How Do I Put a Car in Neutral With a Dead Battery?

To put an automatic transmission vehicle into neutral when the battery is drained, apply the parking brake, turn on the ignition switch, depress the brake pedal and then move the gear shift to neutral. If the shift will not move from park, then you must activate the shift lock release.

  1. Apply the parking brake

    The parking brake does not require the vehicle to have electric power and should keep it from moving once the car is in neutral. It can be found as a pedal to the left of the normal brake pedal, or as a lever in the center console.

  2. Turn on the ignition switch

    Place your key into the ignition and turn it clockwise. This releases the lock on the steering wheel.

  3. Depress the brake

    Depress the brake pedal located in the center of the floor. Once it is depressed all the way, the gear shift should be free to move into the neutral position.

  4. Release the shift lock

    If the shift still does not move, then there may be a shift lock engaged. Look for a latch or keyhole in the center console. Apply a key or a screwdriver into the opening. This releases the lock and allow the gear shift to move into neutral.