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Starting a car without a key

Do you guys think I would be able to start a 1989 Nissan king cab standard by jumping the starter Silinoid ? Would the wheel lock up maybe?

Doubtful, ignition needs to be on, steering wheel probably will be locked, people steal cars all the time so nothing is foolproof, why do you ask?

You’re going to need to supply voltage to the coil also.

I was looking at picking up a car from Craigslist and it’s ignition is messed up

You won’t be able to drive the truck with the steering locked, it will need to be towed.

That is a terrible idea. If it was a simple fix than why did the seller not fix it. There are many used vehicles for sale that you can just buy and drive home.

No, this idea won’t work. The ignition switch problem is ether gonna have to be fixed where the truck is located now, or it’s gonna have to be towed to a shop.

Well… you could simply unbolt the ignition switch and column lock from the steering column. This will remove the deadbolt lock mechanism and free the steering wheel. The ignition wiring component should only be about 4-6 wires. Its pretty easy to start the vehicle at the ignition switch plug.

Sometimes ignition switches fail in such a way where the key tumbler is what gets damaged… that section can be removed…and at the bottom of where it used to reside will look like a flat head screw…you simply turn it with a flat head and start the vehicle.

Lots of ways around this…if and when you are the rightful owner of said vehicle of course. Don’t mess with it in any of the ways I just mentioned until the vehicle is in your name.

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One wary person might ask why the ignition is messed up? A common condition for a stolen vehicle. I can hear it now “oh my room mate has the title but he’s not here right now and I don’t know what happened to the key?” Duh.


If you aren’t familiar with how to do it, you should pass on this truck. If you still want to gamble on it, make sure the owner has the title and can sign it over to you without any liens before you hand any money over. Liens would be a loan balance or a mechanic’s lien for unpaid work, for instance.

Funny story: I was hanging out at my local watering hole one afternoon and since it was slow, we decided that we’d make a run for Chinese takeout. I rode with one of my friends. The car was about a 1971 Ford Maverick. There was no ignition switch, the car had to be hot-wired in order to start. On the way back to the bar, my friend made a left turn without using his signal, there was a cop right there and he pulled us over. My friend left the car running so he wouldn’t have to go through the hassle of doing the hot wire thing again. The officer asked him to turn off the car, so he reached under the dash and separated the wires, which the cop noticed. The cop asked him for his license and registration. His license was good but he hadn’t updated his address. He asked him the car was his, he said no, it was his roommate’s. About the registration, he didn’t have it as his roomie had bought the car from someone in Oregon (it had Oregon plates on it; we were in California) and the seller hadn’t sent the registration to his roomie. Oh, by the way, the registration was expired. And we had been drinking for a few hours already. I’m sitting in the passenger seat thinking there is absolutely no way I am not going to jail. So the cop told my friend to update his address with DMV, don’t forget to signal his turns, and he let us go.

Musta been close to shift change or something. Big hassle. Gotta take you in, have the car towed, etc. Could take all night.

Makes sense to me. That wouldn’t happen now.