The old-fashioned steering wheel lock has been making a comeback in recent years. Police say it’s the ideal approach to stop the new hi-tech thieves who copy the signal of electronic keys within seconds.
The simple steering lock is making a comeback as the easiest way to protect your car. It’s cheap, effective and not vulnerable to electronic copies. On top of that car thieves can see the steering lock through your car window, deterring them from damaging your car.
The device, which was introduced in the late 1980s and mid 90s, had been thought obsolete in a universe of electronic security measurements. However, we see more and more people buying steering wheel locks again. Occasionally we even have to break one open, when the owner has lost his or her keys.
So what is the best steering wheel lock? We get this question a lot. People seem to trust the advice from a locksmith when it comes to buying a good lock. Here is our advice:
The 5 best steering wheel locks
1. The WRAP. This is our favorite. We don’t see them a lot (luckily for us, because they are incredibly difficult to break). The only way to break The Wrap is by sawing through the metal, which requires the use of power tools and makes a lot of noise. It is actually easier to replace the entire steering wheel, then to break the lock! If you live in the outskirts of Los Angeles or New York, look no further. It’s reasonably priced too, at around $95.
2. FJM Security HS7100-SWL Silver Steering Wheel Lock. One thing is for sure: FJM could definitely use some help naming their products: “FJM HS7100-SWL” is simply not as catchy as “The Club” or the “The Wrap”. Having said that, it’s an excellent lock and our second choice if you can’t get your hands on The Wrap. Something that has become more popular is the theft of airbags, which can be sold for good money on the black market. The FJM has an optional air bag plate that will keep your air bag functioning and safe inside its enclosur. It’s a bit more expensive than the Wrap – with a MSRP of $125 – but still good value. Another advantage over the Wrap is that it’s lighter and less bulky. The FJM has better availability, so if you can’t find The Wrap, this is an excellent alternative – and perhaps even a better choice.
3. Master Lock. A copy of The Club, but slightly better. The metal they use is stronger, but it hardly makes a difference when it comes to breaking strength. It’s marginally better than The Club, because it doesn’t feature the bright colors, which car thieves recognize and have experience with.
4. The Club. You can’t really talk about steering wheel locks, without mentioning The Club. This was the first product on the market and was reputedly invented by American war veterans coming back from Korea. They had seen Korean people securing their cars by locking a metal chain to the steering wheel, which inspired them to create the first lock bars. The Club still is the market leader, but the problem with popular locks is that thieves know how to break them, because they have encountered them so often. In a way, The Club has been the victim of it’s own success! If we are asked break this bar, we use a device similar the “the buster”, which you can see on the picture below. Thieves actually use a simpler method that damages the steering wheel, but we obviously don’t want to do that. It’s the cheapest steering wheel bar on the market, so you cannot expect a strong lock. However, it will do a good job repelling novice thieves, because of it’s bright coloring.
5. The Club also makes a pedal to wheel lock, which is the cheapest anti-theft device on the market. However, we don’t recommend it, as it’s super easy to circumvent, by either adjusting/cutting the steering wheel or the pedals. However, the truly paranoid can use it in conjunction with any of the locks mentioned above.