Using a screwdriver to start your car

screwdriver-key

[Hahabird] uses this screwdriver to start his car. Despite what it may look like, only this particular screwdriver will start the ignition because it still uses the key lock. What he’s done is alter the screwdriver to act as an extension for the key. It’s purely aesthetic, but you have to admit it looks pretty gnarly hanging off of the steering column.

The hack merely involved cutting off the unneeded parts of the key and screwdriver. With the shaft of the tool cut down to size he clamped it in a vice and cut a slot into it using a hack saw. From there he headed over to the grinding wheel and smoothed out the sharp edges.

The key itself had the handle portion cut off and was thinned on the grinding wheel to fit snugly in the screwdriver slot. To permanently mate the two pieces he used a torch and some silver solder.

[via Reddit]

Comments

  1. scottbomb says:

    Awesome.

  2. Is that a Taurus?

  3. dave says:

    *Not recommended for pre-90’s GM or Chrysler vehicles

  4. wretch says:

    It looks cool and all, but I don’t fancy explaining it to the nice officer who’s been having a bad day and is just looking for an excuse to discharge his fully charged taser. (c:

    • Caleb Kraft says:

      eh, an occasional tazing is good for the heart.

    • cyberteque says:

      you could always go the “whole hog” and scrawl “pigs suck” along the drivers side…

    • Nivek says:

      It is not illegal to start a car with a screwdriver as long as you own the car

    • McGuiver says:

      This is not a hack. This is asking for damage to the cylinder due to the extended weight.
      In Los Angeles this would most likely get you pulled over, or get shot.

      This is something a good kid in high school would do and to impress their bad friends. Then driving home and mistakenly getting shot by the cops for looking like a 187 suspect. All because of drawing attention with the screwdriver mod.

      Not a good idea.

      • VeeBee says:

        Where is the ignition lock on your car, up by the rear view mirror? How is the cop going to pull you over for something he can’t see? Why would anyone suspect you of murder for screwdrivering a lock, its not hanging out of your passengers face.

        The worst that is going to happen, cop-wise, with this is that when pulled over, the Cop asks you about the apparent screwdriver in the lock and you explain, or rather show the cop, that it is simply a novelty item.

        • dynotronix says:

          And then Mr. Policeman, whether right or wrong, suddenly conjures up some “probable cause” to search your car, and finds the pot seed under the mat that got dropped there over a year ago from that dweeb you reluctantly gave a ride to, because he was walking with that cute girl. You get to sit on the curb in cuffs when you could have been on your way. Sure, when you’re a teenager, trying to be a bad433 always sounds cool, and trouble has an easy enough time finding you… why help it along? The “adults” here will recognize this for what it is, stupid. Its not a hack, its a soldering lesson.

          • XOIIO says:

            So don’t be a dumbass and have drugs in your car moron.

          • Notgoodforyourcar says:

            What world do you live in where cops search hard enough for a seed? Also all these just sound like the paranoid ramblings of a 15 year old who has never done anything “wrong”

    • Whatnot says:

      Sue his as off and buy a Ferrari – with a screwdriver key

  5. Hirudinea says:

    I remember in the Swiss Army key chain http://hackaday.com/2013/02/21/swiss-army-keys/#comments people kept saying the weight would cause premature lock failure, are you concerned about that? Also what else could you use as a funny key end, dildo springs to mind.

    • Anonymous says:

      The screwdriver handle on its own must weigh less than the typical bundle of keys and keychains people tend to carry around.

      • smee says:

        You are right. Just weighed the handle of a double ended screwdriver against my keychain with six keys and a fob. The handle I was using is hard plastic with a full length metal insert. A standard resin handle would likely weigh less.

      • Tech Joker says:

        Not saying it would be a problem but the screwdriver hangs the weight further from the point where the key would normally hang the weight. This may cause more wear or perhaps the fact that keys are ‘loose’ and the screwdriver is ‘tight’ it would not be a problem. May have to test that out.

    • Paul says:

      I agree with this concern, if anything I think it applies more in this scenario as the force against the key is now that when you remove, turn or insert the key you are applying levered force against the lock.

      This surely must damage the lock.

      • Notgoodforyourcar says:

        It really won’t cause that much damage. All depends on the manufacturer and quality of the ignition cylinder though. Your average woman’s keychain weighs much more than a single screwdriver. Plus it’s not like having a screwdriver handle will make you turn the key harder.

  6. VeeBee says:

    Could have seriously reduced the time to complete this hack by simply forcing the screwdriver into the lock!

    • Sven says:

      Or just gotten one of those old cars where the lock components are too weak and will wear down in 5-10 years. I know for example that most Saab 900 can be started with a screwdriver, pop stick, long nails etc.

  7. Nathan says:

    More details here: hahabird.com/2013/04/drive-it-like-you-stole-it/ (not that it’s needed; it’s a dead simple project)

  8. Cadence says:

    I’ve seen this around before as it’s been in the Import/Drift scene for quite some time. You can make a more aesthetically pleasing version by using an open flame such as a butane burner or gas stove. You use pliers to hold the screwdriver over the flame till it gets soft enough that you can pull the driver out of the handle. Take the key you will be using and remove the plastic off of it by either the same method, or by simply melting it off, or cutting it away if you really want to. Then you take the stripped key (holding it with the pliers) and hold it over the flame till it starts to glow, and then safely press it centered into the handle. Run cold water over it after you set it to cool it off, and you’re done. OBVIOUSLY this does not work if you have an immobilizer chip, though, but the result is very nice looking. It’s really nice if you find a stubby screwdriver handle, and they make them in pretty colors too, some with loops for keychains. (I found a pink one I’m planning on trying eventually)

    • Nathan says:

      I never thought I’d read an argument for a “more aesthetically pleasing” version of a screwdriver jammed into your ignition. :) I’ve seen the ones you describe, but they always looked to me like a key with a screwdriver handle, not an actual car theft in progress, which is what I was after. One plus to the stubby-handled version, though, is there isn’t as much weight pulling on the lock. I think a stubby version would be fine to drive around with, but this version has too much likelihood to cause damage if used for more than just a quick prank.

    • Cadence says:

      I’ve also seen the same thing done with toy cars, old Playstation memory cards (lots of glue), shift knobs, and one frisky instance of … well, a phallic adult toy

  9. slick8086 says:

    good way to break the key off in the ignition.

  10. Yeah, when I saw this my first thought was “Wow, that’s ONE way to look super-sketchy when you get pulled over.” really clever idea and execution though.

  11. NewCommentor1283 says:

    rofl, because we(he) can! muahahahah

    PS: ive seen damage caused by extreme keychain weight,
    trust me,
    that screwdriver is WAY lighter then what some people hang off their keyswitches :)
    (andor key-interlock ;) )

    PPS: if you have had your car more then 5 years and the
    ignition/key switch/interlock still works like new,
    then your keychain weighs nowhere near the monstrosities
    some people have!
    ive seen those damaged in 3 years by something that my
    pants belt can not even hold up, let alone a flimsy switch-doodad :)

    DO NOT ATTACH YOUR MP3 PLAYER OR CELLPHONE TO YOUR CAR KEY!!!

    • Cadence says:

      /\ Truth /\

      I worked at a dealership for years, I’ve seen the destruction first hand. If you can’t fit in the front pocket of your jeans comfortably (I know my girl jean pockets are smaller, but the idea is the same), don’t attach it to your keys.

      • Johan G says:

        I guess that’s why some people have cargo pants. ;-)

        Personally I do have cargo pants (with pockets full to the brim), but I have my keys on a carabiner attached with a cord to my belt with a Prusik knot. That way I only have my car key in the lock.

      • Johan G says:

        Just to avoid any confusion, I do not have that much keys on my key chain. They fit comfortably in my front pocket on the same carabiner as my car key.

      • draeath says:

        I keep my car keys and other keys separate. Literally the only thing handing off my car key is my car fob.

  12. Edd says:

    There’s a few commercial versions of these been around for a while, I’ve seen custom ones made, but Snap-On and various other tool companies [and half of China] have it covered http://www.tokyo-parts.co.jp/zoomania/zoomaniapic/zoo_etc/snapon_keytop/snapon_key_l.jpg

  13. Tom the Brat says:

    Pretty slick. I don’t think I’ll try it as my key has all sorts of electronical type doodads. He should have picked a more beat-up looking screwdriver for the red-neck appeal.

  14. Dr. DFTBA says:

    Imagine taking the thing in for an oil change, or other maintenance.
    “Alright, we should be done by 3PM. All we need now is to get your key”.
    “This is the only key I need…”

  15. Json says:

    Do I like it, yes! +1

    But please HAD stop with the misleading titles, stop trying to bust marketing you will evenly have people stop reading, I myself use to come here 2 or 3 times a day, now, once every couple days

    • xorpunk says:

      HAD IS a marketing site, why do you think they have staff and don’t ask for donations?

      I’m sure I’m wrong though, it’s politically incorrect to be honest, at least torwards an American demographic…

      • Json says:

        I do see your point, but I contend that they will get me to view more often with non misleading titles, and I actually do click the ads as I find them relevant… I actually came back to HAD the other day specifically to find an ad for something wanted to buy. And I did, I bought the new 3ghz spectrum analyzer

      • Blue Footed Booby says:

        Put another way: if you’re not paying, you’re not the customer, you’re the product.

        • DahManagement says:

          Attn Product: Please discontinue pointing out that you are product. It disturbs the other product.

        • Caleb Kraft says:

          I’ve heard this saying many times and it always makes me sad. It is such a polarizing statement and so very wrong.

          Yes, advertisers pay us to have space on our page. Yes, we rely on that to be able to do what we love. But do we not supply a product to you as well? I would say this is more like a transaction. You are paying, but maybe not with cash out of your pocket. You are paying by allowing those ads to appear on your screen (not blocking them).

          In many cases, there are products and customers on every end of the transaction.

      • Caleb Kraft says:

        Well, sort of. We’re not “a marketing site”, so much as sometimes things get worded in a way that might catch more eyes. Not this article specifically, I think Mike just liked the sound of that title.

        a marketing site would probably all be articles about stuff you could buy, so they would then get credit/money for it.

        We do rely on advertising, but hey, if we drive everyone away, we don’t get ad revenue either do we?

  16. xorpunk says:

    Manufacturers retain lock cylinders with eye glass screws, and have master ECMs to bypass transponder and resistor systems. Is this poking fun at the fact they are designed to be easy to steal?

  17. Nova says:

    Just don’t try to do this if your vehicle has a PATS or similar type transponder inside the plastic head of the key.

    I would say something about the weight but really that doesn’t look too heavy. Biggest complaint is this is a pretty unweildly key to take anywhere with you in some practical manner.

  18. Mike Mixer says:

    I did this probably 25 or 30 years ago now. The handle was off a broken SnapOn screwdriver. I ground a notch in the stub end of the shaft, slid the handle of the key in it, the carefully heated some brazing rod and let it drip on to the joint.

  19. truthspew says:

    I remember years ago and probably to this day as GM still likes to use the same crappy ignition locks, all you needed was a dent puller and you had your choice of any GM vehicle.

  20. Robert says:

    ALL this work for something you can buy for under $10

    http://zilvia.net/f/sale-items/141518-jdm-snap-screwdriver-key-chain.html

    Another way to do it is just Heat the rod it self it will melt the inside enough to loosen and pull the screw driver from the handle then cut key heat up and then push in.

  21. soopergooman says:

    well Im getting a newer car soon, so I might give this a go, but with a clear stubby and maybe in internal led… hmmm

  22. MarkovChain says:

    Meh, this would have been cooler if he machined the screwdriver flat and then ground out the key profile on it.

  23. static says:

    This would suit me best if did this with memo key, as always been a SOB to find on the ring. To keep it as short as possible would pull the shaft out of the handle of a stubby, and heat the key tab to push it into the handle.

  24. so i ended up making the swiss army keys for around $5 $4 for 2 keys and $1 for the knife, but could not use my car keys since my ford taurus needs one of those rifid keys. i want to do the screw driver key but as i said i have an rfid key so odds are i wont be able to

  25. slowJim says:

    I like the look of it, it’s funky and cool.

    But what happens when you remove the key, leave your car and then get stop searched. They could quite easily consider that to be a lethal weapon.

  26. Jez says:

    I saw the title and thought GENIUS… someone has done a doctor who style Sonic Screwdriver to start his car. A bit disappointed but still impressed with this. Someone needs to do a sonic screwdriver car starter though!

  27. fartface says:

    Cool, but it will take a LOT more work to do this to a modern honda or ford with the transponder keys. You would need to use an opaque handle so you dont see the whole key embedded in the handle.

  28. Eddie says:

    This “hack” is dumb.

  29. jim.chien.andalusia says:

    Get the key nearly thin enough to fit the gap, then freeze the key and heat the handle. Might take some trial and error, tho.

  30. jnrhacksaw says:

    just use a standard screwdriver and hammer it into the lock. simples

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