How to Shift the Car in Neutral With a Dead Battery?

by Phil Borges // in Car

You’re driving down the road, then all of a sudden, your car starts to shake and lose power. You get out to take a look at what’s going on and see that you have a dead battery. “What do I do now?” You ask yourself? Well, don’t worry! We’ve got some tips for you so you can keep calm until someone comes by with jumper cables. The guides in this article should allow for an easy transition on how to shift car into neutral with dead battery.

How to shift the car in neutral with a dead battery?

If you need to shift the car in neutral with a dead battery, there is a way. Most modern vehicles will actually allow for this, but some may not. Although some cars manufactured prior to 2010 do not include a shift lock, the procedure is mostly similar for those that do.

You can double-check if your car has this shift lock by checking the owner’s manual or going online and checking it yourself. If your car can be shifted into neutral without a key, follow the simple steps below.

Step 1: To avoid any unwanted movement, make sure that your parking brake is engaged. This way, you won’t have any problems with the vehicle moving while trying to get it into neutral.

Step 2: Locate the shift lock or electronic lock next to the shift lever. You can find it by looking closely for a small square box type that blends its color with the surface where it is located.

Step 3: Remove the cover of the shift lock with the help of a flathead screwdriver. Be careful in prying up the cover so that you won’t damage the console. Keep the cover somewhere safe, and do not lose it as you will need it later.

Step 4: Place your foot and hold down the brake pedal, then insert and press the tip of the flathead gently inside the console (some may have a small button inside).

Step 5: While pressing the button in the console, grab the shift lever and attempt to move it into neutral.

Step 6: Before you try to move a car somewhere, make sure to replace the cover back and release your parking brake. Be sure there is a driver inside who can steer or apply brakes when needed, then push as necessary. Once in place, return gears with park locked down tight, so no momentum carries away from dangerous places like bridges.

What are the causes of battery drain in a car?

There are two main concerns when it comes to drain on a car battery. The first is the electrical load put on the battery by all of the power-consuming gadgets in a modern automobile. Things like heating and cooling systems, entertainment systems, more and more sophisticated sensors that provide information about whether a door was left open or a seatbelt weren’t buckled. Those things can all take some juice from your battery as part of their normal operations.

The second cause of battery drain comes from parasitic loads that are on all of the time, even when no devices are actually drawing current for any reason. These include things like alarm systems and interior lights (which may stay illuminated until someone walks away or switches them off manually). If you have a vehicle that has a lot of these features, then your battery may be constantly drained.

What are the ways to keep the car battery long-lasting?

The first thing you can do is avoid using any accessory units if at all possible. If it’s not cold outside and you’re wearing a seatbelt, turn off anything in your car that isn’t absolutely essential. A car that is turned off but left in accessory mode will still draw a small amount of power from the battery, even if it’s just enough to run your clock and radio presets for when you get back into the vehicle.

Switch on headlights only when needed.

If there are any electrical components in your car that have a manual shut-off, use them. For example, if your car has power windows that can be rolled down normally or by hand (instead of running the motor), do it manually instead of letting the window run all the way down on its own and then up again when you close it.

Driving habits make a difference, too; avoid heavy acceleration and braking whenever possible because that’s when your car is using the most power. If you need to hit the brake pedal hard while driving uphill or in heavy traffic, let off of the gas pedal for a moment before applying it again; don’t keep accelerating until you reach maximum speed, then brake suddenly.


It is not a difficult task to shift the car in neutral with a dead battery. But it can be difficult if you are unsure or don’t know how to do this and haven’t done it before; because there are some steps involved in doing so. It’s important that you understand what you should do when your car battery dies, as well as why the battery drains and how long your batteries will last. This blog post has provided information on these topics that we hope will help you learn more about shifting your vehicle into gear without power from its engine or electrical system.

About the author, Phil Borges

Phil Borges is a battery aficionado. He's written extensively about batteries, and he loves nothing more than discussing the latest innovations in the industry. He has a deep understanding of how batteries work, and he's always on the lookout for new ways to improve their performance.