The Club


as a person with no locking steering wheel (on a 2000 Chrysler Sebring JX, why is that, by the way?) I’ve always wondered how The Club works(I don’t have one). It seems to connect to just the steering wheel and doesn’t seem to be anchored to anything. So how does it prevent driving the car? Could you just steer with the club on?



How does it work?
Criminal: Hey let’s steal this one. (looks inside and sees the club) Oh man this one hasa club… it will take us an extra three minutes to get it off… let’s just move on.
It’s a deterrent.

When put on properly, the long part of the bar should be wedged so that the steering wheel won’t turn. Most people don’t put it on properly.

The club has one end long enough that it touches the window, making steering with it on impossible.

This is the best picture I could find.

You can only turn the wheel between the points where the club end hits the windshield and your leg. It’s not generally going to be a big enough arc to navigate roads. It won’t stop a determined thief, it takes less than a minute to defeat the club, if you’re prepared. If a thief is unprepared, the club will make it very difficult to drive off. There are other versions of this device that include a metal shield for the steering wheel, making the typical defeat impossible.

Its made of hardened steel which is almost impossible to cut through (unfortunately, a steering wheel is very easy to cut through, takes about 20 seconds, and the club then slips right off).

Yeah, as has been said before, the Club’s defense is one part reputation, two parts function, and three parts inconvenience to the thief. While a thief could in theory remove the club without too much trouble, if he was prepared to deal with it, he’s much more likely to just move on to a car that will reqire a smaller investment of time and effort. On the subject of traveling the path of least resistance, half of all the cars stolen in the state of Texas had unlocked doors, and a fifth of them had the keys in the ignition. :smack:

I never get my car stolen, as I tend to lock the doors and place claymore mines with tripwires all around. :smiley:

I laugh derisively at your hardened steel. While you’ll have a tough time of it with a low quality hacksaw blade there are a number of ways to break a club type steering wheel lock with little difficulty. I did one the hard way after losing a key using a battery powered dremel tool and an abrasive cutoff wheel.

As stated previously, the steering wheel can be sawn through fast. I saw a news report where an ex-thief ran a hacksaw though the steering wheel like a hot knife through butter. Took him about 5 seconds.
Have you ever noticed how most of the cars with Clubs are beaters that no one would ever steal anyways?

When was the last time you saw a Mercedes Benz or a Lexus with a Club?

My own personal “beater” Jeep Cherokee was stolen not once, but twice, and on one of those occasions it was parked in the lot of a luxury hotel, surrounded by much, much better cars (including a nice selection of later-model Jeeps). That’s why I bought and used a Club for my ridiculously undesirable car. Maybe the more expensive cars are more likely to have effective alarms?

Nowadays, my secret hope is that someone will steal the damn thing so that we finally have a good excuse for breaking down and buying a new car.

But would a car thief want to do this? Isn’t sawing through the steering wheel going to make the car undrivable / unstealable?

shrug If my car’s steering wheel broke I don’t know if I’d even bother with replacing it. I’d just slap some epoxy on it and go on living. Why would it be a big deal or make the car undriveable?

Nah, they slice through one small section, twist the wheel, pop The Club out, the wheel springs back into shape, and they’re in business. A casual glance probably wouldn’t even reveal the cut. Most stolen cars are stripped for parts these days, with very few actually being resold “as is.”

Your professional car thief isn’t going to be slowed down by The Club, or any other anti-theft device, he’ll know ways around them that let him get the car, and don’t slow him down any.

Another common means of defeating the Club that I’ve seen involves nothing more than a length of hollow pipe. Thief slides the pipe over the Club’s pokey-out bit. He then uses the additional length that the pipe provides for leverage. A mighty bend, and that part of the Club just snaps off. The remnants are easily removed, and the crook drives off without so much as a damaged steering wheel.

I think the “Unbreakable Auto-Lock” devices, on the same link Nature’s Call provided, are somewhat more effective. They lock onto the clutch or brake pedals, rather than the steering wheel, and thus they prevent putting the car in gear. The inconvenient location of the locking device when it’s placed on the pedal makes it harder for a crook to defeat it.

The biggest problem with The Club is actually using it. It’s a pain in the butt to have to put on and take off all the time, when normally you can bounce right into or out of a car and be on your way.

Right now I’m in a part of the world where The Club and Club-like things are used at a higher frequency than I’d ever though possible, and they’re usually on crappy cars here, too! But 90% of the cars are crappy, so I guess the odds of being stolen are that much more…

The way it was explained to me was that older cars are more desirable targets because they can be used for spare parts (As you can imagine, there isn’t a lot of demand for spare parts for a 2005 Corvette yet, now, a 1980 Jeep, maybe there’s a market for those parts)

Your greatly overestimating the intelligence of a car thief.

When my beater was stolen, my first reaction was “What, all the good cars were already stolen?”

I heard that GMs (generally undesirable cars) are highly sought after by thieves because there are so many of them and many the parts are interchangable (ie a Buick might have the same door latch as a Chevy).