Steering Wheel Lock

The steering wheel lock is a popular and inexpensive device used for protecting a car against theft. They are mostly a visual deterrent and do not provide the same level of protection as a car alarm or immobilizer. The idea behind them is that thieves are opportunists who will target another vehicle if they encounter anything that delays them. The basic lock makes it difficult to turn the steering wheel, while more expensive models also restrict pedal movements. Some locks even protect the air bag from theft. The locks have been criticized for their size and weight, and for being easy to defeat. They can also be dangerous in car accidents.

The common steering wheel lock consists of a hollow tube and a sliding rod. The tube section has a large hook and barrel keylock mounted on its side, while the sliding rod has a hook mounted on its end. The sliding rod also has notches along it so that the keylock can stop it from being moved inwards. To put the lock on the steering wheel, the hooks are first placed inside the steering wheel and the rod extended until it can go no further. The hooks should then be on opposite sides of the wheel, with the handle against the windshield. The steering wheel should also be turned to one side before applying the lock so that the car cannot be rolled away.

The lock parts are made of tempered steel so that they are difficult to cut. However, they can be quickly sliced with large bolt cutters, or cracked by freezing the metal with freon gas and hitting it with a hammer. The parts are usually covered with red or yellow plastic to provide high visibility. Unlike an immobilizer or car alarm, it is easy to tell from a distance if a car has a steering wheel lock fitted. The barrel keylock is the weak point of most locks because it can be removed quickly with common tools.

Another type of steering wheel lock has a longer rod section that can reach the accelerator pedal. This prevents it from being depressed and provides slightly more protection that the basic wheel lock. It is also larger and more difficult to put in place, and this is most likely the reason why they are not as popular. Other locks even have a motion sensor and alarm fitted. Even if the lock or steering wheel are broken, the battery powered alarm sounds at the slightest movement of the lock.

Air bags have become popular targets for thieves in recent years because they are easy to remove and can be sold for a lot of money. Steering wheel locks that protect against air bag theft are also available. They have large metal panels which cover the front of the airbag and prevent it from being removed from the steering wheel body. As with the wheel and pedal locks, they are more difficult to use and are not very popular.

Steering wheel locks has been widely criticized for being ineffective because they are so easily broken. While they not likely to bother a professional thief who knows how to remove them, they may discourage an amateur thief or joyrider. The locks are heavy and bulky, and can cause minor damage and injuries when moved around the inside of a vehicle. They can also become dangerous projectiles in an accident if they are left on the back seat or rear window. A steering wheel lock should always be placed on the floor on in the boot before driving.

The steering wheel lock remains one of the most popular automotive accessories despite its problems. They are much cheaper than immobilizers and car alarms. One lock can even be shared between several vehicles, reducing the cost even further. Regardless of how effective they are against car theft, they provide a sense of security for many vehicle owners. Some of the better locks even come with a guarantee that pays part of the cost of replacing a stolen vehicle.

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