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Old 13 Oct 2010, 09:51 am
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Default Hotwiring Accord with potentially broken ignition?

Hi all, I've got a question for any car knowledgeable folks out there:

Back story: My brother recently had his 1996 Accord stolen while he was out of town visiting his girlfriend; the police recently found it, and it's currently sitting in some towing company's yard. My brother lives 5-6 hours away from the city in which it was stolen, and is currently back at his home (as you can imagine, the logistical issues of getting around for him have been terrible). My father and I live about 1.5 hrs away from where the car is; my brother and father are listed as co-owners of the vehicle, so one of them has to be the person to pick it up (with a copy of the title, registration, ID, etc.). Of course, since even my father and I don't live in the city where it was stolen, there are still logistical issues, but every day the car sits in the towing yard it's racking up fees and screwing us even more financially, so we have to get it ASAP.

We don't have any detailed information about what sort of damage might've been done to the car, but I've been told to expect that the steering column and ignition have probably been screwed with to some extent, at the very least. A best-case scenario for us would be to be able to drive the thing back to where we live so that we can have any necessary repairs performed at our leisure and with mechanics we know.

So, the question is: assuming the car is otherwise drivable:
a) is it likely that a key will still get the car to start, or will the damage caused to the ignition in the theft have made that impossible, and
b) if a key won't work, can anyone shed any light on what I'd have to do to get the car started in the shape it's in

I'm not looking for step-by-step instructions on how to hotwire a car from scratch, I'm just looking for advice on how to work with whatever the thief has left behind. Also, I've heard that there can be steering and other issues with starting a car this way, so if anyone has any helpful advice on what to expect, it'd be greatly appreciated.
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Old 13 Oct 2010, 02:42 pm
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Join Date: Oct 2010
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Default Re: Hotwiring Accord with potentially broken ignition?

Well, didn't get a response before we had to leave, but just in case anyone else comes searching the net with a similar issue:

The thief just removed the part of the ignition where the key goes and then stuck a pair of scissors into the cylinder, which just had to be turned to start the car. Didn't touch the wiring or the steering column or anything that I could see. So, if you're going to pick up your stolen Accord from a tow yard, at least bring a screwdriver, and if you're lucky that'll be all you need.
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