Project Zomboid All Ways to Hotwire Car [BUILD 41]

It is extremely difficult to travel without a car and carry supplies during a zombie invasion. Knowing Hotwire a car without a key is vital for your survival.

Updated on Mar 09, 2024
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Project Zomboid All Ways to Hotwire Car [BUILD 41]

In this massive open world of Project Zomboid, it is almost impossible and very dangerous to get from one place to another without a car with your friends, and on top of that with cars you can transport your belongings in a safer way.

You may not always be able to find the keys on or near the car you want to take. In this case, knowing how to hotwire a car can save your life.

You choose an occupation at the beginning of the game and each occupation has its own perks.

Thanks to these occupation-specific perks, you can get the car hotwiring perk from the beginning of the game. Or you can learn the hot wire skill by improving your skills in-game.

How to Get the Hotwire Perk with Occupation

Thanks to this method, we can say that you start the game ahead. You are spawned with the ability to hotwire cars as soon as you spawn in the game without the need to level up your skills.

Since cars are very important in Project Zomboid, getting a car from the beginning of the game and being able to immediately go to the place where you plan to build your base in Project Zomboid increases your chances of survival a lot.

To hotwire car in Project Zomboid occupation selection screen we need to select "Burglar" occupation.


Burglar in-game description reads as follows:

"Can hotwire vehicles, less chance of breaking the lock of a window."

When you start the game as Unemployed, you have a total of 8 skill points and you can distribute them as you wish according to your play style.

But when you start as Burglar, you start with -6 skill points because the character has +2 Lightfooted, +2 Nimble, and +2 Sneaking skills. Burglars are fast, agile, and silent.

How to Hotwire Car without Perk

To hotwire car in Project Zomboid you don't absolutely need to have the burglar trait. You can learn hotwire cars by working your way through the game and leveling up your skills.

Your skills in Project Zomboid determine your capacity and what you can do, the higher your level in some professions, the better and faster you can do that job.

To access the ability to hotwire cars you need two different skills, one Electrical and one Mechanics. Upgrading these skills is a bit tricky, but we'll cover them in a basic manner in this guide.

In Project Zomboid, skills are divided into 6 categories: Passive, Agility, Combat, Crafting, Fire Arm, and Survivalist. The Electrical and Mechanics skills we need are under Crafting.

You need 1 Electrical Skill and 2 Mechanics Skills to hot-wire a car without a key. You can then hot-wire it to your satisfaction, as long as the car you are trying to take over has some fuel on the gas tank.


How to Level Up Your Electrical Skill

It is actually much easier to upgrade Electrical skills than other skills. What you need to do to level up in the most efficient way is to read skill books and you can read named Electrician Vol. 1 book in this case and take a Screwdriver with you.

Reading the Electrician Vol. 1 book provides a 3x experience multiplier between 1-2 skill levels. In this way, you can level up much faster.


Then collect the electronic watches of the zombies you killed while clearing an area from zombies and dismantle them there or at home with your messdriver. When you enter the houses, read the magazines you find and dismantle all the electronic devices you can dismantle such as CD players, TVs, Remotes, Headphones, etc. You can easily level up by repeating these strategies.


How to Level Up Your Mechanics Skill

The Mechanics skill is a bit different and a bit tricky to level up. To improve your Mechanics skills, you'll need to acquire a few different tools that you'll need and a vehicle that you can sacrifice.

The tools we need are Screwdriver, Wrench, Jack, and Lug Wrench and with these tools, we will disassemble and assemble certain car parts and we will gain experience by repeating this over and over again. I said a car that you can sacrifice because the parts of the car will be ruined with a very high probability because our level will be very low at first.


With the Wrench, we can fix or remove the car parts such as the gas tank, muffler, brakes, suspension, trunk lid, and hood. Jacks are needed to hold the car in the air, so we can reach the tires, brakes, and suspension. And finally, the Lug Wrench tool helps us to remove tires, suspension, and brakes from vehicles.


Of course, as with the Electrical skill, we should start doing these jobs after we get our 3x experience multiplier from the book Mechanics Vol. 1. After making Electrical skill 1 Mechanics 2, you have the right skills to hotwire cars.

How to Hotwire Car in Project Zomboid

We have learned what we need to do and what skills we need to have to hotwire in Project Zomboid, now let's talk about how to actually hotwire a car.

  1. First, let's go to the car and check if the door is open. If the door is open, sit in the driver's seat, if not, break the window with your arm or a melee weapon.


  1. Then press and hold the "V" key to open the hotwire menu. Thanks to this menu, we can use the car's functions such as horn, radio, headlight, hotwire, and window opening and closing. After clicking the key icon, if you don't have a key on you, your character will start to hotwire. There may be a few failed attempts, after the car is hotwired the engine light will turn on.


  1. After the engine light comes on, you can start the engine by pressing the "W" button.


Enjoy your new car.

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