Do Steering Wheel Locks Actually Prevent Car Theft?

When it comes to car security, it’s important to add layers of security as opposed to just one type, like a steering wheel lock, for example. Don’t get us wrong, the steering wheel lock can aid in preventing your car from being stolen, but it’s not without its flaws. Ultimately, we wondered if steering wheel locks really serve their purpose.

Steering wheel locks are effective, except when they are not

In case you’re not aware of what a steering wheel lock is, it’s a locking rod-type device made of metal and plastic that stretches across your car’s steering wheel to prevent it from being steered properly by the wrong hands. What that means is that if a thief gets your car started and attempts to drive it without removing the lock first, they won’t be able to properly drive the car, rendering it useless and hopefully deterring the theft altogether.

However, over the years, many car thieves and television shows have proven to debunk the effectiveness of steering wheel locks ever since “The Club,” which is one of the original steering wheel locks to hit the market, came out. Thanks to The Club, the popularity of the steering wheel lock soared and many copies of it were invented and even revised to make theft even harder. But we’re not sure that those revisions actually helped.

The Club Anti-Theft Device
The Club Anti-Theft Device | Amazon.com

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Steering wheel locks can be defeated

The unfortunate truth is that steering wheel locks, like The Club, can be defeated quite easily. There have been many cases where professional thieves have stolen cars equipped with a steering wheel lock by simply cutting a portion of the steering wheel to remove the device, or by drilling or cutting the device itself to disable it.

Even larger steering wheel locks, like the Disklok, which is heavier than most other steering wheel locks and covers the whole wheel, should be a larger theft deterrent. However, as the video below shows, even a more “secure” device like the Disklok has its weaknesses as the demonstration below shows that it can be cut off in as little as 3-and-a-half minutes.

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Layering your car’s security could be your best bet

While it’s easy to say that steering wheel locks don’t work that well when it comes to deterring thieves, it doesn’t mean that they are completely useless. There are plenty of real-world success stories and positive testimonials online about devices like The Club and the Disklok, but for every good one, it seems like there are negative reviews as well.

Ultimately, if you want to keep your car safe, there isn’t any one solution that will keep a thief from stealing it. If a thief wants your car, they will find a way to get it. In that case, it could be better to add multiple layers of security (lock your car, car alarm, steering wheel lock, a GPS device, etc.) in order to keep your car sitting right where you parked it. A steering wheel lock could work in some situations, but it’s far better when it’s combined with other anti-theft devices.