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How to Wire a Car in an Emergency (8 Easy Steps)

If you’ve seen movies about car theft, you’ll have seen thieves break into a car and start it without a key through a set of wires.

Although we don’t recommend car theft, the ability to wire your car will come in handy if you lose your car keys.

Newer cars use an immobilizer, which means you need the chip in the key near the ignition to start your car. So on newer cars, hot wiring won’t work. Always check to see if your car has an immobilizer before attempting to wire it.

There are still ways to bypass the immobilizer, but you need a lot more knowledge to do this kind of thing.

How to wire a car

Ignition switch wires

Total Time: 5 minutes

1. Remove the plastic cover around the steering column

steering connector

First, you need to remove the plastic cover around the steering column to get to the ignition switch. Use a screwdriver to remove the screws under the steering wheel. Here you should find the wiring harness connection for the ignition switch.

2. Locate the ignition switch plug

Ignition switch wiring

Check the back of the ignition switch and you will find a connector that goes to the ignition switch. You can remove the connector to shorten the cables or cut the cables to shorten them.

3. Determine ignition switch wiring

hot wire car

This is the most important part for successful hot wiring. You need to know which connector does what. You can find the wiring diagram marked on the ignition lock on some cars, but most of the time you need to check a wiring diagram to find out which wire goes where. You need to understand the battery, ignition, and starter cables. The battery cables are normally red, while the starter motor is yellow and the ignition cables are brown. However, you should still confirm this with your owner’s manual.
Remember that if you don’t find the right wiring diagram and assemble the wrong wires, you can burn out expensive parts like engine control units and even set your car on fire.
RELATED: How to Unlock and Start a Car with a Dead Key Fob

4. Cut and strip the battery, starter, and ignition cables.

stripping cables

Once you’ve located the starter, ignition, and battery+ cables, it’s time to strip them; if not you can plug them into the connector instead.

5. Twist the ignition + battery cable

twisted wires

Start by twisting the ignition wire and battery + cable together. It should give a slight spark when you connect them, but you’ve definitely found the wrong wires if that’s terrible.

6. Check if the ignition is on

Ignition on the dashboard

Once the ignition and battery + cables are connected, you should hear the ignition in your car, and you should also hear the fuel pump start in most cars. If nothing happens, you have probably found the faulty battery+ or the faulty ignition cable.

7. Hold the starter cable + battery together

Assemble cables E1609953768630

Once you are sure the ignition is on, it is time to rev the engine to start. To do this, hold the jumper cable and battery + source together for a few seconds until the car starts. When the car starts, you need to remove these two wires from each other, but let the battery + and ignition wire twist together.

8. Break the steering lock

Break the steering lock

The last step is to break the steering lock, if your car has one. It can be very difficult on some cars, and you really need strength to do it.
However, after breaking the steering wheel lock, you should have a working car.
To turn off the car, separate the ignition and battery + cables, and the car should die imminently.


  • wire stripper
  • Screwdriver
  • wiring diagrams

Drilling the locking pins

This method should only be used in an emergency.

The other method of accessing your car is to drill into the locking pins. The purpose of this method of starting the car is to turn the ignition with a screwdriver instead of a key. Place the drill over the keyhole until it is 60% covered. Orient yourself along the key and drill into the keyhole until small metal holes emerge. Each keyhole has two spring parts.

Please note that this method will destroy the keyhole. Remove the drill and use a screwdriver to turn the ignition on. Now that all the pins are broken, you don’t have to press the screwdriver as hard. The engine will come to life. Know that once you break the keyhole, anyone can steal your car.


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