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Encyclopedia > Hotwiring

Hotwiring is the process of bypassing an automobile's ignition interlock and thus starting it without the key. Although it is legal if performed with the consent of the car owner, the activity is usually performed by criminals who intend to steal the vehicle. Also hotwiring can compromise the safety of the car, making it illegal to drive a hotwired car in some countries. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... The ignition system of an internal-combustion engine is an important part of the overall engine system that provides for the timely burning of the fuel mixture within the engine. ... An interlock is a device used to help prevent a machine from harming its operator or damaging itself by stopping the machine when tripped. ... Look up key in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... for other uses please see Crime (disambiguation) A crime is an act that violates a political or moral law. ... for other meanings of Grand Theft Auto, see the Grand Theft Auto disambiguation page. ...


The classical method for hotwiring cars involves two people:

  • one completing the ignition circuit by locating the ignition wires attached to the ignition switch under the dashboard: this can be done by detaching them and crossing (tying together) the exposed ends
  • the other momentarily completing the starter motor circuit, so that the starter motor turns over the engine. This is done by detaching the starter motor wire from the ignition wire and touching it to a powered wire on the other side of the ignition switch.

It is possible to undertake both of these operations from within the engine compartment rather than from the dashboard, by making the same circuits as described above by direct links from the positive pole of the battery to the ignition and starter motor circuits. A wire is a single, usually cylindrical, elongated strand of drawn metal. ... A dashboard from a 1940s car The dashboard of a modern car, a Bentley Continental GT A Hayabusas dash A modern Formula 1 car has all its gauges mounted on the steering wheel A dashboard or dash board in an automobile is a panel located under the windscreen and...


To hotwire a car just run an insulated wire with both ends exposed from the negative terminal on the car battery to the solenoid on the starter motor. There should be an out-sticking connector, just touch the wire to this for a few seconds and this should start the motor which inturn will start the car. There is known to be a risk of electrocution whilst carrying out this process.


Those who lack the necessary skills and knowledge of electrical engineering to hotwire a car in the classical way sometimes use a brute-force method: simply smashing the key mechanism to reveal the rotation switch, which is operated by the key's tumbler. In a criminal context, this could be accomplished with the same tool that may have been used to smash the vehicle's windows to gain entry. The rotary switch can then be operated by a screwdriver or similar tool. This article treats electronics engineering as a subfield of electrical engineering, though this is not typical use in some areas. ... Wiktionary has a definition of: Tumbler Tumbler is a part of a lock whose position must be changed by a key in order to release the bolt. ... A basic screwdriver (Phillips tip shown) A screwdriver is a device specifically designed to insert and tighten, or to loosen and remove, screws. ...


Some more modern vehicles are designed to overcome the relative ease with which classical ignition systems can be hotwired. This is primarily accomplished through the use of engine immobiliser devices which disable the engine in some manner. Such systems require a code key to disengange. The code key could be analog (such as the precise resistance of the physical key) or digital (such as a passcode embedded in a USB or similar electronic key). As automobile electronics advance, hotwiring is expected to become increasingly difficult. Both hotwiring methods described above are defeated by the use of an immobilization device.[citation needed] Electrical resistance is a measure of the degree to which an electrical component opposes the passage of current. ... The USB trident Icon The USB (Type A and B) Connectors A Male USB plug (Type A) Universal Serial Bus (USB) is a serial bus standard for connecting devices. ... The field of electronics is the study and use of systems that operate by controlling the flow of electrons (or other charge carriers) in devices such as thermionic valves and semiconductors. ...


However, there are ways to bypass these safety mechanisms; since most engine immobilisers are actually implemented in a subroutine of the electronic engine control unit, in the process of stealing a car some criminals simply replace said control unit with a reprogrammed one which they brought along with them. This method of hotwiring is typically carried out on more expensive automobiles and by thieves scouting for a specific model. Some automakers have responded to this problem by making it increasingly difficult to remove the unit from a car, either by riveting it to the body or by thoroughly shrink-wrapping it and the wires connected to it. In computer science, a subroutine (function, method, procedure, or subprogram) is a portion of code within a larger program, which performs a specific task and is relatively independent of the remaining code. ... An Engine Control Unit (ECU), also known as Engine Management System (EMS) is an electronic device, fundamentally a computer, that is part of an internal combustion engine, which reads several sensors in the engine and uses the information to control the ignition systems of the engine. ... Shrinkwrap is a material made up of polymer plastic, usually PVC with a mix of polyesters. ...


It is possible that the increased difficulty of hotwiring has led to the rise in carjacking in other ways, such as stealing car keys.[citation needed] However, security and insurance experts agree that most auto thefts can be deterred by employing common sense safety methods, such as never leaving spare keys in plain sight (or keeping spare keys inside the vehicle).[citation needed] A Carjacking scene from the film Reservoir Dogs. ...


See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
hot-wire: Definition and Much More from Answers.com (1060 words)
Hotwiring is the process of bypassing an automobile's ignition interlock and thus starting it without the key.
Those who lack the basic mechanical skills and knowledge of automotive electrical systems needed to hotwire a car in the classical way sometimes use a brute-force method: simply smashing the key mechanism to reveal the rotation switch, which is operated by the key's tumbler.
It is possible that the increased difficulty of hotwiring has led to the rise in carjacking in other ways, such as stealing car keys.
Hotwiring - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (867 words)
Hotwiring can also compromise the safety of the car, making it illegal to drive a hotwired car in some countries.
The code key could be analog (such as the precise resistance of the physical key) or digital (such as a passcode embedded in a USB or similar electronic key).
Some automakers have responded to this problem by making it increasingly difficult to remove the unit from a car, either by riveting it to the body or by thoroughly shrink-wrapping it and the wires connected to it.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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