Top 8 Best Steering Wheel Locks
By | Last updated: May 15, 2020
best steering wheel locks

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.

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

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 buying

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

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

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

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?

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

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

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 habits operating 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 / Shutterstock.com. Product images provided by the manufacturer.]

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


  • avatar
    3SpeedAutomatic

    A stick shift manual transmission is the latest in auto theft deterrents. Gen X, Y, Z, think all cars come with automatic by default.

    I’m sure they don’t even know what a window crank is. They would suffocate looking for the non-existant power door lock button and power window switches in my old ’63 Beetle.

    • 0 avatar
      psychoboy

      Gen X is somewhere between 40 and 55 these days. Nearly all of them know about manual transmissions and most of them can operate the oldfangled things.

      Go yell at some clouds or something.

      • 0 avatar
        spookiness

        @psychoboy. Srlsy. GenX is well with the range of having learned to drive when 3 on the tree was still around (how I learned) and very familiar with 80’s econoboxes and Honda’s from their heyday. If anything, GenX are probably some of the more fanatical save-the-manual evangelists.

    • 0 avatar
      jack4x

      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.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        That would be your great grandfather, not “gramps”. Even the leading-edge boomers were seeing computers in their twenties the 1970s, and by the time they retired in 2008-2013, were more than familiar with computers and peripherals.

        You made the same mistake @3SpeedAutomatic made, but in the other direction.

        • 0 avatar
          jack4x

          The comment was obviously tongue in cheek, but if it makes you feel better, neither of my grandfathers were the least bit computer savvy when they were alive.

      • 0 avatar
        randyinrocklin

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

      • 0 avatar
        ToolGuy

        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. :-)

    • 0 avatar
      Kendahl

      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.

    • 0 avatar
      Carfan94

      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.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        That brings up my favorite anti-theft strategy: drive a vehicle nobody wants to steal. Nobody wanted my heavily dented 1965 Chrysler Newport, my 1963 Dodge Dart, or my 1968 Buick LeSabre. My 1980 Buick Regal was stolen twice, the second time recovered stripped, and my 1983 Honda Accord hatch was never seen again.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    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?

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      A cheap “Better Call Saul” phone can work as good as a LoJack. You or police can track it, and it’s still a phone you can use as a backup to your smart phone.

  • avatar
    Garak

    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.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      That is what I was thinking. They still make these? Which I guess is answered by: do people still buy these? If the later is yes then so is the former.

      I put my last Club sighting at more like 25 years ago. It was sitting on the floor in the back seat of some POS. Apparently even that owner had given up bothering to deploy it after parking.

      • 0 avatar
        tankinbeans

        The last time I saw one being used was around 20 years ago. The car belonged to a friend’s dad and could be started with a flat head screwdriver.

        What I’m more curious about is when vehicles stopped the lockout of the ignition when the steering wheel was cranked past a noticeable detent. I remember years ago helping a customer at Walmart get her Mercedes started. She was trying to call a tow truck when on a whim I asked what the problem was.
        “Won’t start.” I asked her some clarifying questions and she mentioned another weird issue being that the steering wheel wouldn’t move. I told her then to crank the wheel all the way over and try the key. At this point the car started. I haven’t seen a car that’s done this in quite some time.

        • 0 avatar
          psychoboy

          Most of the modern Hondas I see still do this, but the lock is so far off center that most people never engage it, they leave the wheel straight and pull the key, and the wheel doesn’t get turned again until the key is back in the igntion.

          But, if the wheel *does* happen to get turned, and it locks, they start calling the dealership with the same story as your Mercedes lady.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            It’s not the steering wheel that won’t unlock, it the steering wheel that won’t allow the ignition to unlock (to unlock the steering wheel).

            They put the key in, but it won’t turn. Although it’s not the steering wheel preventing the opening of the ignition, it’s the steering system.

            When they shut the car off with it steered at or near full crank, or it’s parked against the curb or bumpstop too, it puts tension on the lock cylinder through the steering column from the weight of the car.

            Since at/near full crank, the caster angle lifts the car a bit. This is effortless thanks to power steering, but once you shut the car off, the steering wheel snaps toward center a bit, sort of locking or pinning the lock mechanism.

            If you’re parked on a steep incline and turned hard into the curb, it could take a lot of force on the steering wheel, farther away from center to unlock the ignition.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      https://www.statista.com/statistics/191216/reported-motor-vehicle-theft-rate-in-the-us-since-1990/

      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.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    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”.

    youtube.com/watch?v=lU82KlRxS2w

    They’re more of a hassle for the user.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Like those sunscreens, who uses those?

      • 0 avatar
        JMII

        I still use a sunscreen over the dash. Being in FL means dealing with a too hot to touch interior and 5 mins of running the A/C at full blast in an effort to not drown in a pool of sweat.

      • 0 avatar
        Carfan94

        Lie2me

        Are you talking about about sunshades for the windsheild? I use one for my Lexus. I live in Memphis, And it helps protect the interior from the sun. Particularly of you have an older car with wood and leather, like mine.

        Also it makes the steering wheel and other surfaces bearable to touch. My black dashboard feels like it’s hot enough to bake cookies on without a sunshade.

        Also I don’t park under trees.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          I guess it’s regional then, I don’t live in a very sunny or hot place so people just don’t use them here. Ten years ago they seemed pretty popular, but not so much anymore

          • 0 avatar
            Lorenzo

            When I lived in New England, dealers couldn’t sell AC. Now almost every car has AC, and New Englanders finally learned how to de-fog their windshield.

          • 0 avatar
            CobraJet

            I live in the south and have sunshades in all my cars. Protects dash pads and steering wheels.

    • 0 avatar
      Flipper35

      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.

  • avatar
    stuntmonkey

    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….

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      I used to keep a sand wedge by my front door, a 3-iron is too long and unwieldy. Now I have a crowbar at home, and a tire iron in the car, on the floor next to the driver’s seat.

  • avatar
    mcs

    This is better than a wheel lock:

    https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/tesla-model-3-carjacking-locks-app/

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    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”.

    • 0 avatar
      CobraJet

      I use an old school Club on my 69 Mustang. As an added bonus the Mustang has a rim blow steering wheel. For those who don’t know a rim blow wheel has a rubber insert on the inside circumference of the wheel. Squeezing the wheel at any point blows the horn. So any movement or pulling on the Club will sound the horn.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    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.

    • 0 avatar
      dividebytube

      Yeah the armored collar was still a thing back in the aughts when I was part of a G-Body/Monte Carlo SS forum.

      My own (and now departed) 1986 Monte Carlo had an electronic doo-hickey that hid to be slid into a slot under the dash to start the car. The previous owner also put in a secret kill switch. One that I accidentally tripped while restoring the interior. For the life of me I could not figure out why the car would not turn over!

  • avatar
    CobraJet

    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.

  • avatar

    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….

    • 0 avatar
      dividebytube

      According to just about movie I’ve seen, you just have to strip two random wires under the dash, touch them together and viola – the car starts!

  • avatar
    JaySeis

    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.

  • avatar
    Moparmann

    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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