Learning how to put a car in neutral with a dead battery could save your car from being cut off in the middle of the road. car batteries can be dead for various reasons.
So this article is all about shifting your car in neutral with a dead battery. People get stuck in park and won’t put their car in neutral because they don’t know that it’s easy and simple.
What Does Neutral Do In A Car
When shifting your car in neutral, that means your car cuts off the connection between the engine and the car wheels accordingly; your car’s power can’t be transmitted to the wheels when you press the accelerator in your car. Make sure you use neutral gear when it’s actually needed. Abusing this gear can damage your car’s torque converter.
How To Put A Car In Neutral With A Dead Battery
As you know, Neutral gear work is the same for both transmissions (automatic and manual transmission). Nowadays, car manufacturers get into this and make some changes around gear shifting.
Modern car manufacturers make cars with an electronic shift lock. Thus, they are making cars that don’t require a key for operating the car enter systems. But, the problem comes when the car battery goes dead, and your car gear won’t shift to neutral. By reading the battery gauge in your car, you will be able to notice the battery dying.
A car battery is dead, which means the battery won’t supply the power to the engine to start your car. Situations get messy when your car battery goes dead because it will cost you and put you in an unexpected situation, especially if your car has automatic transmission because of an automatic transmission shift lock.
People get into this kind of dangerous situation in various ways. For example, some people’s car battery goes dead in the middle of the road, the battery does not hold a charge, and battery leaking also can put you in this situation. However, no matter how you get into these issues, you can do something to put your car in neutral gear and move your vehicle.
When you want to put a dead car in neutral, you may have the keys to your car or not have the keys. If you have keys with you, then putting a car in neutral with a dead battery would be easy. But, no worries, below I will give you the right solution, whether you have keys with you or not.
Solution No 1: How to put a dead car in neutral when keys with you
Right below, you will get the solution for your neutral car with a dead battery if you have keys with you.
Step 1: Pull the parking brake
There is no connection between your car’s parking brake (Also known as Handbrake, emergency brake) and your car battery. That’s why you have to apply the parking brakes first. Also, the parking brake will not let your car move. So don’t forget to apply your car parking brake before going further because these tiny issues put the car in danger.
I’m sure car owners know where the parking brake is. For those who don’t know yet or haven’t used the parking brake, the parking brake is located near the steering column or next to your gear sector in most vehicles.
Step 2: Put the Keys and turn on the ignition switch
Your car won’t go in neutral gear for a dead car battery, but you have the keys with you. Now, you need to put the key into the ignition and turn the key. When you put the keys into the ignition and try to start the engine, this helps the steering wheels to be unlocked. That’s why don’t forget to apply the parking brakes before putting keys into the ignition.
Step 3: Depress the brake pedal
After you put the keys into the ignition and try on the engine, now you need to press the brake pedal really hard. Make sure nothing is under the brake pedal because if there is something under the brake pedal, the brake pedal won’t depress completely.
Step 4: Release the shift lock
If you see the gear shift doesn’t move into the neutral position, this means your car shifting lock is still engaged. So, you apply the parking brake and then try to turn on the ignition switch and after that press the brake pedal completely, but the car won’t go to neutral, then you need to separate the shift lock.
You need to release the shift lock. Below you will see how you can release the shift lock:
- First, find the shift lock latch or keyhole in the car center console.
- If you find the shift lock override slot or a latch in the center console. The slot may have a plastic cap on it; you need to remove that cap.
- Bring a screwdriver or a nail file and insert the screwdriver into the slot and push it down and hold it.
- Press the brake pedal when you release the shift lock.
If you can release the shift lock properly, this will automatically allow the gear to move to neutral. It sounds hard, but it’s really easy; that’s why you should try this first.
Solution No 2: How to put a dead car in neutral when you don’t have the keys with you
You might get in a situation when your car battery is dead, and car gear is in park mode, and you don’t have the keys with you. I know this is really unfortunate and a total mess. But you will also be able to put your car in neutral with a dead battery when you don’t have the keys with you.
Requirement for this procedure:
- Wheel blocks
- A flashlight
- An open Vehicle
Step 1: Block the car wheels
You will need to work from under the car. That’s why you have to block the wheels first. I mentioned wheel blocks in the requirement section. And when you go under the car, you will also need a flashlight to see under the car properly.
Step 2: Go under the car and locate the transmission
Now, you have to go under the car with a flashlight because it will help you to see clearly under the car. Make sure your car wheels are blocked, and the car is not moving.
After you go under the vehicle, now you need to locate the transmission. Typically, the transmission is situated a bit lower than the engine and level with the oil pan. This is easy work to locate the transmission in the car. You will find it easily.
Step 3: Disconnect the cable
When you find the transmission under the car, now you need to switch the transmission with a flashlight. Around the transmission, you will see a cable with a lever and switches. This cable you will find this cable just behind the transmission. You have to disconnect that cable.
Step 4: Push the lever to the end of the car
Under what you see is the gear shift lever. And this is used for changing the gear in your car. After you disconnect the cable now push the shift lever towards the end of the car. Keep pushing the lever until your car makes a clicking noise twice. You don’t need to push the shift lever so hard; pushing the lever should not be so hard.
Step 5: Push the car a little
After disconnecting the transmission cable and pushing, the lever now comes out from under the car. Push the car slightly to test if this trick has worked. Make sure car wheels block in their place.
If this manual gear shifting trick works, the car should move a bit when you push the car from any direction. And the car will be put in neutral automatically, and this is how you can put a car in neutral without turning it on.
How To Move A Dead Car By Yourself
To move a dead car by yourself, you need to press the brake and shift the gear into neutral. After that push the vehicle, the car will move smoothly. Moving a dead car by yourself is tough because you will need to press the brake, put the car into neutral, and push the car. That’s why an assistant would be handy at that time.
Below you will see how you can move a dead car by yourself:
Step 1: Let them know about your situation
The first thing you should do is let other people know your car is dead because another driver can hit your car. Whether it’s your passenger or other people around you, you should tell them about your car situation. When you let the know other people around you, they can help you to get out of this dangerous situation.
Step 2: Shift the gear in neutral
If your car doesn’t start then, you need to put the car into neutral, allowing you to move the car from that place. If your car doesn’t let you shift the gear into neutral while the car is off, you need to insert the key and turn it to the on position.
Step 3: Push the car
This is the final step for moving a dead car. While your car is on, you should be able to press the brake and shift the gear into neutral. Now, you need an assistant who can push the car. Again, it can be your passenger or individual.
Move your car to a safe place first. If your car is dead in the middle of the road, move to the roadside as soon as possible. When you get to the safe place, now you should call the nearest auto repair shop because they will take care of your whole problem.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How to push an automatic car with a dead battery
Pushing an automatic car with a dead battery is not going to work. If you want to push your automatic car with a dead battery, you have to have a portable battery charger. That’s why carrying a portable charger for emergency use is really helpful if you drive an automatic car.
Why is my car not shifting out of the park?
Car not shifting out of the park for several reasons. Some of the most common causes are shift interlock and your car’s park gear applying too much force. In addition, if you park your car in an incline position, this can cause your car not to shift out of the park.
Is it bad to shift into neutral while driving manual?
Yes. Shift into neutral while driving manual is bad for your car, and it’s unsafe. Because when you shift your car gear into neutral, you don’t have full control over your car. You can’t get the engine braking in this situation, and it also makes your car’s brakes more overheated. That’s why you should avoid shifting into neutral while driving manual.
Is it bad to tow a car in park?
Towing a parked car is bad because it causes some damage to your car. For example, if you tow a car in park, it can damage your tires and bring linkages back to the transmission. That’s why you have to take some precautions before you tow your car.
Now you know a lot about the car’s automatic transmission and manual transmission. You also know how to put a car in neutral with a dead battery. Even If you follow the process properly, you will be able to put a car in neutral without a key.
Your car can be dead in the middle of the road or in an approachable place. So the first thing you need to do is move your car to a safe place. That’s why knowing and getting knowledge about your car transmission can help you.
Wherever you need to deal with a dead car, make sure you let the other people know your situation because they can help you to come out from these difficult issues. Don’t hesitate; people are friendly and helpful.
I’m Aaron Johnson. I am a Car Specialist in Automotive diagnosis and writer of this blog. I love to do analysis and come out with real life solutions. I’m studying at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas. I especially analyze automobile industrial affairs and make explanations. If you need any industrial knowledge for your car. Then, I can help you right away.