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Best Steering Wheel Locks: No Theft Turn

Best Steering Wheel Locks: No Theft Turn

Let’s get something clear right from the start: these locks are best thought of as a deterrent to the scourge that is vehicle theft and not an outright prevention tool. If two identical cars are parked side by each, one with a steering wheel lock and one without, there’s a good chance the robber is going to target the one sans lock.

Think of it this way: if there’s cheesecake on two different tables, and only one of those tables is guarded by an angry dog, chances are you’re going to grab the undefended dessert.

But, if you really want cheesecake, there are probably ways around that dog. The same goes for these locks; if a miscreant is hell-bent on taking your car, they’re likely going to find a method to defeat whatever security system is in place … including a steering wheel lock. VerticalScope lawyers are prohibiting me from listing examples of how to do so but I’m sure you all have active imaginations.

Consider these an ounce of prevention, then. And always be sure to park under a streetlamp.

Table of Contents

1. Editor's Choice: The Club 1000 Original Club Steering Wheel Lock

This brand is as synonymous with steering wheel locks as Kleenex is to tissues. More than a few competing manufacturers gladly permit their customers to simply refer to their product as a Club when it is, in fact, an actual brand name.

The patented self-locking feature secures itself with a single pull, its hooks wedging themselves tightly against the inside circumference of a steering wheel’s rim. Those hooks are solid steel, by the way, covered in the brand’s trademark red paint. This particular offering from The Club (and there are many) fits steering wheels with an inside dimension of 8.75 to 14 inches.

Pros/Most recognizable brand, easy-to-use, can be used as an actual club Cons/Reports of fouled locks Bottom Line/Popular and plentiful Shop Now

2. Levenli Rotary Steering Wheel Lock

If a gen-u-wine Club is too much hassle or too much money, this steering wheel lock might be an answer. Fitting most steering wheels, it is designed to clamp atop the tiller and rest against the dashtop. This seemingly prevents the steering wheel from being turned as the yellow tongue – for lack of a better word – will bring up against an immovable part of the car.

Of course, all this depends on the design of your car’s dashboard. Owners of a Saturn Ion, for example, will be completely out of luck. All the same, one would have to wonder what type of thief bothers to steal an Ion. They’d likely be better off nicking a pair of Reeboks.

Pros/Compact size means you can toss it under the seat Cons/Effectiveness depends greatly on car design Bottom Line/Measure before buyingShop Now

3. Disklok Full Cover Security Device

Despite it being advertised as a steering-wheel lock, this anti-theft device looks for all the world like a medieval implement of torture that one might find in the Tower of London. This spellcheck-vexing Disklok clamps over the entire wheel, turning it into a type of post-apocalyptic drum face. Scuppering airbag theft is listed as a feature but one wonders what would happen to this thing if a burglar set it off intentionally.

There’s a Club-style appendage atop the Disklok as well, a feature which presumably gets in the way of steering the car. The seller says it “spins on attack” which sounds like a WWE move to us. Fits cars with steering wheels measuring between 13.7 and 15.3 inches across.

Pros/Will also help prevent airbag theft Cons/Bulky when not in use Bottom Line/Give your car that Mad Max look Shop Now

4. WANLIAN Wheel-to-Pedal Lock

Here’s a style of steering wheel lock that runs between the wheel itself and one of the car’s pedals. In theory, the marriage of the wheel and pedal should prevent the latter from being used, rendering the thief without brakes or a clutch pedal. It does stay out of sight compared to a traditional steering wheel lock, which can be a good or bad thing depending on the argument taken. Is it better for the robber to see the device and move on? Might they cause wanton damage to the interior in frustration once they pop the door and then see this thing? The answer is up to you.

It also comes with a combination lock, said to be more difficult to defeat than a traditional lock-and-key cylinder. A lack of reviews on this particular product gives pause, as does some of the hastily translated ad copy.

Pros/Out of sight, attracts less attention than other locks Cons/No reviews Bottom Line/Could double as a reaching tool at the supermarket Shop Now

5. Wrap! Blockit Vehicle Theft Steering Wheel Lock with Alarm

This product is similar in intent to the one listed two entries above but goes about it in a slightly different manner. First of all, it looks like someone took a yellow highlighter to the Batsignal, which can be good or bad depending on whether one thinks loudly announcing an anti-theft device is a good idea.

Constructed of resin and reinforced with stainless steel, the sellers say it won’t heat up in the relentless summer sun like some other products in this segment. Note that reviews are all over the map, with barely 60 percent of buyers giving this thing three or more stars.

Pros/Built-in wailing alarm, has an exclamation point in its name Cons/Kinda conspicuous Bottom Line/Batman wants his toys back Shop Now

6. LC Prime Steering Wheel Lock

Your author would like to pretend that the manufacturer of this product wanted to call it the Optimus Prime steering wheel lock but had their attempts scuppered by a cadre of overzealous lawyers. Hey, at least it shares colors with the leader of the Autobots.

Operating in precisely the style of The Club, this lock gets wedged between the steering wheel rim as a theft deterrent. It amuses us to no end that the seller chooses to show it in action on a new Rolls Royce, as that car is probably the least likely to ever find itself bearing such a device.

Pros/Keyless combination lock, good reviews Cons/Ample segment competition Bottom Line/Is it the best bet for your Rolls? Shop Now

7. Oklead Universal Car Steering Wheel Lock

Here’s a device that attempts to marry pretty much all of the locking configurations we’ve seen so far in this post. A helmet-shaped yellow shield drops down over the car’s steering wheel, extending down over the airbag hub while gripping approximately one-third of the rim.

Meanwhile, an extendable arm pulls straight out of the device, acting as both the locking mechanism and a Club-like appendage designed to make steering difficult. Such a design does introduce a potential failure point not seen in other locks.

Pros/Lightweight, will fit under your seat for rapid deployment Cons/Might be trying to do too much at once Bottom Line/Don't mistake it for an actual bike helmet Shop Now

8. The Club LX Series Steering Wheel Lock

We’ll end this list the same place in which we started – with a product from The Club. This is a snazzier LX model (did they take their naming convention from 1990’s Ford?) and is painted silver in color rather than see-me-now bright red.

Reviews are largely positive, though some vocal opponents complained of a janky lock (see the other Club entry) and a gummy feel to the bar’s coating. As an aside, do you think actual thieves go online and leave bad reviews for these things in the hopes customers won’t buy them, thereby making their criminal activity easier? The mind reels.

Pros/Peace of mind, easy to deploy Cons/Lock quality complaints Bottom Line/Tough to argue with this brand Shop Now

Can you steal a car with a steering wheel lock?

Honestly, no security is always foolproof, and if an intruder or a thief is determined enough, they can steal anything they want, be it your car, your highly secured data, a PC, a cellphone, or anything for that matter. However, when you put a lock on your valuable assets, they add an extra layer of security which makes it difficult for the thieves to get what they want.

The same is the case with the steering wheel locks. When you install one, the thieves will have to spend more time to break it before they can steal and drive away your car.

In addition, the type of lock and its built quality also plays a major role in adding obstructions for the thieves in their stealing act. For instance, if you have installed an enclosed steering wheel lock from a reputed brand, the thieves will have to struggle more to break it, and as a result, their chances of getting caught would be remarkably increased. On the other hand, if it is a traditional bar-type steering wheel lock, it would be easier and quicker to break.

With that said, if you are planning to secure your vehicle with a steering wheel lock, it would be a good idea to have a strong and durable one manufactured by a reputed brand.

Can thieves break steering wheel lock?

Yes, if they are determined enough, they can break the lock. However, it would be wise to install a wheel lock that is securer and harder to break.

One of the lock types that is considered securest and also put an impactful psychological effect on the thieves’ mind is ‘Enclosed Lock’. An enclosed lock covers the entire steering wheel and prevents it from moving. This type of lock is comparatively harder to break, and therefore adds a stronger layer of security to your car.

Best Steering Wheel Locks: No Theft Turn

The bitter truth is, even enclosed locks can be cracked, but because it takes a lot of effort and time to get it done, your car can be considered more protected against thefts.

Do wheel locks really work?

Yes, they do. When you install a steering wheel lock, your car is protected in multiple ways, namely:

A car with a steering wheel lock installed is harder to steal. If the lock that you have installed is secure and of strong built, it would be cumbersome and tedious for the thieves to break it.

A car with a locked steering wheel may discourage the thieves, and many times, they might even drop the idea of stealing your vehicle altogether. In other words, if a steering wheel lock is clearly visible, as is the case with the enclosed or traditional locks, anyone with an intention of stealing would consider avoiding your car.

Steering wheel locks prevent a car from turning. Therefore, even if a thief somehow manages to enter your car and tries to drive it away without breaking the lock, it would be impossible for them to turn the vehicle on the road, especially on the doglegs.

Therefore, even if the steering wheel locks can be broken, it is a wise idea to secure your car with one for its protection.

From time to time, TTAC will highlight automotive products we think may be of interest to our community. Plus, posts like this help to keep the lights on around here. Learn more about how this works.

(Editor’s note: This post is meant to both help you be an informed shopper for automotive products but also to pay for our ‘90s sedan shopping habitsoperating expenses. Some of you don’t find these posts fun, but they help pay for Junkyard Finds, Rare Rides, Piston Slaps, and whatever else. Thanks for reading.)

[Main photo credit: Oleg Pchelov / Product images provided by the manufacturer.]

55 Comments on “Best Steering Wheel Locks: No Theft Turn...”

  • jack4xMay 14th, 2020 at 3:10 pm

    Don’t worry Gramps, you can still call us to help when you can’t figure out how to plug in your printer or something.

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  • randyinrocklinMay 14th, 2020 at 10:35 pm

    @jack, lmao…lol..thats funny. I’m a 75% luddie.

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  • ToolGuyMay 14th, 2020 at 11:08 pm

    The printer that has cables isn’t the issue. It’s the wireless one that turns into a two-hour ordeal when it loses its bearings. :-)

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  • Inside Looking OutDecember 22nd, 2021 at 8:31 pm

    Why do you need to plug in printer? Call me if you need to set up Wi-Fi.

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  • KendahlMay 14th, 2020 at 3:53 pm

    In 1968, three other physic students and I arranged to tour the Brookhaven National Lab on Long Island. I offered my ’68 VW Beetle for transportation. When I asked about sharing the driving, all I got were blank looks. I was the only one who knew how to drive a manual.

    Years ago, I guy I knew lost his new truck to thieves. On the replacement, he ran the wires to the starter solenoid and ignition coil through one side of a multi-pin connector under the dashboard. The rest of the pins had wires that went nowhere and all were the same color. The other half of the connector, with pins bridged to complete the circuits, he took with him when he left the truck. Another guy did something similar with a microswitch on the ashtray. To start the vehicle, open the ashtray.

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  • Carfan94May 14th, 2020 at 4:11 pm

    I’m a 25 year old millennial and my Mom had a 1999 Isuzu Rodeo with a 5 speed manual and hand crank windows, Though it had A/C so no suffocation. I do remember being annoyed that the doors had to be unlocked manually though.

    And coincidentally my Mom used those goofy club steering wheel locks when she had that Rodeo.

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  • RHDDecember 22nd, 2021 at 10:53 pm

    A mid-priced bolt cutter from Harbor Freight will quickly cut through a steering wheel, and the Amazon-sourced Club knockoff will slip right off.The real anti-theft device is how it’s nearly impossible to start a newer car without the appropriate key.Now, if they could only design a foolproof Club for the catalytic converter…

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  • Lie2meMay 14th, 2020 at 2:33 pm

    I live in the country, but I can’t remember the last time I saw one of these in use. What about Lo-Jack? Since cars are so well connected now can’t we just track them if they’re stolen?

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  • GarakMay 14th, 2020 at 3:02 pm

    These used to be more useful back when you could steal a car with a jiggler key in seconds. Haven’t seen a Club for at least 15 years.

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  • brnMay 14th, 2020 at 9:50 pm

    This only covers 28 years. If you could go back further, the numbers are even higher. Getting away with auto theft is a lot harder than it used to be.

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  • DenverMikeMay 14th, 2020 at 3:12 pm

    Don’t use these, it makes you more of a target, it’s not 1987 and a kid can defeat them in 15 seconds.

    They scream: “Hey look! I’ve got nothing, totally defenceless, zero tech, no immobilizer, no killswitch, no tracker, no LoJack, or anything! It’s yours”.

    They’re more of a hassle for the user.

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  • Flipper35May 15th, 2020 at 9:47 am

    A bolt cutter on the wheel and the club pops right off. It probably takes the thief and extra 10 seconds to get the bolt cutter out and put it away.

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  • Lou_BCDecember 22nd, 2021 at 10:54 pm

    Yup. I’ve overheard street hoods chatting once. They were laughing at “clubs” and other stuff like that. Just cut the steering wheel, bend it and remove the device.

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  • stuntmonkeyMay 14th, 2020 at 3:34 pm

    I and a few people that I know kept The Club so that we, umm, had a club with us in the car. For the same reason that people keep 3 irons near their front door….

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  • mcsMay 14th, 2020 at 4:51 pm

    This is better than a wheel lock:

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  • Lou_BCMay 14th, 2020 at 7:43 pm

    If someone wants to steal your vehicle, a device like “the club” is useless. The thieves will cut a spot on the steering wheel and pop off “the club”.

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  • MRF 95 T-BirdMay 15th, 2020 at 12:12 am

    In the 80’s and 90’s when I owned a couple of GM vehicles I had the Wolo brand removable armored collar with a built in chain that I would put around the steering column ignition lock. These were quite popular at the time because the steering column was a weak spot on many GM and other vehicles thus easy for thieves to break open and start the car. Many locksmiths also installed a stainless steel collar on the column as a reinforcement and hard to penetrate.

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  • CobraJetMay 15th, 2020 at 12:32 am

    Thieves tried to steal my 94 Silverado by breaking the steering column. They succeeded in getting it started but were scared off by the parking garage security guard. A friend at work made me a kill switch. It consisted of an old style floor mount headlight dimmer switch. The switch mounted on the floor under the carpet between the brake and gas pedals. The switch was wired into the starter circuit. Knowing where the hidden switch was located, I could press on the spot with my foot and click the switch. Turning the key resulted in nothing happening as though the battery was disconnected. I’ve used it now for years but have never had another theft attempt.

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  • speedlawMay 15th, 2020 at 7:21 am

    I’ve two millenials here, both of them are able with the manual Jetta S. My girl did semester abroad, and of her group of six, only she and one other (from South America) could drive a stick, so some truth there.

    To steal a modern car, you either need to spoof the electronics (key fob), or physically hoist it a-la “repo-man”. I don’t think anyone’s cracking an ignition lock or hot wiring anything anymore. May still be useful for your 1972 Maverick Grabber, though….

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  • JaySeisMay 15th, 2020 at 11:47 am

    While living in Seattle late 70’s, I wired my 62 Bug’s cigarette lighter as the ground for a relay. Get in the Bug, pull the cigarette lighter out of my pocket, turn the key, punch the lighter in, Bug starts, pull lighter out.

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  • MoparmannMay 15th, 2020 at 10:59 pm

    I have a device that clamps around the durable brake pedal assembly, preventing the brakes from being used (I can’t recall the name of it). It really works, as I found out one day when I just wanted to move my truck a few feet! It was either hit the garage or the chain link fence; I chose the fence! :-)

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  • watersketchDecember 22nd, 2021 at 7:37 pm

    I get it – everyone at TTAC is on vacation or in Covid protocol. You don’t need to rerun articles from 1985.

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  • Inside Looking OutDecember 22nd, 2021 at 8:36 pm

    I do not understand one thing – how you are going to lock steering wheel in the car that does not have steering wheel? No MT, no steering wheel, no gas and no brake pedals – it all will be gone with ICE after 2025.

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  • macmcmacmacDecember 27th, 2021 at 12:01 am

    Oddly enough, I saw a perfectly preserved Ford Tempo in all its teal early 90’s glory locked up snugly with a Club last summer in Ottawa. For a second it seemed like 1992 again. Except no one put a Club on a Tempo even in 1992.

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  • DweezilSFVJanuary 7th, 2022 at 11:21 am

    ‘Owners of a Saturn Ion, for example, will be completely out of luck. All the same, one would have to wonder what type of thief bothers to steal an Ion’

    I left the keys in the trunk of my year old 05 ION, parked in the driveway, overnight, a block from Motel Row on Sepulveda Blvd in Van Nuys, CA.The car was still there in the morning.

    As a matter of fact… it’s still in my driveway.

    Do not mock. I take pride in the ION having won the “Ten Worst Cars Available Today Award” from TTAC. Value enhancer for me.

    Great piece. Nicely written. I have two Clubs. Good value, both at least 20 years old.

    The Club makes a double threat for a thief with my 63 Valiant: 3 speed on the column, The Club. Triple actually: no power steering either.

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