Currently, cars come with keyless entry systems for efficiency. Some also come fitted with an electronic shift lock, as a safety measure. This electronic shift lock is the best. Things get a bit messy when the car’s battery dies, and you want to shift the car’s gear to neutral.
So, how can I shift the car’s transmission into neutral when the battery is dead? You will need to override the automatic shift transmission to do so. Overriding the automatic transmission follows a procedure that starts with applying the parking brake, turning on the ignition, stepping on the brakes before shifting the gear to neutral.
Ways to Shift Your Car into Neutral If the Battery is Dead
The battery of your car is one essential part. When it goes flat or dies, it means that you can hardly start the ignition, leave alone moving the car from one point to another. For automatic cars, having a flat battery can be a problem, especially, when you are in the middle of the road. With the battery out, it means that the automatic transmission can’t work.
So, how do you switch the gear to neutral so that you can get the car out of the road? It’s one of the most common questions you will find drivers asking. The reason is that batteries are prone to breaking down and there is little you can do about that scenario. Without saying much, I will continue and give you a step-by-step guide you should follow to shift the gear.
When You Have the Keys With You
Step one: apply the parking brakes. This first guide should be followed when you have the keys to your car with you. It begins by applying the parking brakes. Parking brakes work whether the car is connected to the battery or not. They help hold the vehicle still. Therefore, you should begin by applying the brake to prevent the car from moving when the transmission is shifted to neutral.
If you fail to apply the brakes, you may end up putting the vehicle at risk based on the terrain at which it’s resting. Most cars have the parking brakes as a lever in the center console or as a pedal to the left of the usual brake pedal.
Step two: turn on the ignition switch. With the parking brakes level lifted, your next step should be to turn on the ignition. Go ahead and insert the key into the ignition. Turn it clockwise. Turning the key to the on position helps with releasing the steering wheel’s lock.
Step three: press hard on the brake pedal. For the automatic vehicles, the brake pedal is important when you are shifting the transmission from parking to drive, for example. In this scenario, you will also need to step on the brake pedal. Ensure that depress the pedal all the way.
Step four: release the shift lock. With your foot stepping on the brake pedal, the gear shift should easily be moved into the neutral position. If it doesn’t, it’s an indication that the shift lock is still engaged. You will need to disengage the shift lock.
This is where a screwdriver comes in handy. Look for a hole or a latch somewhere in the center console and insert the screwdriver. This should help with releasing the lock, hence allowing the gear to be shifted into neutral without any hustles.
What Happens When You Don’t Have the Keys to Turn on the Ignition?
There are instances when you find yourself with a car that has a dead battery. What happens when you don’t have the keys to turn on the ignition? Does it mean that you can’t shift the gear into neutral? The answer is no, you can still shift the gear manually using the procedure that I will take you through. You will need wheel blocks, a flashlight, and an open vehicle to accomplish this procedure.
Step one: block the wheels. This guide may be a bit risky because you will have to go under your car and work from there. This is where the flashlight and wheel blocks come in handy. Therefore, before you begin working on anything, you should begin with positioning the wheel blocks, either on the front wheels or the rear based on the terrain at which the car is resting.
Step two: slide under the car. With the wheel blocks in position, it’s time to crawl down there and do your thing. You will need a flashlight to help with locating the vehicle’s transmission. Usually, the transmission is situated near the car’s engine. Therefore, you won’t have much problem locating it once under the car.
Step three: switch the transmission. With the flashlight, you should be able to locate your car’s transmission from below there. You will find a cable that usually runs alongside the transmission. The right cable has a lever and switches connected to it. You should disconnect the cable and push the lever towards the end of the car. Keep on pushing the lever until you hear a clicking noise twice.
Step four: push the car slightly. With the manual lever shifted, you should come out from under the vehicle to test if the trick has worked. You can try pushing the car slightly, with the wheel blocks still in place. If the manual shifting was successful, the car should move a bit when pushed from any direction.
Here is the great YouTube video I found for you below:
What You Should Know
By now, you are well informed that various car models can be put into neutral and even moved without the key in the ignition. Therefore, when buying your first car, you should confirm with your dealer if the car fits the category or not. The info can save you’re the surprises that arise when the battery fails and you have to push the car to a safe position.
When it comes to pushing the car, it would be best if two or more people are involved. With at least two people, it means that one person can sit on the driver’s seat and control the vehicle, that’s to steer the wheels and apply the brakes whenever the speed goes high.