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Learn How to Hotwire Your Car For When It’s REALLY Necessary

In normal situations, you wouldn’t need to know how to hotwire a car–that’s something only criminals would do. But if there’s one thing that life will tell you, it’s that you never know what to expect. You now know how to open your car doors in case of emergencies, like when you accidentally leave your keys inside the car. But what if your keys weren’t where you thought they would be, and you don’t have a spare hidden anywhere? Or maybe your ignition got jammed? Or what if the zombie apocalypse happened, and a horde of ravenous undead were after you? Knowing how to hotwire a car can certainly come in handy, don’t you think?

Before you begin

It’s important to remember that hotwiring a car that doesn’t belong to you is a criminal offense. Also, the activity comes with risks of damage to your car, so use it only as a last resort. If you must perform a hotwire, make sure the car is in neutral, with the handbrake on. And be careful not to get electrocuted–wear insulating gloves if you must. Without further ado, here are three ways you can get your car started without the need for a key.

1. Steering column technique

©amazon.com

This method works mainly on cars produced before the mid-1990s, when ignition systems were much simpler. The first thing you need to do is remove the plastic steering column covers, usually held secure by Philips screws or clips. With the covers off, you’ll likely see three main wire bundles comprising the battery, ignition and starter wire bundle.

Strip off the insulation on the starter wires, which can be in yellow or brown. Next, you need to access the battery wires, which are almost always in red. Strip off the insulation on the red wires and twist them together. This provides power to the electric components. Be sure you are not touching the bare starter wire when you do this, as you could get electrocuted. With the battery wires connected, touch the bare starter wire against the battery wires to start the car.

2. Drill technique

©hackaday.com

This one is simpler than the steering column technique, but you’re going to need a drill for it. Use the drill to destroy all the lock pins inside the ignition keyhole. The size of the drill should be one that fits into the keyhole, as you’re going to need to keep the opening intact. Ignition lock pins have different sections, and you may need to keep drilling many times to destroy them all. With all the lock pins destroyed, your ignition will turn freely, all you really need to do is insert a flat screw in the keyhole and turn it as you would your car key to bring the engine to life.

3. Jumper cable technique

©amazon.com

This technique is applicable to modern cars that ditched the keyhole for a start/stop button, albeit it’s more complicated than the two previously mentioned. To begin, pop the hood open and look for the red wire connected to the ignition coil. Once you locate this wire, use one of your jumper cables to connect it to the positive battery terminal. This is like connecting the battery wires in the first example. Once this is done, your dash and electronics should turn on.

At this point, you need to locate the starter solenoid, which looks like the one pictured above. It is often found in the steering column, but location may vary depending on the model, so you may need to check your owner’s manual or Google it. You must first unlock the steering wheel to gain access to it though. To unlock the steering wheel, remove the steering wheel cover and find the locking pin. Use a flat screw to push the pin away and release the wheel. Turn the wheel so you can gain access to the solenoid. Use the second jumper cable to connect the solenoid to the positive battery terminal. The car should start by then.

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