How To Prevent Steering Wheel Theft? (Simple Ways)

Let’s talk about a rising and surprisingly lucrative crime: steering wheel theft. Sure, it sounds obscure, but make no mistake, the stakes are high—especially considering the tech advances in today’s steering wheels.

You’re likely driving around with a gadget-packed steering wheel worth a staggering $1,500. Add an airbag to the equation, and that’s another $1,000, at least. Quick math? You’ve got a $2,500+ asset just sitting there, ripe for the picking. 

The question is, how to prevent steering wheel theft?

To prevent steering wheel theft, consider these robust strategies: Secure your car within a locked garage whenever possible, opt for well-lit, safe parking areas, and invest in high-quality steering wheel locks equipped with alarm systems. Additionally, you can use an adapter that allows you to detach the steering wheel, enabling you to take it with you and further deter would-be thieves.

Ready to level up your car’s security game? Let’s dive in!

How To Prevent Steering Wheel Theft

We all know of steering locks but they only protect against the car being driven away and don’t secure the steering wheel itself.

While we don’t know of a steering wheel lock that can lock the steering onto the car, some other devices can help prevent steering wheel theft.

That’s what we’ll go through first.

Use A Steering Wheel Lock With Alarm

Use A Steering Wheel Lock With Alarm

These steering wheel locks won’t stop the wheel from being removed but it will set off a loud siren that will bring unwanted attention to the thief.

These types of thieves will rather move onto the next vehicle that doesn’t have a siren locked to the wheel.


Attach An Alarm Lock To The Steering

Attach An Alarm Lock To The Steering

This one is very similar to the steering wheel lock above as it also sounds off a loud siren if there is any movement detected. These loud sirens can definitely deter and stop opportunistic thieves in their tracks.

Here’s an example of a big alarm lock that will fit any steering wheel.

With big enough bolt cutters any lock can be cut but steering wheel thieves don’t carry bolt cutters on them because they never need them, unless you have this alarm lock on your steering which they won’t suspect.


Use A Steering Wheel Adapter

Use A Steering Wheel Adapter

If you use a steering wheel adapter like this one on Amazon, you can detach your steering wheel and take it with you wherever you go.

It may feel a bit inconvenient on your shopping trips or family outings but at least your steering wheel can’t be stolen out of your car.

You could put it in your gym locker while you exercise. You can store it in your work locker at work and you can keep it in your bedroom at night when it’s parked in the garage.

Just make sure your steering is compatible with the adapter before making your decision.


Use Anti Smash Film With A Tint

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You can use car window tint film to make the process of stealing the steering wheel longer and more difficult.

This type of film will make it harder for thieves to break through, compared to the window alone. It will take them more time and it will be a noisy process.


Have Motion Detection Cameras Monitoring Your Parked Car

This might not be viable for when you’re shopping or even when you’re parked at work but it’s extremely effective when your car is parked at home in your garage or driveway.

With a motion detection camera keeping tabs on your car, you can receive alerts to your phone if there’s anyone doing anything to your vehicle.

If you receive the alert and see someone messing with your vehicle you can potentially chase them away before they steal anything.

If you do manage to get rid of the potential thief, contact the police to report the attempted theft. They will want to log the incident in their data banks for statistical analysis and future crime prevention.

If you don’t manage to chase them away and they’ve stolen your steering wheel, at least you’ll have video evidence of the crime being committed for the police.

Copy the video onto a cheap flash drive and take it with to the police station when you give your official statement of the incident.


Additional Precautions To Prevent Steering Wheel Theft

Besides making use of the security devices above to prevent your steering from being stolen, you should also practice the following security habits.


Always Lock The Vehicle

Even if you’re just running in somewhere for a minute and think that your car is perfectly safe without you there, still lock your car up.

Even if you can see your car at all times you still need to lock it every time.

Many robbers go up to random cars and pull on the handles to check if the locking was forgotten.

If you neglect to lock the car you’re probably leaving the alarm deactivated as well, so you won’t even have the chance to hear the alarm if someone is stealing the steering wheel.


Close Your Windows

Always remember to close your windows whenever you’re about to exit your vehicle. An open window can make it easier for your steering wheel to get stolen.

If you have a sunroof, make sure that is closed tightly as well. Criminals always take advantage of security flaws like car owners forgetting their windows down.


Park In A Closed Garage

I know it may seem obvious to park in your garage if you have one but what I am advocating here is that you never ever break the rule.

Even if you’re just home for a quick lunch, park your car in your garage if you have one, and lock the garage door.

Taking an extra minute or two out of your lunch will be worth the safety of your vehicle.

Besides hiding the vehicle from thieves, the garage door will be another barrier of protection slowing them down or making them noisy if they try to gain entrance.


Park In A Well-Lit Area

If you driving around at night, make sure to park in areas where it is well lit. Criminals love doing their dirty work in the dark where nobody can see them.

Rather pay for a safe parking space instead of parking in the street for free, especially if you going to leave your car unattended for a few hours.


How To Get Your Stolen Steering Wheel Back

If you are the unfortunate victim of steering wheel theft, it’s best to be prepared for the possibility of finding the stolen wheel.

It will also be good to provide the police with as much information as possible to assist them in finding the steering wheel.


Uniquely mark your steering wheel

Marking the back of your steering wheel with a UV pen can be useful if it does get stolen. You could write down the vehicle registration number of your car to help prove your ownership of it.


Take photos of your steering serial number

If your steering wheel does get stolen and you have photos of the serial number, you will easily be able to prove that it belongs to you if the police find it anywhere.

If you see it online for sale or at any second-hand stores you will have a strong case to prove that it’s stolen and get it back.


Conclusion: Steering Wheel Locks

There have been stories in the news lately about thieves stealing car steering wheels to sell as scrap. They are doing this because they can make hundreds of dollars for a steering wheel, and it’s very easy to do. So, I thought I would share what I believe to be the best way to prevent this from happening to you and your car.

There aren’t any good ways of locking your steering wheel down into your car but there are plenty of techniques you can use to help prevent steering wheel theft as listed above.

The siren locks will deter thieves as they will sound off as soon as they move the steering. Keeping your doors locked and windows shut whenever you aren’t in your car will also protect everything inside it including the steering wheel.

Cameras will help for monitoring your car at home and keeping it in a locked garage will also prevent any vandalism to a high degree. Avoiding dark areas when parking your car will also help keep it safe.

If you mark your steering wheel and take photos of the serial number if there is one, it will go a long way in getting the steering wheel back.

Following the techniques outlined here, you will not only protect your steering wheel from theft but the whole vehicle and anything inside as well.

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Edward Clark
Edward Clark, with 15 years of hands-on experience, is a distinguished expert in smart locks and home security systems. He holds a B.S. in Computer Engineering with a focus on Cybersecurity and is a member of the Electronic Security Association (ESA). His credentials include certifications from ASIS International, IAPP, CompTIA, NTS, and CEDIA. With expertise spanning risk management, electronic security, and data privacy, he's been featured in The Guardian, Forbes, Wired, and more. Edward's mission: guiding individuals toward secure homes using the latest technologies.

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