Hot WireHello, ladies and germs.

Today we’re going to learn an always fun skill that will land you in jail if used improperly. As always, this article is FOR LEGAL PURPOSES ONLY. We don’t promote any illegal activities here.

Today we are going to learn 2 ways to hot wire a car (start it without a key). This can be used to start your car when you’ve lost your keys, or to get a car going in an emergency situation.

These methods are surprisingly simple. They may not work with all cars, particularly new ones that require microchip activation to get started.


This method requires rewiring the car to bypass the ignition system.

  1. First you need to determine if the steering wheel lock can be disabled. Pull the steering shaft off the back of the steering wheel. Look for a little disk with holes that the lock pops into. If possible, remove the disk.
  2. Use a screwdriver to remove the access cover underneath the steering wheel. 
  3. Remove the harness collector to gain access to the ignition wiring.
  4. Find the two red wires. Strip 1/2 inch of insulation off of each end, and then twist the wires together. Make sure the exposed wires do not touch any metal. Make sure these wires stay twisted when driving, as you will lose power if they come loose.
  5. Find the brown wire. Strip 1/2 inch of insulation off of the end.
  6. Touch the end of the brown wire against the twisted ends of the red wires until there is engine ignition.
  7. Once the engine is going, keep the brown and red wires separate, to avoid sparks and draining the battery.


This method uses a drill to disable the lock pins, and will destroy the key switch. Once this is done, the key mechanism will be permanently damaged. Any key, screwdriver, or flat piece of metal will be able to start the car from this point on.

  1. Drill into the key hole, about 2/3 up, where the inner flap starts. Drill into it as deep as a key would.
  2. Remove the drill bit, allowing the lock bits to fall into place.
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 a few times, until all the bits are in place.
  4. Put a flat head screwdriver into the keyhole, and turn it the way you would a key.

Remember that these methods may cause damage to a car, so use only as a last resort.

Always wear insulated gloves when working with wires.

And again… only for legal purposes!



Good luck and stay prepared!

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  1. Isn’t there a manual steering wheel lock that you disengage when you turn the key that would still be in effect while using the first method?

    • Actually, he described one method for disengaging the steering lock. Brute force can also be used to break the lock – use your legs not your arms and simply force the wheel to turn. Another method not mentioned here is the automotive dent puller (slide hammer), which can be screwed into the ignition and then used to rip the lock cylinder clean out. Once that is done, insert a screwdriver into the opening. There is what looks like a large screw head inside – you use the screwdriver to turn that. The car should start normally (again, older vehicles that are pre-chip, nothing newer than the mid to late 90’s). This will disengage the steering lock as if you had turned the key. YMMV, for informational purposes only, not for use unless WROL, disclaimer, disclaimer…

  2. I think you are quite a ways off base… a former auto electrician and deputy, your instructions will not work on MOST cars……Activate the system by connecting red wires, ok…….you still have to energize the ig circuit and activate the starter….on GM cars, this means jump to the purple for crank….And the steering ashaft? Never seen one, on ANY car. The lock disc? Way deep, and CANNOT be removed or altered, it’s tool steel, splined and locked in place….Much better off to break the snot out of everything on the column to allow the ignition lock cyl to be turned……too much tv and too little hands on!

  3. GoneWithTheWind says:

    Years ago hotwiring a car was easy. Today not so much. My car for example requires a chip in the ignition key. You may think all you have to do is connect wires but then there is the computer that powers the fuel pump. There are more problems and more diversity in problems between makes and models then you can easily hotwire around.

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