How to Hotwire a Car: Step-by-Step Guide and Safety Tips

If you’ve ever lost your car keys or found yourself in a situation where you need to start your car without them, you might be wondering how to hotwire a car. While it’s important to note that hot-wiring a car is illegal unless it’s your own vehicle and you have permission to do so, there are some methods you can use in an emergency. In this article, we’ll go over three different ways to hotwire a car, as well as some frequently asked questions about the process.

Tools You’ll Need

Before you start, it’s important to gather the tools you’ll need. Depending on the method you choose, you may need a flathead screwdriver, cutters, jumper cables, electrical tape, a pulley extractor, clip leads or wires, a drill and drill bit, or a screwdriver.

Method 1: The Steering Wheel Method

This method works best for older vehicles that don’t have a lot of security features. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Remove the plastic covering from the steering column using a flathead screwdriver.
  2. Locate the wire harness that leads to the battery, ignition, and starter motor. The ignition wires are usually brown or yellow, the battery wire is red, and the starter wire is yellow.
  3. Hold the battery wire and cut off the insulation, then twist it together with the ignition wire. Cover the connection with electrical tape so it doesn’t touch any metal.
  4. Touch the starter wire to the connected battery wire. This should start the car.
  5. Rev the engine to keep the car running.
  6. If the steering column is still locked, break the metal keyhole or turn the wheel back and forth very hard to unlock it.
Source: carfromjapan

Method 2: The Drill and Screwdriver Method

This method is relatively straightforward and works best for vehicles with a keyhole. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Insert a drill or screwdriver into the keyhole, about three-quarters of the way in.
  2. Destroy the lock pins by repeated insertion and removal of the drill or screwdriver.
  3. When all the pins are destroyed, remove the screwdriver from the keyhole.
  4. Insert the screwdriver back into the keyhole and turn it as if it were a key to start the car.
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Method 3: The Jumper Cable Trick (Under the Hood)

This method is more time-consuming but works best for modern vehicles with safer technology. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Raise the hood and locate the red coil cable.
  2. Connect one end of a jumper cable to the positive battery terminal and the other end to the positive coil terminal or the red wire that leads to the coil.
  3. Locate the starter solenoid, which is usually on the right side fender near the battery.
  4. Unlock the steering wheel by placing a flat-bladed screwdriver between the column and the wheel and pushing hard.
  5. Connect the solenoid starter to the battery terminal to start the car.

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