Is it possible?

You know how in the movies, whenever someone wants to steal a car or is trying to get away, they reach under the dashboard, pull out some wires, do a little connecting and wham! the car starts. Is that possible? And if so, how do you do it? (Just in case I should ever have to quickly flee or desperatly need a car, of course…you know…just fyi) :slight_smile:

Possible but not in mere seconds.
What you’re seeing is the end product of lots of research.
To do that you’d need to know all the wire color coding for that vehicle and where the harness is.
The ignition run circuit stays tied together then the starter circuit is touched together to run the starter…which wire’s which ?

On older cars YES…Todays cars with locking steering wheels…not so easy.

…and on the newest cars with very effective anti-theft devices, stealing a car is extremely difficult to do, unless you put it on a flat-bed and haul it away.

As a result, carjacking is coming back into vogue.

If the thief has the key, and the engine is running, this is easy. Without a key (including the correct chip), a modern car is not readily “stealable” unless you carjack it. Despite the very harsh penalties, there has been a major uptick in carjackings recently.

Modern security systems have made stealing a car far more difficult…for amatures, which constitute the bulk of car thefts.

Pros actually have underground training courses and workshops in all the new systems and technologies and how to overcome them. There’s no doubt in my mind that pros can steal even most new vehicles rapidly and effectively. Fortunately, the overwhelming majority of thefts are not done by pros.

I will just present one way you can be had. I really don’t think it is in error to post as this type of theft requires a group and there are key types it will not work on. With keys that can be cut at the dealer. A tech adds a remote to your current “line up” (this is a weakness in the plan as any other remotes that this tech does not have access to will no longer function). Then a buddy in the parts dept cuts a key. They have your address from the work order, so now they can disable any alarm (at least those that arm of the door unlock system controled by this remote), and he has a key to the car.

One piece of advice that I bet most know about but I will repeate. Don’t hand over anymore keys than required (like your house keys) to work on your car, copies can be made. On the flip side, if you did hand over a ton of keys and they come up missing (this happes a lot) it is your right to ask for and recieve your car re-keyed and your house re-keyed. I have seen this happen on 3 seperate occasions.

The easiest cars to hot wire were the Chevrolets through 1952. The 1946-48 models had an inside hood release, but the earlier prewar models and the 1949-52 did not. The starter could always be activated whether the ignition switch was on or off. A wire from the positve terminal of the battery to the coil was all it took. Step on the starter pedal in the pre 1949 models or push the starter button in the 1949-52 models and you were on your way. This was faster than messing with the wires under the dashboard.

The above does not apply to the 1950-52 PowerGlide automatic transmission models. However, no self-respecting crook needing to make a fast getaway would steal an early Chevrolet PowerGlide anyway.

The early Fords through the 1946 model had a steering column lock. You flipped a toggle switch to off and turned the key. This locked the steering column and prevented the toggle switch for the ignition from being flipped to on. The Ford was the getaway car of choice by the crooks. Clyde Barrow of “Bonnie and Clyde” even wrote a letter thanking him for the development of the Ford V-8 engine and how important engine performance was in his line of work. Perhaps this is why Ford incorporated the steering column lock on its cars.

I get a laugh from the movies/TV - the harder it’s gotten to really hotwire a car/truck, the easier it is on the screen. Absolutely necessary when the baddies are running after you, guns blazing!

Tell that to the numerous Escalade and Denali owners who have had their cars stolen.,-other-ritzy-gm-suvs-targets-for-thieves

Gone in 14 seconds is an appropriate title to the news article.

Yeah. The older the easier. I had a 72 ford truck…was perty easy…touch one ta roll it n connect to another to keep it running

Ha! You got that right texases. Too bad Jack Bauer is off the grid.

Learn to pick a lock. It’s not rocket science, although contrary to tv it does take two hands. Then shove in a key for appearance’s sake. Problem solved. You should be gone in 30 - 60 seconds. If time is an important consideration you have other, bigger problems.

No but the gasoline bombs are real.

I could start and run my dad’s early 50s car with two hair pins but had to lay upside down on the seat with my head under the dash until it started, of course.

The pros can steal almost any car…Daughter was at a softball tournament in Montreal (car theft capital of North America) many years ago…the week the tournament was held there were something like 60 cars stolen from the parking lot. One guys car was stolen in minutes…he parked it…then forgot something and went back just in time to see it being driven out of the parking lot…all cars stolen had American plates.

Some years ago my wife and I were on a holiday trip in a rented Chrysler LeBaron. We went to Macdonalds for lunch and I accidentally locked the keys inside the car. Luckily a police officer stopped for coffee and I had to tactfully explain to him that this was OUR rental and my contract, and keys were inside.

He produced a slim jim, which looks like a hacksaw blade with funny notches in it, and opened the door in less than 2 minutes.