Bolt Lock -single key solution

by Robert Nimocks

Bolt lock company showcased an innovative lock system for your vehicle. Those of us who tow, carry and load precious cargo have a need to secure them but are forced to utilize multiple locks and keys. Bolt's new system sets the lock with your ignition key when first inserted and turned. Imagine having to carry only one key for everything on your vehicle. Not only do the offer padlocks but cable locks and various hitch and trailer looks as well.

The locks are corrosion resistant and produced by a company who currently supplies some of the biggest automotive manufacturers. They are currently available for many most models from Dodge/Ram/Jeep, Ford, GM, Nissan and Toyota. They have been incorporated into into other manufacturers products such as truck bed covers, cargo lock boxes and many more. The basic padlock model retail for around $19 which is comparable to some other high security locks. They are available from many large retailers such as Summit Racing, Cabelas, 4Wheel Parts, Pep Boys, Advance Autoparts. We had they we already at one of our well known fabrication and performance shops AftermarketHQ in Las Vegas.

Finding myself in this market with multiple locks to secure off road supplies in our chase rack I will definitely get a hold of some padlocks and review our experience with you.



STRATTEC offers BOLT® (Breakthrough One-Key Lock) Series locks, which open with a vehicle’s ignition key, eliminating the need to carry extra keys or remember a combination. BOLT delivers convenient security with a variety of lock styles:
- Padlock 2.0 - Cable Lock - 5/8” and 1/2” Receiver Lock - Coupler Pin Lock - Jeep Spare Tire Lock - Toolbox Latch - Jeep Hood Lock - Lock Cylinder - GM Tailgate Handle - J-Mount Hi-Lift Jack Mount - Off-Vehicle Coupler Lock - 5th Wheel King Pin Locking System

Press Release

MILWAUKEE – STRATTEC® Security Corporation’s BOLT® locks series is widely known for the company’s innovative “breakthrough one-key lock technology,” which permanently programs the lock to a vehicle’s ignition key. Greatly simplifying life for drivers with overloaded key rings, BOLT technology enables users to program the same key for any number of BOLT locks.

BOLT devotees know the locks’ sidebar design make them inherently resistant to picking and bumping, and that the series is designed with some of the strongest metals and materials available, rendering them incredibly tough and durable from the inside out.

“BOLT locks are built to handle harsh jobsite conditions such as saltwater coastal areas where corrosion is typically a big factor and are resistant to wet freezing and airborne dust, making them well-suited for winter storm conditions and desert areas,” said BOLT Lock Sales Account Manager Jason Buckles.

However, it is likely not widely known that BOLT locks have undergone intensive testing, far beyond the rigors of any required testing, to ensure unequalled quality and resilience.

“Our U.S. competitors test their products against the ASTM Standard, while European lock makers use standards such as Sold Secure in the UK and in Germany, VdS,” Buckles said. “We test BOLT locks to ISO-TS 16949-2009 standards, which are far tougher. This ensures BOLT code-able lock cylinders meet the worst-case combined demands of original equipment automotive manufacturers and ISO’s technical committee.”

For example ASTM F883-09 Standard Performance Specification for Padlocks requires locks undergo a 240-hour salt spray.  BOLT locks were tested in a corrosion salt spray chamber comparison test against three competitor brands, using two locks from each brand. BOLT and only one of the six locks tested were still functioning after 1,000 hours in the salt spray chamber.

To better understand why Bolt locks stand up to the tougher ISO specifications, it is helpful to know what materials BOLT locks are made with:

  • The locking shackle is made of carbonitride (a combination of carbon and nitrogen used to increase the hardness of a metal surface) heat-treated Cr20 alloy steel.
  • The shackle is case hardened to HRC 50-54 (A measurement on the Rockwell hardness scale for harder steels based on indentation hardness) at .25 mm effective case depth to defeat cutting attempts. The core hardness is HRC 40-45 for improved toughness against hammer blows.
  • The surface finish is a corrosion-resistant bright chromium over nickel, BHMA US26, (the Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association standard establishes finish test methods and code numbers for finishes on various base materials) with hydrogen embrittlement relief per ASTM B850 ER7 (a guide covering post-coating heat treatment of some steels for reducing susceptibility to hydrogen embrittlement or degradation that may arise in the finishing processes.).
  • The lock case is made of Zamak-5, a zinc alloy with an additional 1 percent copper to increase strength by 10 percent and increased hardness and corrosion resistance, compared to the more typically used Zamak-3.
  • The protective Sarlink 3180 Ultraviolet Shielded 80 Durometer is a resilient rubber weather-proof shell.
  • Gredag 741 grease (a premium, synthetic based, lithium thickened grease) is used to facilitate ease of operation and reduce wear within the assembly.

Testing BOLT locks against ISO-TS 16949-2009 specifications revealed the following:

  • BOLT locks corrosion- resistant materials, weatherproof sealed covers and stainless steel shutter met the highest ASTM Grade 6 rating for corrosion resistance.
  • BOLT code-able lock cylinders were tested to determine jamming propensity using 50,000 to 1 million cycles. The weatherproof cover and stainless shutter kept grime and dust out to the highest ASTM Grade 6 standard to prevent jamming. (According to industry averages, the typical passenger car experiences about 84,000 cycles over 10 years.)
  • Although drilling the lock would render the key useless, the BOLT lock still passes the highest ASTM Grade 6 for the Plug Pull Test, i.e. pulling the cylinder out of the lock post drilling. That means although the lock will no longer function with a key, the shackle remains securely locked in place preventing theft.

Beyond the technical and scientific factors behind the strength and resilience of BOLT locks, other design features set them apart from competitors. BOLT locks enable

drivers to use an ergonomic and familiar automotive key rather than a small coined metal key. This becomes especially important in cold environments in which gloves are required and it is preferable to use a larger key. Also, the rubber-proof shell covering the body of BOLT locks reduces damage to paint or other finishes on the items being locked up.


STRATTEC Security Corporation is the world’s largest manufacturer of automotive locks, keys and related access control products, and is the primary lock supplier to Ford, GM and Chrysler.  STRATTEC’s history in the automotive business spans 100 years.  For more information, write to 3333 West Good Hope Rd., Milwaukee, WI 53209; call 844.972.7547; or visit

About BOLT (Breakthrough One-Key Lock Technology)

BOLT locks come with a limited lifetime warranty. Find a BOLT retailer by using the zip code finder at BOLT locks are also available at 4-Wheel Parts stores,, Cabela's, Pep Boys, and Summit For more information, visit or call 844.972.7547. Follow BOLT:, Instagram: @boltlock or Twitter: @BOLTLock.

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