We were told back in the day that as cars got more and more advanced so they would be harder to steal, and car thefts would decline or they may in fact stop completely. That’ll teach us to believe everything the car manufacturers tell us! Whilst it’s true that car thefts did decline for a while, today they are climbing again, and car theft is, sadly, becoming a common problem once again.
Car thieves simply found ways around the new high tech protections like keyless entry systems and immobilisers. This in turn has seen a real resurgence in the more old fashioned types of car security. Yes, a modern car thief may be able to clone your keys, but they won’t find such an easy solution to a good, solid lump of metal secured to the steering wheel. That’s why the best steering wheel locks can provide not only the last line of defence against theft, these days they can be an extremely effective deterrent too.
In this guide we’ll check out some of the best on the market right now, and see how you can add some old fashioned steel to your cars defences.
The Best Steering Wheel Lock
Welcome to The Club. Don’t worry, there aren’t any weird initiation ceremonies here, you won’t have to kiss a turkey or anything, because this is a different club – one that is dedicated to keeping your car safe. The Club is a product range from Winner International, representing high quality and patent protected car security equipment. This product here is the Original Steering Wheel Lock, a time honored design.
So what features does The Club bring to the table? Well, first and foremost there are the solid steel hooks. They combine with a Cro-Moly steel construction (Cro-Moly is an extra tough steel alloy) that resists sawing and other attempts to damage or remove the lock by mechanical means.
In addition, this wheel lock has a pretty long extension, making it a universal fit for the steering wheels of most types of vehicles – cars, SUV’s and small to medium trucks should all be within it’s remit. It’s easy to fit, with The Club’s patented one click locking mechanism. Releasing the device is also nice and simple, stopping you having to mess around on cold winter’s mornings, always a nice feature to have!
Un-extended it’s only about 9 or 10 inches long and weighs less than 8 pounds so it’s easy to store when not in use. It’s also lovely bright red color, so Mr (or Miss) car thief can easily see it when it has been locked in place – hopefully making it an effective deterrent.
Patented Locking Feature
Solid Steel Hooks
Cro-Moly Steel Construction
Resists Physical Attack
Universal Fit for a Range of Vehicle Types
- BrandWinner International
- Weight7.8 lbs
This is a car steering lock that has definitely been to fashion school. No bright reds or yellows in the construction here, we have a more classic look that incorporates polished steel and simple black foam. That of course does have the disadvantage of perhaps making this a bit less of a visual deterrent compared to a brightly colored steering wheel lock that can be seen from far away.
That polished steel not only looks good, it is also a hardened alloy for added protection. The real standout feature has to be the lock however. First of all, the lock cylinder is designed with high-level security in mind. It’s extremely flush with the chamber, making it very hard to get any implement in there to damage it. The cylinder is also designed to defeat power drills by having a free spinning construction. The keys themselves are laser cut and boast a Snakelike Groove design, nearly impossible to duplicate.
There are a few other cool features, one of which is the fact the handle ends in a hardened point. This is an emergency glass-breaking hammer, a feature you don’t see too often. Just make sure you keep the plastic cap attached to protect your own glass!
Protected Key Cylinder
Emergency Glass Breaker
Hardened Steel Construction
- Weight3.05 lbs
This is our second entry from Winner International and it is another member of “The Club”. As you can see from the image, it is of a different design to the one that we saw previously, with this wheel lock employing a double hook style of design. Other than that design change though we are still seeing the rest of the design features that made the 1000 model such an attractive option.
So that means we have Cro-Moly alloy steel construction – remember this is a super tough steel alloy that is designed to resist attacks by saws and other mechanical instruments. We have a long extension designed for a universal fit across a range of vehicle types. We also have the patented and easy to use self-locking mechanism. Finally, this wheel lock is bright yellow, making it a very easy to see deterrent.
The main change then lies in the way it attaches to the steering wheel itself. This model employs a twin hook style of design, which is intended to create a more secure seal between lock and wheel for a device that thieves find tough to beat. Which design you prefer will really be a personal preference, but this is undoubtedly a well designed and well constructed car wheel lock from a very reputable manufacturer.
Twin Hook Design
Patented Self Locking Feature
- BrandWinner International
- Weight3.48 lbs
This very unique design of steering wheel lock comes from Discklok, a company based in the UK, a country with it’s own issues with car crime. To combat this, Disklok has come up with this very innovative design, totally different from anything else that’s seen on the market – and, as the design is patent protected, you’re unlikely to see any other versions either.
As you will have seen from the image then, this device effectively encloses the entire steering wheel, making it very difficult to remove. The exterior shell is made of hardened steel to resist attack, but that is not actually the true stand out feature. Instead, it’s what you can’t see that’s most impressive.
The lock doesn’t actually attach to the wheel. It encloses it without fixing to it, and internal wheels allow it to spin in place. This helps it deflect physical assaults as well as making it even harder to remove by a potential car thief. It’s all pretty interesting stuff!
It also comes with no less than 3 sets of keys (you really don’t want to lose them) and a 3-year mechanical warranty. It is pretty big and bulky, that’s true – but it also provides an incredible degree of security.
Patented, Totally Unique Design
Spins to Prevent Impact Damage
- Weight8.82 lbs
Here we have Winner International back for a third bite of the cherry, and they are coming with a pretty innovative design here. The big stand out feature with this design relates to the method by which it connects to the steering wheel. This is a model of anti-theft steering wheel lock that works by connecting the steering wheel itself to either the clutch or brake pedals.
This has the advantage of double anchor points to pretty important parts of the vehicle controls, after all it’s going to be tough to drive away a car if the thief can use neither the brake pedal or the steering wheel. We should also point out as well that this device is a member of the Winner International The Club series that we’ve been banging on about.
That means that it comes equipped with the patented locking feature that’s easy to use and a very strong construction – though this model only has general hardened steel rather than the specialist steel alloy seen on the previous two Club models. That is perhaps testament to the lower price of this unit, which boasts a price tag of about 10 bucks. That definitely makes it one of the more budget models from this manufacturer, but it is still packed with useful features.
Connects Wheel to Clutch or Brake Pedal
Bright Red Finish for High Visibility
The Clue Patented Self Locking Feature
Tempered Steel Construction
- BrandWinner International
- Weight2.45 lbs
Our next entry is another interesting design, this time from the manufacturer EFORCAR. This steering wheel lock features a rear-mounted bar that is designed to sit flush with the top of the instrument display cowling. It happily sits atop there and prevents any movement of the wheel.
This design brings two useful features. The first is the fact that because it clamps over the steering wheel, it has a near universal fit. Whilst many steering wheels can differ in width or length, generally speaking there’s not too much difference in their thickness. That means this design will fit the majority of wheels.
The second feature is that this is a very high visibility deterrent, with that thick yellow strip laid right out in the windshield, as an effective deterrent to any would be thieves. Speaking of the strip by the way, it has been coated in vinyl to prevent scratching the car interior.
Because it doesn’t have to span the full length of the steering wheel, this wheel lock is also pretty small. That makes it easier to transport and store it when not in use. It is also designed for easy installation/removal, making it a very user-friendly car steering wheel lock.
Small & Easy to Store
Vinyl Coated to Protect Surfaces
- Weight1.7 lbs
Jeez Louise, another one of The Clubs. This is the 4th product to make our list, so Winner International must be doing something right. This product is, as the title suggests, a Basic model. So it has a few design choices where it differs from the 1000 model original, and it is also missing a few of the bells and whistles found on the premium Clubs.
A good feature right off the bat is the fact that the twin hooks are of solid steel construction. That, combined with the traditional Cro-Moly alloy steel construction means this steering wheel lock is one tough cookie – exactly what you would expect from a member of The Club.
On the downside, this lacks the auto-lock feature that is a stand out on more premium models. In reality this means that you must insert the key and manually lock the bar into place, instead of the simple click and lock action on other models. That is going to make it a little more fiddly to use, as well as potentially putting a bit more wear and tear on the lock itself.
Still, it’s Winner International quality whist keeping a few extra bucks in your pocket, so that’s good to see.
Solid Steel Hooks
Wide Opening (16.3 Inches)
Cro-Moly Alloy Steel
- BrandWinner International
- Weight3.5 lbs
A point of order and a confession may seem strange ways to start a product review, but there we go. So first of, this product only work on GM and Chrysler vehicles. If you drive any other car, then fire up your Ford or take off in your Toyota as this product is not for you.
Next, a confession, and it is one we’ve made before. Here at Car Bibles we like to bring you products that think outside the box a little and that is exactly what we have here. If you’re starring at the image of this item wondering how the heck you lock the steering wheel with this device, then the simple answer is that you don’t.
Instead, this tool makes it easy for you to remove the steering wheel altogether – again, to stress, only in GM & Chrysler models. Now, you don’t want to be removing the steering wheel every time you park up, so this is not an alternative for a traditional steering wheel lock.
This could however be an item to consider if you have a vehicle that is not always on the road. If you have a summer soft-top for example that doesn’t see much winter driving, or a vehicle you park up away from your home. Instead of locking the steering wheel, simply remove it – probably the ultimate deterrent to theft!
Works no GM & Chrysler Vehicles
Depresses Locking Plate
- ModelSteering Wheel Lock Plate
- Weight12 oz
Best Steering Wheel Locks Buying Guide & FAQ
What things should you bear in mind when you are buying a steering wheel lock? What features make for the best lock, why should you use one anyways and just what types of locks are on the market right now?
In the next section, you’ll find the answers to these and many other questions. Well, a few other questions anyway. There’s a limit to how much even we can get enthusiastic about car security locks.
Things to Consider When Buying a Steering Wheel Lock
When you are picking out the model that is best for you, bear in mind that the best steering wheel locks on the market are going to have some common features, such as:
Visibility. We like a car steering wheel lock that is easy to see, so for us that means lots of red and yellow in the construction and design. Why? Well because we want Mr (or Miss) Car Thief to be able to see the lock from a long way away. We want them to see it from the other side of the street, and decide our car is too much hassle to even try breaking into, let alone stealing.
Universal Fit. Most of the locks on the list will fit the vast majority of modern steering wheels. Take a look at the hook opening gaps to double check, but unless you are driving an 18-wheeler or a tank of some description you should be fine. Still, a universal fit makes it even more likely to be the right size.
Resists Physical Attacks. If a car thief breaks into your car then they must be very determined to steal it. If they break in having already seen the wheel lock, you’ve got to assume they have the tools to tackle it. The best steering wheel locks will resist those attacks for as long as possible. That means the thief is out there making noise for a longer, and the longer they do that the more chance there is they will be disturbed or lose their nerve and run away. Look for hardened steel in the construction, or steel alloys designed to resists saws.
Why Get a Steering Wheel Lock for Your Car?
Why spring for a steering wheel lock? Well, for us there are two real reasons why they make for a good investment, which are:
Deterrent Factor. First and foremost, they stop people stealing your car. That, we imagine, is important to you.
Peace of Mind. Secondly, if you are the type of person who worries about where they park their car, throwing a steering wheel lock can give you a little extra peace of mind.
Types of Steering Wheel Locks
There are, broadly speaking, three different types of steering wheel lock on the market today. They are:
- Traditional Lock – These types make up the bulk of models on the market right now, which is why most of the models on the list above are of this type. They are generally bar shaped, and usually attach to the wheel via hooks or extendable arms that slot into the spokes and lock in place.
- Wheel to Pedal Lock – A slightly different beast than the models described above. It’s still bar shaped, and it still has hooks for attaching to the steering wheel. The big difference is that the other end of the bar is designed to hook up to one of the pedals – usually the brake pedal. It’s an interesting little design, as it essentially stops the thief from using two control points – the steering wheel and the pedals.
- Enclosed Lock – Finally, the last style of steering wheel lock you’ll see are the enclosed versions. Unlike the bar, they don’t simply hook onto the wheel, they completely enclose it in a hardened steel shell. This means that they provide a very high level of physical security, though the pay off is that they are both big and pretty heavy.
Q: What is a steering wheel lock?
A: It is a device that locks onto the steering wheel of a car. In this way, unless it is removed first, it impedes the movement of the wheel, making the car impossible to control. If it can’t be driven, then it can’t be stolen.
Q: How do steering wheel locks work?
A: They work by locking around the steering wheel. How it does this can differ depending on the design and model (see above for more info on that). But why would you go to the effort of wrapping a metal bar around your steering wheel? Well, they provide a real deterrent factor against car thieves, that’s why. For one thing, you can’t drive a car properly (or even at all) with a wheel lock in place.
Also look at it from the car thief’s point of view. What are they looking at when they assess if they are going to steal a specific vehicle? They are looking for speed and silence. A wheel lock prevents both of those. It stops them making a quick getaway, it also stops them doing it quietly as they have to wrestle with the wheel lock – often using power tools to try to defeat them.
Q: How do I install a steering wheel lock?
A: They are as simple as pie. Attach the lock depending on the design – so thread the hooks through the steering wheel gaps, attach the wheel to the pedals or enclose it entirely. Lock the device and walk away. Simple, simple, simple.
Q: Will steering wheel locks leave marks on my steering wheel?
A: They won’t damage any surfaces provided you use a little care when applying the lock. If you are very concerned about marks, feel free to add some scrap material or a old cloth between the wheel surface and the hooks to prevent any accidental scuffing. Not too much of course, and make sure that removing the fabric doesn’t also remove the lock itself!
Q: I lost my key, what do I do?
A: The first thing to do is don’t panic! Almost all steering wheel locks come with a spare, so try to locate that as the first priority. Failing that, if the keys are really lost then you are going to have to remove the steering wheel lock – easier said than done since they designed to not be removed like that!
A locksmith would be a good person to try. They may be able to come to you, or you may have to arrange to have the car towed to them. An alternative is to attack the device with a saw – a manual hacksaw or an angle grinder should do the trick. Just be careful of the steering wheel & steering wheel column whilst you remove it, you don’t want to do any damage to them. Oh, and remember that you may have to explain to any passing cops that you are not actually stealing the vehicle!
Our Top Pick
As the old saying goes, if it’s not broke then don’t fix it – and The Club 1000 Original Steering Wheel Lock from Winner International is a perfect real life example of this. This is a time honored, patent protected design that has been around for ages precisely because even as car security has become more high-tech, there is still a lot of security to be gained from a nice lump of steel locked to the steering wheel.
The Club is a very nice piece of steel. It is in fact a steel alloy, a material specially selected for use here due to its resistance to sawing and other mechanical attacks. It’s easy to store, has a universal fit, is simple to apply and remove and has a lovely, high visibility red paint scheme to broadcast to all potential thieves that’s it is in place – so don’t even bother trying to steal this vehicle.
For all these reasons then we’re happy to name it the best steering wheel lock on our list. Welcome to The Club!