How To Put A Car In Neutral Without Keys?

Last Updated on January 19, 2023 by Leepu Da Maxim

In those cars that are automatic, there is a slot near the gearshift lever. So, it is possible to put the key in that slot instead of putting the key in the ignition. For cars with a manual transmission, the transmission cable must be disconnected to move the vehicle into neutral without the key.

Key Takeaways

  • You have to locate the shift lever or gear selector if you want to put the car in neutral without keys
  • You have to use the release button or lever to release the lever from its locked position
  • You can put a car in neutral without power by using the shift lock override

Put A Car In Neutral Without Keys -Steps

Wheel lock
The vehicle must have each of its four wheels blocked from the rear and the front, as this avoids possible minor or serious accidents.
The user must have a flashlight to be able to work underneath the vehicle.
Locate Lowered VehicleWith a flashlight in hand, the user should position himself under the vehicle, especially at the front.
Find Transmission CableThe transmission is usually bolted to the engine so here it is necessary to find the cable along with a switch and a lever; this lever should be moved backward until two clicks are heard
Move VehicleHere, the user can check if the vehicle is in neutral to place it in the most desired location, this avoids calling a tow truck when the user does not have the keys to put the car in neutral. 

How Do I Put A Car In Neutral Without A Key In The Ignition?

Many people need to move a vehicle just when they do not have the key for the ignition. However, it is necessary to consider that moving someone else’s vehicle without consent is illegal. However, this is possible as long as a person has the vehicle owner’s authorization to do so.

In some cases, cars with automatic transmissions include a slot near the gearshift lever. In this way, the key can be inserted to move the vehicle into neutral without having to insert the key into the ignition. However, many people who have a vehicle with a manual transmission also want to move the vehicle. 

For them, only three simple, time-consuming steps are required.

1. First of all, a flashlight is needed, as the first steps must be performed right underneath the vehicle. Moreover, the most important thing is to keep the vehicle in a safe place that is completely stopped. So, you need to have some blocks for the rear wheels and the front wheels.

Each of these blocks should be placed at the front and the back of each wheel. It is also necessary to consider that this is a procedure to be able to put the car in neutral. Therefore, if the car is simply not properly secured it will start to move backward or forwards. 

Considering that this procedure is performed when someone does not have the key to the vehicle, then the blocks must be well placed. Braking the vehicle in this type of situation can be a very difficult thing to do. Most likely there will be some kind of accident with another person or another vehicle.

Of course, in the worst-case scenario, some kind of death could occur due to this simple unforeseen event. Therefore, it is recommended to place some heavy blocks such as stones or metal blocks. Additionally, this is also a relatively simple task whose objective is only to prevent the vehicle from moving at any time.

2. Once the car is properly blocked on each of its wheels, you can get under the car. Here, you should not forget your flashlight as it will not be enough even if the work is done during the day. In particular, here and you will have to take care of finding the vehicle’s transmission, which may vary from place to place depending on each make and model.

In many cases, the transmission is often bolted to the engine. Therefore, starting the search at the front of the vehicle will be the best way to find the transmission. Cleaning the entire area is also a good way to properly maintain this part of the vehicle. 

3. Once you find the transmission you need to find the cable that runs throughout this part. The cable you need usually has a lever and a switch that are interconnected with each other. Once you disconnect the cable you will need to take care of pushing the lever back. In this case, it is simply a matter of pushing the lever until you hear it click twice. 

The moment you have heard the two clicks, you can get out from under the car and check the result. Here, you should start pushing the car although you should not remove the wheel blocks yet. The car should move slightly if this procedure worked the way we are expecting. With which, you will be able to move the vehicle to the desired location.

The truth is that you don’t need much effort as the car will be neutral so you can push it as far as necessary. However, many people do not want to go through this whole procedure to put the car in neutral. So, if you are one of these people you should simply call a towing company for proper assistance.

How Do You Put A Car In Neutral Without Power?

On many occasions, a vehicle’s electrical system or electronic ignition can fail. Today’s electronic ignitions in modern vehicles necessarily require electricity. So, when the battery or electrical system fails, it can be somewhat difficult to put the car in neutral to move it to a suitable location.

Some modern vehicles also include an anti-theft system as well as other safety features such as an electronic shift lock. When the vehicle runs out of battery, then these security features prevent the key in the ignition from being disengaged.

Either way, there is a manual override here that can be used in case of an emergency. This requires following a few basic steps that do not require much time for the user.

1. In principle, it is necessary to fully break the vehicle for the safety and protection of the user himself and other people. Therefore, it is more than sufficient to use the handbrake as far as it will go. In most cases, a handbrake is usually installed next to the gearshift lever. In other cases, the pedal brake may be sufficient.

2. Once the vehicle is fully braked and secured you can continue by locating the shift lock override. It is necessary to activate this override to put the car in neutral. Of course, there is a manual override on all types of vehicles that include an electronic shift lock. 

In this case, there should be some removable panel that is small and located near the gear selector. Using a flat-blade screwdriver the user should apply lever force on this panel. At the same time, using the same screwdriver, the user should find the hole of the button that allows activating the manual shift lock override.

3. Once you have found this button then the manual shift lock function will no longer be available. You will then simply insert or use the key in the ignition if it was already in place. At the same time, the key must be turned to the “Acc” or “On” position.

Finally, press the brake pedal down and move the shift lever to neutral. You are now ready to move the vehicle into neutral without waiting to recharge the vehicle’s battery.

This procedure can be done quickly and is useful when the car has come to a complete stop in the middle of a street or highway. You will have the possibility to move the vehicle to the side to avoid danger. 

Can You Push A Car In Neutral By Yourself?

In principle, it is necessary to consider that a vehicle does not move on its own when the transmission is in neutral. In this case, there is no way for the engine power to reach the wheels of the vehicle. This is always the case regardless of whether the vehicle is running or the engine is off. Either way, gravity could do this job.

Many vehicles can move on their own when they are on an inclined road or slope. So, the car will move down the road if it is in neutral. Besides, neutral gear is also often used by many people to be able to move a vehicle that has a malfunctioning engine or battery.

Also, experts in vehicular driving claim that it is impossible to push a vehicle and at the same time have efficient control over the car. So, a person will not have the possibility to push enough even though he/she is next to the driver’s seat with the door open. Here it takes a few precious seconds for the driver to enter the vehicle.

It is therefore advisable to have at least one additional person to push the vehicle. Also here the main driver should be present to be able to control the steering, steering wheel, and brakes. Unless the car and driver are alone on an uncrowded road, it is not advisable to have only one person pushing a car.