10 Quick Ways To Disable A Car From Starting

Disabling a car is not super hard. You don’t need to be savvy to disable a car from starting. But the surprising thing is 70% of car owners don’t even know how to disable a vehicle.

Sometimes, disabling a car from starting could be urgent for anybody. It’s always better to get knowledge about disabling a vehicle from driving. This piece of little knowledge could be used anywhere and anytime. But, you also keep in mind that the incorrect way to disable a car can ruin your car engine and impact vehicle performance.

In fact, I have shown many of my clients and neighbors how to do it. And today, down the road, I will show you some fantastic things to make your car not start.

What Does It Mean Disabled A Car

Disabling a car means a car that won’t be able to operate by using a source of ignition. Disabling a car means a car that won’t be able to operate by using a source of ignition. And that causes the car to stop running or be damaged. Vehicles can be disabled for various reasons but most commonly for mechanical failure and defective components in your vehicles.

How To Disable A Car

The most useful way to disable a car from starting is by removing the fuse from the ignition. Removing the fuse will prevent power from reaching the starter solenoid. After you do this, the car will be disabled from starting.

There are many more quick ways to disable a car without getting caught. You can even disable a car without opening the hood. I have practiced all of the ways to disable a vehicle in my garage.

how to disable a car
How to disable a car

Here are the ways how you can disable a car:

1. Disconnect The Battery Cables
2. Block The Exhaust
3. Disable The Fuel System
4. Clog The Air Filter Completely
5. Take Out The “ECU” Fuse
6. Remove The Fuse From The Ignition Switch
7. Remove Spark Plug Wires
8. Let The Air Out Of All Four Tires
9. Multi-coil Pack
10. Spray Water In The Air Intake

1. Disconnect The Battery Cables

Disconnect The Battery Cables
Disconnect The Battery Cables

Disconnecting the battery cables is likely the old school method to disable a car from starting, but this method works great. Car batteries are located in different places in different vehicles. Most of the batteries you find either under the hood in the battery box or the car trunk. Unbolt the negative battery cable and disconnect it by lifting it free, it will make a car not start. Whether you try to disable a diesel car or petrol car, disconnecting the battery will work on every type of fuel car.

Safety Tips: Taking safety measures is highly recommended when you work around the battery. You should wear eye protection and hand gloves if possible.

2. Block The Exhaust

If you block the exhaust gases from getting out through the tailpipe, the air cannot get into the combustion chambers, and if the car can’t get the air, the car will be disabled permanently.

Blocking the exhaust to disable a vehicle from driving is the most popular trick to disable a car from running. We have seen this trick used in movies on TV. Most commonly, we saw Potatoes in a tailpipe or bananas in a tailpipe.

If you put anything that can block the Exhaust like Any kind of ball (Cricket ball, Racquetball, Baseball), your car will be immobilized. The car engine gets too hot, but the car won’t start if the car’s exhaust is blocked completely. That’s why this method of disabling a car is most commonly used all around the world.

car exhaust
Block the car exhaust

3. Disable The Fuel System

A car fuel system is used for supplying fuel from the car’s fuel tank to the engine cylinder. Accordingly, without the fuel supply, the car won’t be able to start, and that’s why if you disable the fuel system, the car will be disabled. The fuel system consists of many other components that help the fuel system operate properly, Including a Fuel tank, Fuel pump, Fuel filter, Fuel distributor, and more.

Disabling the fuel system or turning off the gas are both the same. There are many ways to disable the fuel system. This depends on the specific model, year, and engine of your car.

Two ways to disable the fuel system:

  1. Turn off the fuel pump
  2. Turn off the fuel injectors

If you follow one of these ways, you can make a car not start.

4. Clog The Air Filter Completely

A car engine combines air and gasoline in the combustion chamber to create power. The air filter must allow enough air to reach the engine so it can perform effectively. That’s why if the air filter is clogged or the air filter is not in the right place in the car, it will not start. If you clog the air filter of a car, it will immobilize.

Interestingly, despite you putting something under the air filter, it looks alright from the outside. Without proper checking, the car owner won’t be able to notice the air filter is clogged.

But, whenever you clog the air filter, you have to keep in mind that the car needs a significant amount of air supply to the engine to operate the car, so when you block or clog the air filter, it can damage the engine.

5. Take Out The “ECU” Fuse

ECU fuse
Take out the “ECU” fuse

Before taking out the ECU fuse from the vehicle, it’s better to know what an ECU fuse is. An Engine Control Unit (also known as ECU) is also called an ECM (Engine Control Module). ECU is a computer that controls electronics in an automobile and ECU needs to be reset sometimes to make it work properly. An ECU is the brain of a car because it conducts all the sensors to keep the engine performance clean.

Next to the battery, ECU fuse in the fuse box on the forward driver’s side portion of the engine bay. To take out the ECU fuse, first, you have to Lift the cover off, then pull up gently on the fuse pullers to remove the ECU fuse. Leave the fuse in a safe place. This is easy to take out the ECU fuse. If you Remove the ECU fuse, then the car will be disable from starting instantly.

6. Remove The Fuse From The Ignition Switch

Ignition Switch is a crucial part of the electronic component—an ignition switch usually located on the steering column. When you locate the fuse box, open it and find the mapping top of its lid. The key will tell you the exact position of the ignition relay as well as other relays and fuses. After that, gently pull on it to remove it from the fuse box.

Removing the ignition switch’s fuse is another quick and simple way to disable a vehicle from running temporarily because if the ignition switch connects again, it will be alright as before.

7. Remove Spark Plug Wires

The spark plug works for igniting sparks to burn fuel and start the car engine. Spark plug you find under the hood of your car. If you remove some of the spark plugs wires, The car engine will not start, and the car will not run until you attach plugs again.

The spark plug plays an important role in every vehicle. If the spark plug is wet, the car won’t start. You may see this when the engine gets flooded. If you want to fix flooded engines, you have to do something with spark plugs. Yeah, that’s why spark plugs are essential in a car.

You should be careful when you remove spark plug wires. Otherwise, it can easily get damaged, and you might need to replace it. Replacements can be expensive, especially if they are only available in a set.

8. Let The Air Out Of All Four Tires

letting air out of tires
Let the air out of all four tires

Letting the air out from all your car tires could be the hard way, but it could be efficient to temporarily disable a car from starting. In most cases, the car manufacturers recommend that all of the tires have the same air pressure.

How to let the air out of tires:

We know automobile tires and bicycle tires are pneumatic and require a proper amount of air pressure for smooth operation. Remember to fill the tire with the proper amount of air pressure and check the air pressure periodically.

  1. Locate the valve stem on the tire
  2. Rotate the valve stem cap counterclockwise with your finger to remove the cap from the stem.
  3. Place the tip of a flat-head screwdriver over the top of the metal pin and press the pin inward.
  4. Release the screwdriver from the valve stem and check the tire pressure.

After this, the tires will start to release air through the valve stem.

9. Multi-coil Pack

Distributorless Ignition Systems (DIS) have been around for more than two decades, but in recent years the trend has been to Multi-Coil systems such as Coil-On-Plug (COP) or Coil-Per-Cylinder (CPC) ignition systems.

If you know about this Multi-coil ignition system in a car, making a car not start will be easy because if you unplug the multi-coil pack, the car will be disabled. Without a multi-coil pack attached, the car will never start, and the car will be disabled from starting permanently.

10. Spray Water In The Air Intake

When you Drench the air filter completely, the possible consequence will be the vehicle would not drive properly. In these cases, you need a tremendous amount of water to drench the air filter.

But, Some undesirable effects could have happened for drenching the air filter, including the air intake system can get damaged, damaging the engine, and it also can be the cause for blocked vacuator valves in the vehicle. So whenever you clean the car engine, you need to be careful about that.

How To Disable A Car Without Opening The Hood

To disable a car without opening the hood, first, you need to locate the fuse box in the cab, which you will find under the dash. After finding the fuse box, look for a fuse labeled ignition or fuel pump, and pull the fuse car will be disabled instantly. Fuse box’s fuses are the necessary circuits that operate a car; that’s why if you pull them off, the car will be disabled from starting, and you don’t need to open the hood.

Here are more ways to disable a car without opening the hood:

  • Pull the fuse from the fuse box
    A fuse box is an essential part of a car when starting and driving. Without any necessary fuse, the car won’t be able to start. That’s why pulling out the fuse from the box will make a car not start, and this is the best way to secretly disable a car. Locate the fuse box in the cab which you will find under the dash, and pull the fuse slowly.
  • Block the exhaust with anything
    Block the car exhaust with anything that won’t let the smoke out from the car, and this is how you can disable a car without someone knowing.
  • Crimp The Gas Line
    If you crimp the gas line, the car will be disabled, and you don’t need to open the hood.

Every car has a different type of model and specification. Anything you want to do in your car, you first need to see your car type. And also there are many ways to temporarily disable a car from starting.

What Fuse To Pull To Disable A Car?

If you pull the fuel pump fuse, the car will be disabled and won’t go anywhere. The fuel pump fuse might be inside the cabin. Pulling the fuel pump fuse prevents the car from starting until it gets back to the place.

Many fuses would disable a car completely. But here are some important and crucial fuses that need to be in a car.

Here are the fuses to pull to disable a car:

  1. Fuel pump fuse or Relay
    Yes, a fuel pump fuse is a most common and most reliable fuse or Relay. Without this fuse, your car goes anywhere.
  2. Coil pack
    A coil pack is an electrically controlled pack of ignition coils controlled by the car’s computer. The coil pack builds up the energy and then releases the voltage through the spark plug cable to reach the spark plugs.
  3. ECU
    The ECU (Electrical Control Unit) used for cars and trucks controls the engine and other functions. The vehicle’s engine computer ECU is used to operate the engine by using input sensors and output components to control all engine functions.

How To Make A Car Crank But Not Start

You remove one or multiple leads from the spark plugs that will make a car crank but not start. If your car’s spark plugs are not properly or even removed or dead, that will have a detrimental effect on your car’s ability to start.

Without the initial spark from the spark plugs in the vehicle’s engine, the engine cannot receive the fuel or compression. Car engines may or may not start, but cars do not go anywhere. The car engine will be permanently disabled.

Spark plugs are located under the hood of your car. On a 4-cylinder engine, spark plugs will be located on the engine’s top or side in a row.

What Should You Do If Your Vehicle Becomes Disabled

Your car can disable for any reason, and there is nothing you can do. That’s why it’s important to know what you should do if your vehicle becomes disabled? Taking simple steps can save your vehicle and time when your car becomes disabled.

Here is what should you do if your car becomes disabled:

  1. Move the car off the road
    Don’t let your vehicle be in the middle of the road because other cars may hit the car that would be very dangerous. Pull or push your car to move from the highway.
  2. Call 911 and let them know
    It’s always to let the office know your situation. That’s why call 911 and tell them your car is disabled. Make sure to tell them your location.
  3. Turn on hazard lights
    As a car owner, you might know turning on the hazard lights in the middle of the road means you are in an emergency. That’s why don’t forget to turn on the hazard lights.
  4. Call the insurance assistant
    If you have car insurance, you should let them know your situation to help you anyhow.

Disabling cars on the road is really a bad and dangerous situation. That’s why in this situation, remaining calm is one of the crucial things to do.

Final Word

We do many things for fun, and disabling friends’ cars is an old-fashioned park to do with friends. Most of the common ways to disable a vehicle from starting is by disconnecting the battery cable. And one other way to disable a vehicle quickly is by disabling the car’s electrical system. If you disable or disconnect the electrical system in a car, you can disable it without opening hood.

Better be aware that some of the ways of disabling a car can damage the car engine. And practicing disabling a car can also impact car performance. That’s why when you disable a vehicle, you should be more careful and be certain.

Now, you also know some ways to disable a car without damaging it. If you want to disable a car from starting, I always recommend that you apply a way that does not damage your car.

2 thoughts on “10 Quick Ways To Disable A Car From Starting”

  1. I bought a 99 chevy monte carlo and have not been able to start it. Cranks but no start. Any suggestions? It has the 3.8L engine

    • Hello Christna
      How is it going?
      First thing I wanna say you got an Old-Gold ( Chevrolet Monte Carlo) Cirstina. Your car cranks but wont turn over because of various reasons.
      here are some reasons you should check:
      1. Check the spark plugs, a bad spark plugs can be the main reason why your car cranks but won’t start
      2. Lack of fuel flow also needs to be checked properly.
      3. Check the power supply in your vehicle.

      First thing you should check is spark plugs. We will find what is the main cause for cars not starting.

      Thank you for your contribution to our caralso.
      Have a good day, Christna


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