How to Hotwire a Car – What happens if you Hotwire a Car | Is it Illegal to Hotwire your Car

Looking for How to Hotwire a Car in details? Hotwiring a car is usually the best option when there’s an emergency and you can’t find your car key. Hotwiring is the act of starting up the engine of a vehicle without a key. You must have seen someone goes under the steering, thereby twisting two wires together to start a car.

How to Hotwire a Car

I know I have seen my Dad do that, especially in his old car. Another place I’ve seen such is in a movie, a thief who tries to get away with someone’s car.

However, this post is not teaching you how to hotwire a car, for you to use it as a tool for theft. To hotwire a car make sure you’re the owner of the car. Because, why hotwiring the car, it may draw the attention of people around, and will take you in jail if you’re not the owner.

How to Hotwire a Car

How easy is hotwiring a car? Hotwiring an old car is very easy and fast, due to computer and electronic locking systems built into vehicles. While on modern cars, it is a little more complicated, because you need to deal with central computer systems which control the locking mechanisms.

If you want to know how to know the answers to the following questions; you will find the answers in this post.

  • How to start a car without a key or hot wiring?
  • What wires do you use to hotwire a car?
  • How to hotwire a modern car?
  • How to hotwire a truck step by step?
  • Is hotwiring a car illegal?
  • How to hotwire an old car?
  • How to hotwire a Toyota Corolla?

However, if your car was made in the mid-1990’s or older, then you will be able to hotwire it by following a few simple steps.

How to Hotwire a car with a screwdriver

Here Are steps to hotwire a car using a screwdriver.

STEP 1: Place Screwdriver Into the keyhole

Take a screwdriver and place it into the keyhole of the ignition system. Turn the screwdriver and see if it can start the car. If it didn’t start the car continue with the steps

STEP 2: Remove the screw on the steering cover

Use the screwdriver to take out the screws on the steering column cover. Once they are removed, you will see access panels, kindly remove the access panels by just pulling them out. You will see the wires of the ignition system.

STEP 3: Locating the ignition and battery wire

The 3 bundles of wires with their own separate colors. The bundle will have wires connecting to the battery, starter motor, and ignition system. Find out which wire is connected to the ignition system and which is connected to the battery.

The battery wires are usually red in color but there is no universal color system for the ignition wires so you’ll need to check online for your make and model or check your owner’s manual.

STEP 4: Cut off some parts from the Ignition and Battery tips

Get a wire stripper to cut some of the insulation off from each end of the two wires. Then take those ends or tips and twist them together with your fingers. You should see the ignition, radio, and lights switched On.

STEP 5: Locate the Starter Motto Wire

Find the wire which connects to the starter motor and slice a piece of the insulation off from its end too. Take the end of the wire and touch it with the ends of the other two. (Please don’t try to twist the wires together as this is a live wire!) This should start the engine.

STEP 6: Cover the Naked wire

Get electrical tape to cover the end of the live starter wire to avoid shocking you when you mistakenly touch it. You don’t want it to accidentally come in contact with your or something else and either shock you or start a fire.

Other Hotwiring Tips

If the above steps didn’t work and you’re in an absolute emergency, take a cordless drill and drill into the keyhole about the length that your key would usually insert.

It may require you to take out the drill a few times as you’re drilling because this will help get rid of the locking pins.

The next thing is to take the drill out and stick in the screwdriver, then turn it. It should start your engine.

To turn off your car engine, simply untwist the ignition and battery wires you connected in step 3 above.

Hotwiring FAQs

Here are the frequently asked questions

Is it illegal to Hotwire your Car?

Once you’re the owner of the car it’s not illegal to Hotwire your car. But you have to ensure you have proof of ownership.

Is it still possible to Hotwire Cars?

Yes. Hotwiring cars is possible, mostly for cars manufactured before the mid-90s. However, modern vehicles can still be hot-wired though tricky.

New cars are built with safer technology that makes hot wiring difficult and dangerous.

What color wires do you use to Hotwire a Car?

The three wires you access during hot wiring through the steering are the red battery wires, the brown or yellow ignition wire, and the yellow starter wire. But, when doing it through the hood, you use the red coil cable together with the bumper cables you already have.

What happens if you Hotwire a Car?

When you hotwire a car, the car will start running without a key and take you to your destination.


Learning how to hotwire a car is the simplest way to move your vehicle if you misplace your key. I believe with the steps outlined above you can comfortably hotwire your car on your own.

Though hotwiring is suitable for older cars made in the mid-90s. It is tricky to do it on recently manufactured vehicles. Doing this on modern vehicles, you stand the risk of damaging many electrical components.

Also, when hotwiring vehicles, you need to be careful to avoid getting electrocuted or causing more harm to the vehicle.

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