I recently wrote a post about the best steering wheel locks and I had a few of my friends and readers ask me:
Do steering wheel locks really work?
I wanted to do a follow-up of this popular question to help anyone looking at increasing their vehicle security.
Steering wheel locks and similar devices have been around for quite a long time and one of the more common ones you’ll see you around, especially in the United States, are any of those long bar type ones known as “the Club.”
This type is quite popular because it’s easy to use, durable, reasonably priced, and comes in a wide variety of different sizes, colors, and shapes.
There are quite a few knockoffs available and regardless of which steering wheel lock like this one you’re using they all work in a very similar fashion.
The way they work is by attaching to the steering wheel and being locked into place where they prevent the steering wheel from being turned more than a short distance in any direction so that is very hard and almost impossible to drive very far with a stolen car that has a steering wheel lock attached.
A lot of thieves are out looking for an easy steal and something opportunistic where they don’t have to spend a lot of time or effort getting away with whatever it is they want to take.
Any thief that comes equipped with the right tools will be able to break through a steering wheel lock given enough time but for those that are looking for the quick steal it acts as a deterrent and hopefully encourages the thief to move on to an easier car with less security options.
Using the Steering Wheel Lock as a Deterrent
Most of the visible security devices that are designed for cars are actually meant to be used as a visual deterrent for anyone interested in stealing your vehicle.
The theory behind it is that anyone looking in a parking lot or on the street for a car to steal is going to look for the easiest options that have the least amount of security and theft prevention devices.
While it’s possible to remove steering wheel locks from the steering wheel it’s not easy for an inexperienced thief looking for a quick grab and removing it will require at least one or two tools and some more time than if they were to pick a car without any steering wheel locks equipped.
When it comes to stealing a car time is of the essence and someone that just broke a window or shimmied a door lock isn’t going to want to spend too much time in the car trying to fool around with a steering wheel locking device before hot-wiring it is well.
It’s definitely a very logical argument that a large, bright, and obtrusive steering wheel lock is going to act as a deterrent and hopefully encourage a would-be thief to try to steal a different car that isn’t yours but is this really the case?
I was looking online for a short while and I wasn’t able to find any legitimate studies or statistics that showed that this type of security device is effective against theft but in my mind it makes sense and ultimately nothing is 100% theft proof in the end.
Keep in mind that a professional car thief or someone that comes equipped with the right tools is definitely going to be able to break the steering wheel lock and steal your car regardless of the security methods that you put in place and it’s even possible for a stolen tow truck to come along and just tow your car without ever having to break a window.
Thankfully for people that leave their car in the driveway or on the street for parking most car thieves aren’t professionals and the majority of vehicles are stolen by people looking for a quick score that they can sell for some drugs or just to joy ride around for fun.
There are very few people walking around with saws, pry bars, bolt cutters, lock picking tools, and any other equipment that a professional car thief might use so it’s easy to see why using one of those steering wheel locks will act as a deterrent against most opportunistic thieves that simply don’t know better.
The Key to Vehicle Security
Instead of just relying on a single piece of equipment when it comes to the security of your car it’s a good idea to take advantage of a few different methods, systems, and devices for the most security that you’re comfortable with.
These days there are quite a few different tools and alarm systems that you can pick up to make your car or truck a lot more secure against theft and modern cars especially come equipped with a wide range of anti-theft features that makes them harder to steal and easier to track if they do happen to get stolen.
There are even techniques you can take advantage of such as parking your car under a bright street lamp, parking around other cars, and never leaving anything of value inside.
Common sense goes a long way in preventing your car from getting stolen but regardless of what you do there’s always going to be people out there that have the tools and knowledge that they can use to steal your car no matter what you do to prevent it from happening.
So, do steering wheel locks really work?
In my opinion, yes, and I think it’s a good idea to use a steering wheel lock especially if you live in an area where a lot of cars are getting stolen and broken into.
They’re quite reasonably priced, easy to setup and install, and they’ll give you the peace of mind of not having to constantly worry about whether or not someone smashed your window and is currently driving away with your vehicle.
Car theft does happen and it’s very unfortunate when it does so make sure you have the insurance where you can enjoy protection if your car doesn’t get stolen and always try to remember to lock your doors, use a steering wheel lock, and just use common sense when you’re parking your car or leaving it somewhere unattended.