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Steering wheel locks are physical anti-theft devices that attach to the steering wheel of a vehicle to make it more difficult for thieves to steal. These car safety devices work by physically preventing the steering wheel from turning, which makes it virtually impossible for a thief to turn the vehicle. While not foolproof, they are popular for car owners without access to a personal garage.

What are steering wheel locks, and how do they work?

A steering wheel in a Volkswagen AG VW ID.3 electric sedan on the production line at the Volkswagen Sachsen GmbH plant in Zwickau, Germany
Volkswagen steering wheel | Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

Several types of steering wheel locks are available, but the most common type features a U-shaped bar that fits around the steering wheel and locks in place with a key or combination lock. Once in place, the lock makes it impossible to turn more than a few degrees in either direction.

Car From Japan Co. says, “Steering wheel lock works by locking the wheel in place with the use of a long rod, making it impossible to bend the steering wheel without removing the bar.” Some of them also have a brake pedal lock bar for added protection.

Can car thieves break steering wheel locks?

Yes. It’s true that some car thieves can bypass or break steering wheel locks, but the presence of these devices in a car can still act as a deterrent. Thieves usually look for easy targets, and the added time and trouble it takes to remove one of these locks may make them look for an easier target.

These locks are often brightly colored and visible, which makes them stand out to would-be thieves. This visibility can also make a potential thief think twice about targeting a car with one of these locks, as the presence of the lock could indicate that the owner has taken other measures to protect their vehicle.

Other anti-theft and safety car measures to buy

Of course, steering wheel locks are just one anti-theft measure that car owners can take. Other options include car alarms, tracking devices, and immobilizers. In addition to anti-theft measures, it’s also important to take steps to ensure overall safety, such as not leaving any valuables inside the car, keeping your windows closed, and parking in a well-lit location. Many car warranties offer additional safety and anti-theft features, so it’s worth researching your options before purchasing.

If your vehicle is ever stolen, though, you will want to report it to the police immediately.

Protect your investment against car theft

While accessories like may not be foolproof in preventing car theft, their presence in a vehicle can still act as a deterrent. By making it more difficult and time-consuming for thieves to steal a car, you can reduce the likelihood of theft. However, it’s important to remember that steering wheel locks are just one anti-theft measure, and it’s important to take a comprehensive approach to protecting your vehicle. By taking the proper steps, you can increase the safety and security of your vehicle.


The 3 Most Common Types of Steering Wheel Locks