The Last Guide You'll Ever Need

Learn to Hot Wire

In During the Apocalypse on March 27, 2009 at 9:34 am

I just woke up from a terrible nightmare. I dreamt I was in a crowded parking lot after a high school football game when I hear someone yell and point to the sky. I look up to see little lights zipping around the sky firing off beams at what appeared to be distant aircraft. It was damn aliens! We were being invaded! Now aliens don’t scare me, but what terrified me was that I was in a crowded parking lot, full of RVs. Not exactly an ideal situation to make a quick exit. To make matters worse, I had forgotten how to hot-wire a car. This was it, the apocalypse was here and I wasn’t prepared to survive.  I awoke relieved to find myself safe in my bomb shelter but troubled that I had not taken the time to explain to ya’all a very important skill for surviving the Apocalypse. How to hot-wire a car. (Continued…)

First off this is illegal unless you have proof that this is your car, so make sure you have your title handy. Also, it’s dangerous because of all the bare wires around. So don’t be a dumbass.

Now, before you start tearing that steering column apart, stick your flathead screwdriver in the ignition and turn it. If it’s an older car it will sometimes work. A friend of mine had a car like that and never used a key. If that doesn’t work use that screwdriver to pry the plastic panel below (or around) the steering column. You are looking for wires going from the ignition to the battery if that helps. Once that’s off, pull out the wires. They may be encased in a plastic shell, bust that thing open, we’re not worried about how the car looks anymore, aliens are invading!

Ok, there should be some wires hanging there. Those represent the different ignition positions; like lights or radio only. Two wires, usually red, are the power wires. Pull them out of the cylinder, strip the ends and twist the bare ends together. You should now be able to listen to the radio, but that’s not what we’re after.

Find the ignition wires, usually brown, and strip the ends. Careful now son, those wires are live and touching them would be like licking a car battery. Don’t touch the bare wires, just touch the bare ends to each other and you should see sparks. Once the car starts idling, rev the engine and put those ignition wires away. They still carry a charge so wrap them in electrical tape if you’ve got any. If the steering wheel is stuck then the guys at GM got the better of you with their anti-theft mechanism. Tough luck, try a different car.

If not, get going! Those aliens, communists, nuclear bombs, or asteroids are nearly here and you best skedaddle! 

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  1. Any info on those pesky steering locks,is it just a question of brute force or is there a trick?I presume older cars would be better as they have less electronics to deal with.

  2. And what about those high tech security systems? Besides, it’s always the people stuck in the cars who seem to get it the worst.

  3. Your right, you probably want to stick with older cars if I you only have a basic knowledge hot wiring. You also have a point about getting stuck in a car as being bad news. However if you plan a good route that’s not going to get bogged down with a bunch of other evacuees a car should increase your odds of survival in most situations.

  4. I sent a long basic escape plan to the Survivor a while back, which he said was counter-indicative of what his own plans were; I said to bring a bolt-cutter, he wanted me to bring a shovel and seeds. But the best part of that manifesto (that was not printed) was to head to a dealership (something like Jeep or Hummer) once the excrement hits the air conditioning and grab/steal a brand new car. No need to hot wire, just grab the keys! They have gas pumps at a majority of dealerships so you could even carry around more gas so you don’t need to stop — and the idea of “off-roading” to more remote locations is obviously more feasible in a larger modern SUV than in an ’87 Buick Skylark.

  5. You can break the steering wheel lock in some models. The procedure as it was told to me… is to wrap a towel around the steering column (it is going to break apart), then tilt the steering wheel all the way up so it is as close to flat as you can get it, then turn it really hard and fast to break the lock.

  6. Good luck finding a car that doesn’t have a steering column that locks without the key. I don’t know how far you have to go for that, but my 1978 Dodge Omni had that feature.

  7. Early to mid 80’s GM cars, trucks and some jeeps that share the same steering column: Smash upper plastic cover where turn signal lever enters column, locate rack and pinion gear(a toothed strip with meshed half circle gear), pop the half circle gear off and pry the toothed strip backward, vehicle will start and wheel will unlock. I recommend an 88 Chevy/GMC pickup as they shared the same column and are very reliable.

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