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Steering wheel locks have been a popular anti-theft device for car owners for many years. However, they are not foolproof and can be defeated by determined thieves. That’s why it is essential to consider additional anti-theft safety devices to protect your car.

Let’s discuss four alternatives to steering wheel locks: car alarms, car immobilizers, car tracking systems, and wheel boots/clamps.

A woman assembles a steering wheel anti-theft lock.
Steering wheel locks aren’t the only way to prevent theft | Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post

Car alarms are a common choice

Car alarms are one of the most common anti-theft devices for cars. According to Warrantywise, “Today’s car alarms are made up of a computer, a receiver that responds to your key code, a loudspeaker, and several different sensors.”

They work by detecting any unauthorized entry or movement of the car and then producing a loud sound or alert to scare off the thief. Car alarms can also have additional features, such as flashing lights or disabling the engine.


They are highly effective as a deterrent because they draw attention to the vehicle and make it less attractive to thieves. They are also relatively affordable and easy to install.


Car alarms can be triggered by accidental movements or even strong winds, causing false alarms that can be annoying and inconvenient. Experienced thieves can also disable them.

A car immobilizer makes it near impossible to steal your car

A car immobilizer is an electronic device that prevents the car from starting unless a specific code or key is present. It works by interrupting the power supply to the engine control unit, preventing the car from starting even if the ignition key is turned.


Car immobilizers prevent the car from being stolen, even if the thief has managed to access the vehicle. They are also easy to use and can be installed by a professional.


Car immobilizers can be expensive to install, and some models may require additional keys or codes, which can be inconvenient.

A car tracking system can help find your car if it is stolen

A car tracking system is a GPS-enabled device that allows you to track your vehicle’s location in real-time. It transmits the car’s location to a remote server, which can be accessed through an app.


These tracking systems allow you to monitor the vehicle’s location, even if it has been stolen. They are also relatively affordable. Parents can even watch their teenage child’s driving using GPS tracking.


Car tracking systems may require a subscription fee for the tracking service, which can be costly over time. They also need a reliable internet connection to work correctly.

A wheel boot or clamp provides peace of mind

A wheel boot or clamp is a physical device that immobilizes the car by locking the wheel in place. They are typically used by law enforcement to immobilize illegally parked or abandoned vehicles. However, car owners can also purchase them as an additional security measure.


Wheel boots or clamps prevent your vehicle from being moved or driven away. They are also visible and can act as a deterrent to potential thieves.


Wheel boots or clamps can be time-consuming and inconvenient to remove, especially if you forget the combination or key. They can also damage the wheel if not properly installed or removed.

Explore alternatives to steering wheel locks

There are several alternative accessories to steering wheel locks that you can consider. While each device has its strengths and flaws, using a combination of these devices can significantly increase the chances of preventing theft and recovering your stolen car. After all, safety should always be at the forefront!


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