Last Updated on November 17, 2021 by Ellis Gibson (B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering)
When you have a dead car battery, the key will not turn. If you press on your brakes, no signal is sent and so when shifting gears it becomes stuck in place! But that’s okay because all we need to do now is get out of this situation by putting our vehicle into a neutral mode which can then be moved easily from its current position without any problems at all.
So, How to Put a Car in Neutral with a Dead Battery? Set the parking brake for safety. If your car has mechanical locks, find a small panel on the shift selector and pry it up. Insert a screwdriver into the hole, and push it to disengage the manual shift lock override.
If your car has a dead battery, it can be difficult to figure out how to put the vehicle in neutral. How do you go about doing this? How do you actually get your car into neutral on the side of the road, and how long does it take? Here are some tips that will help get your car started again!
Why Might You Need to Shift to Neutral in a Dead Vehicle?
“Dead battery?” you might ask, “What am I going to do now?!” Maybe all the stress from your day has gotten to you and drained that last bit of juice.
You may not know much about cars but this is a common occurrence so don’t panic! Luckily for us, there are quick fixes for when we’re stranded in our own driveway with no power left.
The most common need to shift your dead car into neutral is that the vehicle isn’t in an optimal position to charge or jump off its battery’s energy reserves.
In many cases, people will simply bring over their charger as close as they can. Get it without risking electrical hazards and connect straight where it stands at ground level. This should give enough electricity flow through wires tucked under your hood to make the vehicle start.
In other cases, such as when the charger is too far away and your car won’t turn over or even crank, you’ll need to put it in neutral for a jumpstart.
So let’s move to the way to shift into neutral if the car won’t start or the key is turned but it’s not powering up.
Step by Step Process to Shift Your Car into Neutral If the Battery is dead
If your car battery dies, you only have a few options to get it going again. You could call for roadside assistance or someone with jumper cables, but sometimes the best thing to do is just push or roll your car out of traffic and then shift into neutral. This will save you time and hassle in the long run.
If you ever find yourself in this situation, here’s how to safely get moving:
Step-01: Take your car’s key out of the ignition and turn off all accessories (such as air conditioning).
Ste-02: Turn on your emergency brake to activate a “park” gear without locking the steering wheel or using any other locks.
Step-03: To get out of a locked-up gear, find the tiny panel on your shifter and pry it up with a flathead screwdriver. Insert the tip into that hole to unlock any manual override locks on your transmission.
Step-04: Put your vehicle into a neutral position by moving from D to R or P.
Step- 05: If everything is working correctly, you should be able to start up with relative ease after connecting jumper cables in place – one set connected red clamp to the battery terminal and black clamp securely onto engine block ground point metal surface closest underhood side where no paint exists or away from fuel lines/sensors, etc., then connect the other set of clamps to another vehicle’s battery.
Step-06: Important! To avoid danger, ensure that vehicles are turned off and not connected by jumper cables when you start up one car. Cranking the engine of a vehicle with gasoline spilled on it or while it is still being fueled could lead to an explosion.
When You Have the Keys with You:
Step-01: The first step to a successful battery-less car start is applying the parking brakes. Shifting into “neutral” can be done before or after applying parking brakes, but it is important to take safety precautions because the vehicle could unexpectedly move when in neutral without power from the battery.
Step-02: As long as you have the parking brakes up and ready, turn on your ignition. Place the key into the car’s lock and twist it clockwise to release your steering wheel from its grip.
Step-03: Press on the brake pedal firmly and try to step down hard. In an automatic car, depress the brake all the way down when shifting gears to drive.
Step-04: Release the shift lock and put your car into neutral. Once you are on a flat surface, press gently with one foot while shifting gears to make sure it moves easily. If not, try releasing the Shift Lock for smoother shifts!
First, Reach for the center console and use your screwdriver to find a latch or hole. This will help release the lock to allow shifting into neutral without any hassle.
What Happens When You Don’t Have the Keys to Turn on the Ignition?
With a dead battery, your car is no longer capable of starting. But what if you don’t have the keys to start it? Can you shift into neutral without them? The answer is yes! With wheel blocks and an open vehicle nearby, follow these steps:
Step-01: Block the wheels of your car to maintain a steady surface for any work you may need to do. There are many costs and risks involved with not blocking the tires, so it is important that this step be followed before anything else. However, if you want to proceed without wheel blocks in place then make sure there’s nothing around or under your vehicle (such as rocks) which could cause damage when driving over them while working on something underneath the hood or trunk lid.
Step-02: With the wheel blocks in place, you need to slide under your car and do what needs to be done. A flashlight is necessary for you so when you locate the transmission or any other part that may need attention. The engines will likely tell-all with a little help from this handy tool!
Step-03: Switching your transmission is not as tricky as you might think. You can locate it by shining a flashlight beneath the car and looking for cables that are connected to levers on either side of the engine.
Disconnecting the cable from the outlet and pushing down on the lever should allow you to put your car in neutral. Keep on pushing until you hear a clicking noise twice.
So, by pushing the car just ever so slightly and shifting your manual lever it should come out from under.
You should now see the lever shift inwards after doing this. This will have unlocked your car’s wheel so that you can drive again!
It is important to remember that if all else fails, call for roadside assistance!
To Make it More Clear Please See The Video:
I also know that sometimes, you don’t have a choice. Maybe your battery is dead and there’s no one to help push start it for you. That doesn’t mean the car won’t still be able to move just by shifting into neutral! Just make sure you’re parked on flat ground with space in front of the car so it can roll forward when needed.
And remember this trick if ever faced with an emergency situation where the vehicle needs moving but not starting.” We hope these tips will come in handy someday! Have any tricks or useful information about what else can do in a pinch? Let us know and we’ll share them here!”
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Can you put a dead car in neutral?
When the battery is dead in your car, you can’t get it to start by turning on the key and pressing down on brake pedal. In this case, put it into neutral so that with a gentle push from behind or beneath vehicle will allow manual action which may fix problem of not being able to turn off shift lock if brakes are pressed too hard.
Can you put a car in neutral without starting it?
If you have a manual car, it is possible to put the vehicle in neutral even if the ignition has been switched off by pressing down on the clutch pedal. However, with an automatic transmission, this becomes more difficult and will require that your car be “in accessory mode” so that the gear lever can go into Neutral.
Where is the shift lock override button?
Most cars have a shift lock override slot located near the shifter, but it is most commonly hidden by a small plastic cap.
How do you start an automatic car with a dead battery with another car?
Vehicles with manual transmissions are easier to jumpstart without cables. The only way you can start a car that has flipped for an automatic transmission is by using portable battery chargers or jumper cables.
If you drive an automatic car, make sure to have a portable charger in your roadside emergency toolkit. These types of chargers will allow you to charge up your car battery while still on the road.