How to Put a Dead Car in Neutral

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To put a dead car in neutral, turn the ignition key to the “on” position and push the gearshift into neutral. When your car’s battery is dead, it becomes a challenge to navigate the vehicle.

Whether you need to push it or tow it, it’s essential to know how to put a dead car in neutral. This allows you to move the car without engaging the engine. By following a few simple steps, you’ll have your car in neutral in no time.

We’ll discuss how to put a dead car in neutral so you can move it easily and safely. Whether you’re dealing with a manual transmission or an automatic one, we’ve got you covered. So let’s dive in and learn the process!

Why Put A Dead Car In Neutral

When a car is not starting, gently rock the car back and forth. Look for visible signs of damage under the vehicle. Carefully lift the hood of the car. Remove any damage or obstructions you can safely clear. Ensure that the car is in a safe location before attempting to put it in neutral. Always engage the emergency brake before trying to move the car. Use a tow rope or chain for towing preparation. Place the car in neutral to safely tow it away if needed.

How to Put a Dead Car in Neutral


Locating The Shift Lever

When your car is dead and you need to put it in neutral, the first step is to locate the shift lever. The shift lever is typically located in one of three places: on the floor between the front seats, on the steering column, or on the dashboard. Once you’ve found the shift lever, you’ll need to find the gear shift. The gear shift is a diagram that shows you where each gear is located. It’s usually labeled with letters for each gear, such as P for park, R for reverse, N for neutral, and D for drive. To put your dead car in neutral, you’ll need to move the shift lever to the N position on the gear shift diagram. Once in neutral, you can easily push or tow the car without damaging the transmission.

Putting The Car In Neutral

How to Put a Dead Car in Neutral

To put a dead car in neutral, you have two options: using a key or using the manual release.

Insert the key into the ignition and turn it to the “On” position. Then, locate the shift lock release slot near the shifter. Insert a small, flat tool, such as a screwdriver, into the slot and press down firmly. While applying pressure, shift the car into the neutral gear. Once in neutral, release the pressure on the shift lock release and remove the key from the ignition.

If your car does not have a shift lock release slot, you can use the manual release option. Open the hood and locate the manual release lever. It is usually a bright-colored pull tab near the transmission. Pull the tab carefully and hold it while someone pushes the car from behind. This will disengage the gears and allow the car to be moved in neutral. Remember to release the manual release when you’re done.


Towing The Car

To put a dead car in neutral, you can use a tow dolly or hire professional towing services. Make sure to follow proper instructions when towing the car to avoid any damage. Using a tow dolly is a cost-effective solution, but ensure you have the right equipment and know how to operate it correctly. On the other hand, professional towing services offer convenience and expertise in handling dead cars safely. Consider both options and choose the one that best suits your needs.

After Putting The Car In Neutral

It’s essential to conduct safety checks before putting a dead car in neutral. First, ensure the parking brake is engaged. Then, put the key in the ignition and turn it to the accessory position. After that, shift the gear selector to neutral to free the wheels. Now for further inspection, check the battery cables for any signs of damage or corrosion. Inspect the transmission fluid level and ensure it’s at the appropriate level. Additionally, examine the engine for any leaks or damage. By following these steps, you can safely put a dead car in neutral and proceed with necessary repairs or towing.

How to Put a Dead Car in Neutral


Frequently Asked Questions For How To Put A Dead Car In Neutral

How Do You Force A Dead Car Into Neutral?

To force a dead car into neutral, access the shift lock override button near the gear shifter. Press it using a small tool or key, while depressing the brake pedal. Then, shift the car into neutral to move or tow it.

Can You Put A Car In Neutral Without Turning It On?

Yes, you can put a car in neutral without turning it on by shifting the gear selector to “N”.

How Do You Move A Car With A Dead Battery?

To move a car with a dead battery, you can use jumper cables to jump-start it from another vehicle. Connect the red jumper cable to the positive terminal of both batteries, then connect the black cable to the negative terminal of the working battery and a metal surface in the dead car.

Start the working car, let it run for a few minutes, and then try starting the dead car.

Can You Move An Automatic Car With A Dead Battery?

Yes, you can move an automatic car with a dead battery by using jumper cables to connect it to a running vehicle. Start the running car and let it run for a few minutes to charge the dead battery. Then, try starting your car again.


In a pinch, knowing how to put a dead car in neutral could save the day. The process is simple yet crucial for troubleshooting. By following the steps outlined, you can easily maneuver your vehicle when the need arises. Stay prepared and empowered on the road!

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