Reviews | The Drive

Add Security to Your Car With These Steering Wheel Locks

Prevent vehicular theft with these steering wheel locks.

With decades of combined experience covering the latest news, reviewing the greatest gear, and advising you on your next car purchase, The Drive is the leading authority on all things automotive.

youtubefacebookinstagram

The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. Read more.

BYHank O'Hop/ LAST UPDATED ON January 19, 2022

It's a fact that steering wheel locks are defeatable. Through the wonder of Google, you'll find people everywhere who can easily pick the lock or cut through them with some power tools. Most will follow up their success of defeating the system by saying these things are that effective. That's simply not true.


Here's another fact: Car thieves don't want to stick around too long. Even if they can defeat your security measures, the longer it takes them to steal a car, the more likely it is that they will be caught. The more difficult it is to defeat, the better. Which is why you want to take your time shopping around. The good news is that you're about to learn a little more about how to do just that.

Best Overall

The Club 1000 Steering Wheel Lock

Summary

A tried-and-true design from a company that’s been specializing in steering-wheel locks for decades.

Pros
  • High-quality construction 
  • Easy to use 
  • Stands out to thieves 
  • Accompanied with first-year guarantee
Cons
  • Lock jams in cold weather 
  • Popularity makes it familiar to thieves
Best Value

FLK Tech Universal Anti-Theft Steering Wheel Lock

Summary

This three-point fixed lock works with airbags and fits most car models. It is made of heat-treated steel.

Pros
  • Affordable price point 
  • Universal fit
  • Bright yellow color 
  • Easy to use 


Cons
  • Poor fit on many models 
  • Plastic parts are easy to cut through
Honorable Mention

Stoplock 'Professional' - Steering Wheel Lock

Summary
The Stoplock works as hard to make itself known as it does to protect your belongings. 


Pros
  • Highly visible 
  • Designed to trigger horn when tampered with 
  • Lock design makes it difficult to cut free 
Cons
  • Fit may be off 
  • Quality control issues are somewhat common
Add Security to Your Car With These Steering Wheel Locks

Our Methodology 

You already know that there's a formula we have to stick to. Doing the research is how we're able to avoid recommending total junk. That said, it's only fair to give you a little bit of insight on what exactly I look for in steering wheel locks. 

Perhaps the most important aspect is to ensure that anything I'm recommending is made well. It's important to make sure whatever I'm recommending is going to do its job well enough to give car thieves a real headache to deal with. I also made sure to consider what different people are willing to use, which is why you'll find a mix of different types on the list below. 

Why Trust Us

Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

Learn more

Best Steering Wheel Locks Reviews & Recommendations 

While the Club might not be the most exotic option out there, there’s no denying it’s the right fit for most people. It’s simple and easy to use, priced right for the quality, and works well. The blend of solid steel and chromoly make it resistant to sawing, prying, hammering, and freon attacks. The standard red-and-black color scheme helps it to pronounce itself to thieves, but a navy-blue-and-black combo is also available for those who prefer something a little more subtle. The Club also comes backed with a generous first-year guarantee: If your car gets stolen while the Club is in use, the company will pay up to $1,800 against your insurance deductible.


The locking mechanism can get a little jammed in colder climates, however. Making sure that it’s always well-lubricated helps prevent that issue. Also, it’s very well-known, which can mean more thieves are aware of its weak points. 


Specs

Manufacturer: Winner International 

Part Number: 1000

Fit: Fits steering wheels with an 8.75- to 14-inch inner diameter 


Pros:

  • High-quality construction 
  • Easy to use 
  • Stands out to thieves 
  • Accompanied with first-year guarantee

Cons:

  • Lock jams in cold weather 
  • Popularity makes it familiar to thieves 

The FLK lock is a great option if you're after something affordable and simple. Unlike the Club, this does not need to be adjusted to the inner diameter of a steering wheel. Instead, it clamps onto the edge of the wheel, using the protruding rod using the dash to secure the wheel. This design element makes installation effortless and provides a universal fit. Also, the bright-yellow color makes it immediately visible, which is the real reason we placed it on our list.


While being seen is half the battle, the use of plastic parts will drive many to pick something else. Also, the fit is not perfect as the mechanism is not adjustable. It does fit firmly on many steering wheels, but it is an issue for others, and you want to read reviews to see if it will work for your vehicle. 


Specs

Manufacturer: FLK Tech 

Part Number: FLS0136

Fit: Universal 

Pros:

  • Affordable  
  • Universal fit
  • Bright yellow
  • Easy to use 

Cons:

  • Poor fit on many models 
  • Plastic parts are easy to cut through 

Think of the Twin Hook club like the original Club on steroids. It features many of the same basic features — chromoly steel, an easy-to-use layout, and a highly-visible body that easily warns thieves of its presence. One of the most noticeable updates is the yellow paint job, which is a lot easier to spot than traditional colors. Also, this uses a twin-hook layout that grips the steering wheel from multiple angles, with the idea being that it forces thieves to make multiple cuts. In theory, this layout increases the amount of time it takes to remove it. 


The design would be ideal if there wasn't one major issue holding it back. This is relatively easy to bend, meaning some thieves can remove it within seconds. A well-known lock-picking YouTube channel revealed a design flaw that makes it easy to defeat the ratcheting lock mechanism without brute force. 


Specs

Manufacturer: Winner International 

Part Number: 3000

Fit: Fits wheels with up to 14.4-inch inside diameter 


Pros:

  • Highly visible color 
  • Easy to install 
  • Updated design increases removal time for traditional approaches

Cons:

  • Appears to bend easily
  • Ratchet mechanism can be beaten with relative ease for experienced lock pickers

Yes, the club is back once again. Only this time, it's taking a different approach to locking the wheel down. This model is designed to lock the wheel to a pedal of your choosing. When installed, the wheel is physically anchored to the pedal, which is a very effective way of limiting the travel of the steering system. And because it's a Club, the installation is every bit as simple as it could be. The cost of this is about half of many others from Winner International, making it an excellent runner-up for Best Value. 


This model does not easily declare itself to thieves, meaning they may not notice it until they are already inside your car. It only grips the wheel from one point, meaning cutting the wheel in one spot is all it takes to remove it. 


Specs

Manufacturer: Winner International 

Part Number: CL303

Fit: Universal 


Pros:

  • Easy to install 
  • Very effective at limiting range of motion 
  • Affordable price point

Cons:

  • Not highly visible 
  • One cut to the wheel can easily remove it 

Our Verdict 

The Club 1000 Steering Wheel Lock is a favorite for many reasons. It's simple, relatively affordable, and does the job well. However, something like the FLK Tech Universal Anti-Theft Steering Wheel Lock does offer budget-friendly protection. The call is yours. Reach out and tell us what the best steering wheel lock is.

Buying Guide

Here's everything you need to know before buying a steering wheel lock. 

Types of Steering Wheel Locks 

Enclosed Lock 

An enclosed steering wheel lock looks just like it sounds. It completely covers the steering wheel, locking it from use. These locks provide a high level of security for obvious reasons, and they'll require a lot of effort to crack, which is bad news for any would-be thief. Their downside is they are bulky, heavy, and more difficult to stow away.

Traditional Lock 

This is the most common design among steering wheel locks. They are basically bar-shaped and have hook ends that attach to opposite spokes of the steering wheel to prevent it from turning. The advantage of this design is that it gets the job done while having a manageable footprint.

Wheel-to-Pedal Lock 

These are designed to hook onto both the steering wheel and the brake or clutch pedal, preventing both from use. This makes them effective as a security measure since they offer double protection. The tradeoff is that they are less visible from the outside and might serve as a deterrent only after the thief has already broken into your car.

Key Features

Rugged Construction

What is any kind of security measure worth if it isn't built well? Car thieves will find the weakest part of a steering wheel lock and exploit it. Some models even feature plastic in crucial areas that make it easy enough to break the lock, rendering the entire thing useless. Something is better than nothing, but if you can afford models with better materials, that’s what you should go with. 

On that note, you don't want cheap parts anywhere. There are plenty of instances where lock cylinders freeze up or jam, leaving the owners with no choice but to cut it away.

Visibility 

It's no coincidence that many locks are highly visible. In fact, many use brightly colored paint to make themselves better to see from outside of the vehicle. That's because being seen is half the battle. 

Car thieves want things to go as smoothly so they can spend the least amount of time doing the deed as possible. If they can see that there's a lock standing in their way, they're more likely to move on to an easier target. Keep in mind that this doesn't mean that just anything should be used as there are determined enough to take on this obstacle. So, it's still important to ensure you're using a decent device. 

Proper Fit 

Double-check the fitment of anything you're considering to ensure it will fit your application. There aren't many intended for a single steering-wheel size. Most work with a set range of sizes, and you'll want to make sure your steering wheel is within spec. Because most fit a number of applications, you aren't likely to find the perfect fit, which can be something of a security issue. That's why a lot of people opt to modify their steering wheel lock with padding and otherwise to achieve a snug fit. 

Tips

Hide the goods. Thieves aren't just interested in your car; they'll make due with what's in it. If you have to keep anything of value inside, make sure to keep it out of sight.

More than a single measure. Steering wheel locks can only do so much. Park in highly visible areas, lock your doors, install other devices. The more difficult a target your car is, the better off you are.

Your car is valuable enough. The most commonly stolen cars aren't high-end luxury cars. Anything goes in the den of thieves. It's worth protecting your car, no matter what it is.

The less who know, the better. This is one of those situations where obscure options are great. The less popular a steering wheel lock is, the less likely a thief will know how to break through it. 

FAQs

You've got questions. The Drive has answers. 

Q: Will steering wheel locks damage my steering wheel?

A lock that's improperly sized for your vehicle can leave scuff marks or scratches, but one with the right size shouldn't be a problem with proper care and use. In any case, you can always put a soft layer of padding between the points of contact for additional protection.

Q: How do I properly install a steering wheel?

This will largely depend on the steering wheel lock's design. For the conventional bar type, just extend the lock until both hook ends fix themselves on opposite spokes of the steering wheel, then lock it in place with the key.

Q: What if I lose the keys to the lock?

If you can locate your spare key, try that first. If you've managed to lose that too, then call a locksmith before attempting anything drastic like using a hacksaw or drilling the lock cylinder. 

Q: What kind of steering wheel lock is best?

Any steering wheel lock that's built strong enough to resist all kinds of tampering will work well, but we feel that a well-constructed wheel-to-pedal lock is particularly effective since it prevents both your steering wheel and pedal from being used.

stripe
stripe