How to Start a Car with a Screwdriver: Survival Guide

In this article, we will delve into how to start a car with a screwdriver. While this practice is usually reserved for emergencies and should be attempted only by those with a fair understanding of car mechanics, it can sometimes be a helpful trick to know. As we dive in, we will break down the process step by step, discussing the necessary precautions and potential risks. Please remember that this method should be used responsibly and legally, and always prioritize getting professional help whenever possible.

How to Start a Car with a Screwdriver

1. Introduction

Have you ever wondered if there’s a way to start your car without a key? Maybe you’ve lost your keys or are merely curious about how things work. This guide will explore the intriguing possibility of starting a car with a screwdriver. But remember, this information should be used responsibly and not encourage illegal activities like car theft. It’s primarily for emergencies when all other options have been exhausted.

2. How to Start a Car with a Screwdriver?

What You Need

To kick off this tutorial, let’s discuss what tools you’ll need.


This might seem obvious, but you’ll need a flathead screwdriver, preferably one that’s sturdy and suitable length to give you good leverage.

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Protective Gear

Safety should be your top priority. Have a pair of safety gloves to protect your hands from sharp edges or hot surfaces.

Understanding Your Car’s Ignition

3. Understanding Your Car’s Ignition

Before we delve into the process, it’s essential to understand your car’s ignition system.

The Ignition Switch

This is the interface that starts your car when you turn the key. It’s usually located on the steering column and has a slot for the key.

The Ignition Cylinder

This small device connects to the ignition switch, and it’s what the key turns when you start your car.

Starting a Car with a Screwdriver

4. Defying Dilemmas: The Art of Starting a Car with a Screwdriver

Now, let’s dive into the step-by-step process. Remember, this should only be done in an emergency, and you should always consider contacting a professional first.

Step 1: Preparing the Car

  • Ensure your car is in park to prevent unintended movement.
  • Activate the emergency brake for added safety.

Step 2: Removing the Ignition Cover

  • To access the ignition cover, you may need to disassemble parts of the steering column.
  • Start by disconnecting the battery cable to ensure safety.
  • Locate the screws on the underside of the steering column cover. Use a Phillips head screwdriver to remove them.
  • Depending on your car’s make and model, you may need to remove additional screws or tabs to remove the cover fully.
  • You can access the ignition switch once the steering column cover is removed.

Please note that the specific steps for removing the ignition cover may vary depending on the make and model of your car. It’s always recommended to consult your vehicle’s manual or seek professional assistance if you need clarification.

Step 3: Starting the Car

Once you’ve gained access to the ignition switch, insert the screwdriver into the keyhole and turn it like you would a key.

Important Safety Precautions

Keep in mind that this process can be dangerous. There’s a risk of damaging your car’s ignition system or hurting yourself.

Legal Implications

5. Legal Implications

Starting a car without a key can have profound legal implications, especially if it’s not your car. Illegally hotwiring or bypassing a vehicle’s ignition system is considered theft, regardless of the intention, and can result in criminal charges such as unauthorized use or grand theft auto. In addition to legal issues, this can substantially damage the vehicle’s ignition system, causing costly repairs. Using legitimate methods for crucial replacement, such as contacting a professional assistant, is recommended. Unauthorized actions that turn off safety features can also lead to accidents and liability issues. Therefore, respecting property rights and following the law when operating vehicles is crucial.

6. Alternatives to Using a Screwdriver

If you’re locked out of your car or lost your keys, consider contacting a locksmith or your car’s roadside assistance service before trying to start your car with a screwdriver.

7. FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Can you still start a car with a screwdriver?

Yes, it is possible to start a car with a screwdriver. However, this should only be done in emergencies and when all other options have been exhausted. It’s important to stress that this action should be carried out legally and responsibly. Using a screwdriver to start a car involves removing the ignition switch and inserting a flathead screwdriver into the keyhole, then turning it as you would a key. It’s worth noting that this process can be much more complex for modern cars that feature electronic locking systems.

How do you start an engine with a screwdriver?

To start a car’s engine with a screwdriver, you must first remove the screws holding the ignition switch in place. Once done, you can insert a flathead screwdriver into the keyhole and turn it as if it were a key. Doing so powers the starter motor, effectively hot-wiring the car. It’s important to prioritize safety and ensure you have ownership of or permission to start the car.

How do you use a screwdriver as a key?

To use a screwdriver as a key, you will first need to remove any coverings or protective cases around the ignition switch. Insert the flathead screwdriver into the ignition keyhole and turn it as you would the key. Remember that this is a last resort method that may cause damage to the ignition switch and should only be used in emergencies with proper ownership or permission.

How do you start a car without a key with a screwdriver?

Starting a car without a key involves removing the ignition switch and inserting a flathead screwdriver into the keyhole. Turning the screwdriver as if it were a key allows you to power the starter motor and effectively hot-wire the car. This method should only be used in emergencies and only with the car owner’s permission. It’s essential to know that this procedure may be considerably more complex in modern cars with electronic locking systems.

What is the easiest way to start a car without a key?

While a screwdriver can work in certain circumstances, it can cause damage and isn’t recommended for untrained individuals. The easiest and safest way to start a car without a key is by calling a professional locksmith or your car’s roadside assistance service.

What to do if you lose your car keys?

If you lose your car keys, the first step is to check thoroughly if they might have been misplaced nearby. If the keys are lost, contact a professional locksmith who can help you gain access to your car and create a new key for you. Alternatively, suppose your vehicle is equipped with modern technology. In that case, you can contact your car manufacturer or dealership for assistance. In some cases, car insurance policies may also cover lost keys, so check your policy details. It’s essential to remember that attempting to start your car with methods such as using a screwdriver should only be a last resort as it could potentially damage your vehicle.

8. Conclusion

Starting a car with a screwdriver is a last-resort trick useful in emergencies. However, seeking professional help when facing car troubles is always better to avoid unnecessary risks or damages.

Hello. You've come to the right place if you want to learn more about power drills and how to make your home improvement projects go quicker and easier. I'm Jacob P., the founder and content writer of Anyone who needs assistance with a project or has a query about how something works (or doesn't) can count on me to share my expertise.