I have experienced a number of occasions when this proved to be an indispensable skill.
I lost my only set of car keys at the theater (there's nothing more embarrassing than breaking into your car at the symphony, that too, by the way, is an important skill)...
Broke my rental car key (I rented a car and accidentally broke the key off while using it as a tool to open a box)
There was a number of "better not mentioned" moments prior to my 16th birthday when a spare key would have saved me from getting grounded...
Disclaimers (best listed first):
1. Hot-wiring a car without the owner's permission is illegal, except of course in repossessions. As such, if you are repossessing your ex-boyfriend's car because you can't imagine him ever driving that cool car with another woman, feel free to skip 1A and read ahead.
1A. If you are repossessing your ex-girlfriend's car, you should be ashamed of yourself! How's she going to get to Hot Topic at the mall without that sweet ride you bought her? Have you even considered how difficult it will be to go to the gym or day spa? Shame, shame, and more shame. If you are even thinking about repossessing your ex-girlfriend's car, I'm going to kindly ask that you leave this blog at once.
2. Hot-wiring can be dangerous; that means there's risk of electrical shock; that means, be careful dummy.
3. Hot-wiring will not work on all cars, particularly cars with security devices. Leave those to the pro's. If the car has a "kill-switch", just walk away.
Finally, the instructions on how to freakin' do this:
1. Watch the movie Gone In 60 Seconds, that will totally psych-you-up!
2. Scope out your car.
3. Make sure no one's looking or bring the neighborhood paperboy to serve as a look-out
4. Open the hood.
5. Locate the coil wire (it is red; if you're color-blind, close the hood and walk away): To find the wire, follow the plug wires, which lead to the coil wire. The plug and coil wires are located at the rear of the engine on most V-8's. On a six-cylinder engine, the wires are on the left-side near the center of the engine, and on four-cylinder engines, they are located on the right-side near the center of the engine).
6. Run a wire from the positive (+) side of the battery to the positive side of the coil, or the red wire that goes to the coil. This step gives power to the dash; the car will not run unless it is performed first.
7. Locate the starter solenoid. On most GM cars, it is on the starter. On Fords, it is located on the left-side (passenger-side) fender well. An easy way to find the solenoid is to look for the small wire and the positive battery cable. Cross the two with a screwdriver or pliers. This cranks the engine.
8. If the car has a standard transmission, make sure it is in neutral and the parking brake is on. If it has an automatic transmission, make sure it is in park.
9. Unlock the steering wheel using a flat blade screwdriver. Take the screwdriver and place it at the top center of the steering column. Push the screwdriver between the steering wheel and the column. Push the locking pin away from the wheel. Be very firm when pushing the pin; it will not break.
10. Once the car is started, head for Mexico. In the event you do not have a GPS, simply drive south and look for the Bienvenidos à Mexico sign (note: 1. make sure to take your passport or we will not let you back in; 2. ditch the car in Mexico prior to returning and cross back over on the walking bridge. 3. Buy a piñada for your kid, niece or nephew. 4. Smile a lot.)