen acknowledge they don’t track which wheel lock combination is on which Amarok, with no tracking to a VIN through the production process.
Each vehicle gets a random set… VW clarified that even with an adaptor code, they won’t supply a replacement… So what’s the fix???
VW have really thought about the design of these anti-theft wheel bolts, because the outer ring is free spinning, meaning it’s not just a simple DIY of belting on an old socket and rattling them out.
Various VW service agents described a few removal methods, with the best option being ½ hour of workshop labour where a technician matches an adaptor from their toolkit of some 150 adaptors to the lock bolts.. Should this not work, it could require some extremes of drilling out lock studs, or welding a standard nut on, or chiselling off the lock bolt head, all of which the agents couldn’t provide a cost due to the unknowns!
Once removed, what’s the replacement option? The plain and simple option is to replace with standard bolts to match the other 4 already on the wheels… Standard bolts are $15.73 each inclusive of GST, and must be overnighted from Sydney. If the anti-theft is required, a full, and another random kit is the only option at a cost from VW of $187 for a set of 4 bolts and associated adapter, again, overnight from Sydney with prepayment required…
If the anti-theft is what’s needed again, but don’t like the OEM option (or cost), then there is always Ebay! There are a few options with what looks like some good quality lock kits ~$100, or they have complete car kits of 12 standard bolts and 4 lock bolts, for ~$60 delivered, or more rugged lock bolt kits for ~$100. Search “Amarok Wheel Lock” and confirm the studs are M14x1.5 with a 35mm length and click away!!!
From the experience on ‘that’ weekend, there was a few learnings in changing the Amarok wheel…
1. Don’t lose the adaptor!! Treat it like gold!!
2. Take note of the stamped adaptor code, and photos of the adapter..
3. Paint it fluoro or with day glow so it isn’t easily lost, especially on a muddy, let alone dry, forest track!
4. Put a sticker or note on the top of your vehicle toolkit reminding you about triple checking your adapter is back in the case..
5. Consider whether changing to standard bolts is something you are comfortable with, especially for longer trips and driving holidays where the risk of wheel theft is minimal.
6. The jack and toolkit are difficult to access when you have a child seat/s in place… Consider preparing for the journey moving the jack and toolkit to somewhere easily accessible!
7. Know where your jacking points are, consider a touch of fluoro at the right support location.
8. Like most OEM toolkits, they are rudimentary, and often difficult to use. The manual does have a few tips that will make it easier on using the kit! The jacking arms, combined with the extension rod and the wheel spanner, makes it much easier to raise and lower the jack. But don’t’ believe the manual when it says the base of the screwdriver is a nut holder, for easily removing and reinstalling the bolts. Consider purchasing a cheap long socket to make the job of removing and reinstalling the bolts easier!
9. Don’t let the tailgate down while the jacking arm is in place for the spare… It’s something I’d heard of, and remembered the most when changing the tyre!
10. Anti-Theft wheel bolts should be installed in certain positions relative to the valve stem for steel wheels!!!
While the deterrent of anti-theft wheel bolts is a great thing, make sure you are prepared and a missing adapter doesn’t cause you serious problems when remote!