How to Hotwire a Car with a Screwdriver [Simple Guide]

How to Hotwire a Car with a Screwdriver

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Hotwiring a car with a screwdriver is not a skill that anyone would be proud of. However, it is a skill that we will most definitely need at one point or the other. If at any time you are locked out of your car, you have no option but to first open it using a screwdriver then also hotwire it using a screwdriver as well.

So how to hotwire your car using a screwdriver and how many methods are there? Throughout this article, we will do our best to answer these questions to give you a better understanding.

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Since your safety is the top priority, you should always wear safety gloves when using screwdrivers, whether you are trying to get inside your car or hotwire it. It is also imperative that you should never try to hotwire a car that is not yours.

Getting Inside the Car

Most of the time, if you need to hotwire your car, it means that you have lost your keys, misplaced them, or simply cannot find them. This means that you are locked out of your car. So before explaining the methods of hot-wiring your car, you must first know how to get inside your locked car. We will explain how to get back into your locked car in four simple steps.

Tools Needed:

  • Screwdriver
  • A long tool (the best one is a coat hanger)

The 4 Steps to Get Back into Your car:

  1. Locate the unlock keys: This step is relatively easy, as we memorize our cars inside out. Unlock keys are divided into two types, automatic keys and manual keys, automatic keys are usually in the left panel next to the driver or in rare cars in the middle. While manual keys are located on the top of each car and open each one separately.
  2. Wedge the door and frame apart: You then need to insert your screwdriver between the door and the frame and try to wedge and push them apart while being very cautious to create enough space to insert the coat hanger. You should try to stay away from the hinges as much as possible to avoid putting pressure on the door or the mechanical lock.
  3. Insert the coat hanger: After the screwdriver has created enough space between the door and frame of your car, insert the coat hanger in the opening and try to reach the unlock keys and unlock your car. A coat hanger will be perfect for this job as it is tall, strong, and can also bend.
  4. Remove the coat hanger and screwdriver before unlocking the door: We cannot stress the importance of this step, as if you open the door with the screwdriver and coat hanger still inside, you can easily bend the door or damage the mechanical lock, and it will be very expensive to repair. So make sure to remove the coat hanger first and then the screwdriver and that the door is back to its normal position, and then open the door.


Hotwiring Method

Now that you are inside the car and everything is ready. We will now tell you the method of hot wiring your car. You need to:

1. Remove the Steering Column’s Plastic Cover

We need to do this to access the access panels and make them free and loose. The plastic cover is held down by concealed tips or #2 Philips-type screws. So all we have to do is to remove the tips or the screws using a screwdriver.

2. Locate the Wiring Harness Connector

Once the panel is removed, you will find three bundles of electric wires. You must recognize the right bundle. The three bundles are:

  • A bundle leading to the ignition, battery, and starter, this bundle is going straight up the steering column (the one we will be working with)
  • A bundle leading to the column-mounted controls on one side like the cruise control, lights, and many other controls
  • The final bundle leads to the column controls on the other side, like the wipers and the seat warmers

3. Pull the Battery, Ignition, and Started Bundle Aside

Before doing this step, you must consult your car’s user manual as it is the only sure way to know the exact color of each wire.


4. Remove 2.5 cms of Insulation From the Battery Wires and Bind Them Together

Proceed to cut off 2.5 cms of insulation from the battery wires, and you can even use electrical tape to bind them together. You should avoid making the wires touch anything else in the car, especially any metal component in the car. Connecting these two wires together will enable your car to be in ignition mode.

5. Connect or Braid the Ignition and Battery Wires together

After you have braided the two wires together and they are fully interloped, you will start to see that the dash lights and radio are starting to turn on.

6. Strip 1.3 cms of Insulation From the Starter Wires

You need to be extremely careful when doing this as these wires will be alive, so you need to be very careful and delicate when handling them. After stripping the insulation, you need to touch these wires to the connected battery wires. You must not twist the wires, just spark them together, and the car will begin to start.

7. Rev the Engine

Once the car starts, you must rev the engine for a bit so that the car doesn’t stall out, and you have to redo the whole process all over again.

Tip: If at any time you need the car to stop or simply kill the engine, all you need to do is to unbraid the battery wires from the ignition wires, and the car will stop.

8. Break the Steering Lock

You have to break the steering lock in order for the car to move, and the only way to do this step is to use brute force by twisting the wheel to either side until it is free.

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Final Thoughts

Finally, it is safe to say that hotwiring a car with a screwdriver is not an easy thing to do. However, it is a skill that you will surely need and must be familiar with.