Review The best mechanical car alarms on the market: our selection

By | November 1, 2021

The growing demand for a car alarm shows that in our country the problem of car theft is not to be underestimated. The likelihood of suffering this type of crime mainly depends on the place of residence, as well as the make and model of the vehicle. How to minimize the risk? Using a mechanical or electronic car alarm system.

Steering wheel and pedal immobilizers are the best-selling anti-theft devices. They are passive safety devices, different from active systems. Among the latter, the current interruption devices, GPS locators, classic alarms or innovative smoke machines stand out. In this article we will focus on the analysis of the mechanical car alarm.

  1. The resumption of car thefts has increased sales of both mechanical and electronic anti-theft systems. In the category of mechanics there are several types: steering wheel lock bars, for the pedals, as well as safety shoes and wheel bolts. Their function is to prevent vehicle theft, but they also act as a deterrent.
  2. Among the advantages of using mechanical car anti-theft devices are their robustness and efficiency, their price and their ease of use, among others. Placement and removal are, in most cases, very simple. Also, if we use one of these systems, we will likely see a discount on the fire theft insurance premium we have contracted.
  3. Before choosing a mechanical car alarm, we need to consider several factors. The most important is the type of device that best suits the characteristics of our vehicle. We will talk about this and other important factors at the end of the article.

The best mechanical car alarms on the market: our selection

Sometimes the simplest system is the most effective. This is what happens with car anti-theft systems. Sometimes a steering lock or an anti-theft bar for the pedals is more of a deterrent to thieves than an electronic immobilizer. Here are what we at consider to be the best mechanical car anti-theft systems currently on the market.

  1. The best-selling anti-theft steering wheel lock
  2. The best anti-theft lock pedals with combination lock
  3. The cheaper wheel clamp
  4. The best selling car anti-theft bolts

The best-selling anti-theft steering wheel lock

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If you are looking for an effective and easy to install car alarm, this is your choice. This bar features a curved lock, which makes it very difficult to force, even using Freon freezing gas. Its robustness and reasonable price are the most outstanding qualities for users.

Includes three spare keys, plus a velcro strap for storage without opening. It does not damage the steering wheel, as it is equipped with protective pads. It can also be used for self defense.

The best anti-theft lock pedals with combination lock

Cartec 493222 steering wheel pedal lock

With this bar you will not need a key, as its lock is a combination lock. Therefore, even if the car keys are stolen, it will not be possible to remove the alarm. Those who have tried this system highlight how quick it is to place and remove, as well as its usefulness as a deterrent.

This bar is placed between the steering wheel and one of the three pedals. It has a five-digit code, which allows up to 100,000 different combinations.

The cheaper wheel clamp

Stoplock HG 400-00 'Wheel Lock' - Anti-Theft Wheel Clamp For Car, Caravan And Trailer W / Keys

A good car anti-theft device should not only prevent it from being stolen, it should also prevent it from being moved. If you are looking for something like this, the best option is this wheel chock, suitable for cars, caravans and trailers. Those who use it underline its solidity, ease of use and low price.

It has a safety lock with a protective moisture cap and a spare pair of keys. It is suitable for wheels from 33 to 38cm wide.

The best selling car anti-theft bolts

Febi-Bilstein 27056 - Wheel Bolt M14x1.5x28, 1 piece

These car anti-theft bolts, from the British manufacturer Felbi, are among the best sellers for their quality and their low price. If you are concerned about your car’s wheels being stolen, they are a reasonable investment.

These anti-theft bolts are suitable for Volkswagen cars even if, given their almost universal size, they can also be valid for other brands. However, before buying them, we recommend that you compare their measurements with those of your wheel rim bolts.

Shopping guide: Everything you need to know about car alarms

Being a car owner does not necessarily imply being stolen. This can consist of a simple breaking of the window or the disappearance of the vehicle itself. In any case, it is a fact that you must try to prevent this from happening by any means. The best way is with a good car anti-theft system. Are you not an expert on these devices? Don’t worry, in this section we provide you with all the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the car alarm!

What types of car anti-theft systems are there?

If a thief decides to take your car, he will most likely succeed. But why make it easy for him? There are several anti-theft systems that you can insert in your car, from the simplest to the most sophisticated. These are the most important.

    • Car steering lock. It consists of an iron or steel bar with a lock that is fixed to the steering wheel to prevent it from rotating. They are usually painted in bright colors, such as yellow or orange, to increase their deterrent power.
    • Lock change. Device connected to the handbrake that blocks the gear lever.
    • Lock pedals. They are generally attached to the steering wheel and pedals, making driving impossible. Some have combination locks, like the model in our selection.
    • Lock wheel or shoe. They are placed on one of the wheels to immobilize the car, trailer or caravan. They are available in various shapes and sizes, depending on the diameter and width of the tire.
    • Anti-theft bolts. These bolts are placed on the wheels of the vehicle, replacing the factory ones, so as to make it difficult to remove. They have a master key, which must be unique for each type of screw.
    • Immobilizer. Electronic devices that cut power to the vehicle or prevent it from starting, making it impossible for thieves to move. Some models are unlocked using a card or coded key.
    • Car anti-theft fog generator. They emit thick smoke inside the car that prevents the thief from seeing anything for several minutes.
    • GPS locator . With the geo-fence function, we will receive a notification on the mobile when someone moves our car. We can also track him, so we can give the information to the police.
    • Car alarm. They emit an audible and / or audible signal when someone manipulates the vehicle.

What are the advantages of mechanical car alarms?

In the 1980s and 1990s it was common to see many cars in Italy with anti-theft bars behind the wheel. Later the development of technology made us rely on other more sophisticated anti-theft systems. However, mechanical car alarms are still a good choice over other more technological options. Let’s see why:

    • Price. Mechanical systems cost less than most electronic car anti-theft devices.
    • Robustness. Car alarms are very robust devices, difficult to manipulate or cut.
    • Easy placement. Although the degree of difficulty may vary from one model to another, in general they are easy to place and remove.
    • Complement other anti-theft systems. Mechanical car alarms are the perfect complement to other more sophisticated systems, such as GPS tracking or immobilizer devices.
    • Deterrent. Passive anti-theft devices have an excellent dissuading component. When faced with two identical vehicles, the thief will likely choose the one without a visible anti-theft system.
    • Variety. There are several options to choose the system that convinces us the most: safety bolts and wheel shoes, pedal lock, steering wheel lock or gearbox lock.
    • Savings. Many insurance companies reward customers who have a security system in their vehicle.


How do mechanical car alarms work?

The functioning of a mechanical car alarm depends on the type of device we have chosen. However, they all have one role in common: to prevent car theft. They won’t prevent a window from breaking, or stealing our interior items, but they will prevent our car from being taken away.

In the case of the anti-theft steering locks, they prevent it from turning, making driving impossible. More security offers, if possible, the anti-theft locks pedals. This protects the steering wheel and any of the three pedals, making life even more difficult for thieves. There are also padlocks for the pedal only, which totally prevent driving.

The wheel chocks or shoes are designed to prevent movement, and they all have a protruding bar, which is what makes it impossible for the wheel to roll. Before choosing a shoe, we need to measure both the thickness and the diameter of the tire, as not all are universal. They are a good theft deterrent, as they are very conspicuous.

What are the benefits of having an anti-theft device in the car with the insurance company?

As we mentioned earlier, many insurance companies discount the premiums of those customers who have an anti-theft system installed in their vehicle. In fact, two of the recurring questions that are asked when taking out a car insurance are whether the car is stored in the garage and is it equipped with some kind of anti-theft system.

Discounts on insurance premiums often vary widely, as the estimate depends on many factors. To cover this eventuality, it is normal to take out motor liability insurance that also includes theft and fire.


What is the best car alarm?

A cheap burglar alarm will always be better than nothing, be it mechanical or electronic. Among the mechanical anti-theft devices, the best are those that, in addition to being made with good materials, are more visible. If a thief approaches a vehicle and sees that it has a steering lock, he can turn around and choose another target.

If you choose an inconspicuous car anti-theft device, such as a pedal lock or gear lock, you will probably prevent your car from being taken away, but not the window from breaking. For this reason, it is best to invest in a flashy lock with bright colors. That way, you’ll have a good chance that the thief won’t even get close to your vehicle.

Purchase criteria

There really aren’t many options when it comes to choosing a passive car alarm. Padlocks, steering wheel and pedal lock bars, anti-theft bolts and wheel shoes are basically the options available. However, of these four types there are more variations. To help you choose the one that best suits your needs, we have summarized the fundamental purchase criteria for making the best investment.

  • Type of alarm
  • Materials
  • Ease of use
  • Locks
  • Value for money

Type of alarm

Among the mechanical car alarms we have those that block the steering wheel, those that block the pedals and those that block the gearbox and the wheels. There are other pins or locks that lock the steering wheel with the underside of the driver’s seat, although they are less common. All tend to be colored, like yellow, to act as a deterrent.

Wheel shoes are generally a little more complicated to fit than steering locks. They are usually used to immobilize trailers or caravans, i.e. vehicles that do not move continuously. They are not practical anti-theft devices for daily use. All of these options have something in common: they will be useless if the thief insists on stealing your vehicle.


A mechanical car alarm must be made of quality materials. The best is hardened steel, an alloy that makes handling and cutting difficult, even using the radial one. The weight is a good indication that this is a sturdy anti-theft device. The different parts of the appliance must convey a feeling of solidity.

Although the lock needs to be solid and sturdy, we also need to make sure it doesn’t damage the vehicle’s surfaces. Padlocks and locking bars should have guards where they come into contact with soft surfaces, such as the steering wheel. The brake shoes must also be equipped with protection so as not to scratch the rim or hubcap.

Ease of use

If the anti-theft device is complicated to place, the easier it will be to misplace it. Car steering locks and pedal locking bars are the easiest to use: open, tighten and close the lock. Those that have the curved shape are the easiest to use.

The anti-theft wheel bolts are very useful. The important thing is to choose the right model for your vehicle, as not all cars have the same stock bolts. Before purchasing safety bolts, make sure they are compatible with those of your car. And don’t forget to buy four sets!


The lock is a key element of the anti-theft device, so you need to make sure it is of quality. The best locks have security protection, and are resistant to almost anything. Some even resist freon gas. The jaw locks are exposed to the elements, so they must have protective covers.

Make sure the lock includes spare keys, at least two. Also check that it is not very subtle, as this is a sign that we are facing a weak lock. Some anti-theft models have combination locks, recommended for those who tend to lose their keys often. Also, if your key fob is stolen, they won’t be able to open the lock.

Value for money

In the case of car alarms, a higher price generally reflects a higher quality. Remember that you are investing in a device to protect one of your most valuable assets. In any case, your choice will depend on the available budget and the type of alarm you are looking for.

For less than thirty euros you can find bars and steering wheel locks that do their job quite well. In this price segment, what tends to fail first is the lock. If you are looking for devices made with stronger materials and higher quality security locks, you will have to spend a little more.

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