Easy Steps to Hotwire a Car in an Emergency

Cars have advanced over time. Everything from the security system, to ignition systems relies on electronic control units to operate. The idea to hotwire a car has crossed your mind. Perhaps as an inspiration from a movie scene. Hotwiring a car was easier with older car models. It is difficult to do that with modern vehicles. It does not mean that hotwiring a car during emergencies is impractical.

You only have to hotwire a car during emergencies. It is immoral and illegal to rely on hotwiring to steal a car. Given the complexity of vehicles, it is advisable to use the technique when a pressing emergency exists. Remember that the entire process is risky. An electric fault can cause electric shocks that threaten personal safety. You can also end up damaging your precious vehicle.

What is hotwiring a car?

When one mentions ‘hotwire a car,’ they are saying that you are starting the engine without using the key. That is, you bypass the turning of the key in the ignition system. Technically, the driver connects a couple of wires hidden beneath the steering column. Connecting the correct set of wires will cause the engine to start, and in a few minutes, you’ll be cruising to your destination.

Steps to hardwire a car

Turning the key in the ignition is a way to complete the electric circuit of the vehicle. Completing the circuit enables the starter to draw power from the automotive battery to turn on the engine. Hotwiring does the same, only that it happens without a key. These steps can help drivers to hotwire cars in case of emergencies.

Step 1

A screwdriver can do magic. Few vehicles can ignite with the help of a screwdriver. Push the tip of the screwdriver into the ignition and turn it, as you will do with a key. With a slight turn, the driver can ignite the vehicle. If this does not work, move on to the next step.

Step 2

Reveal the ignition system wiring by unscrewing the cover from the steering column. Use the screwdriver to remove any fasteners and expose internal components hidden under the steering column.

Step 3

Now that the cables are exposed, it is time for the driver to identify those used for ignition. Several wires serve different purposes. Ignition wires connect diverse components of the ignition system. Usually, the wires go directly to the battery.

Step 4

After identifying the wires for the ignition system, strip off their insulations. Twist the exposed ends of the wires together. If the wires are of the correct combination, the electronic components should come on.

Step 5

Identify the wire going directly to the starter motor. This is a live wire. Take off the insulation from the wire. Use the exposed part of the ire to touch the end of the initially twisted wires. The combination starts the engine.

Step 6

Insulate the live wire (going directly to the starter). It is a precautionary step.

Additional tips when hotwiring a car

Rev the engine a bit after ignition. It prevents stalling.

Extreme emergencies may demand the drilling of the keyhole. It allows the driver to insert a sizable screwdriver and twist it as one will do with a standard car key.

Untwisting the wires turns off the engine.


Hotwiring a vehicle is necessary for emergencies. Take precautions when performing the above steps. The process is risky for the driver and the vehicle. Drivers must bypass the complex security systems available in most vehicles.