How can I put my car in neutral?

My car has had a dead battery for weeks. I need to move it off my lawn into the garage to store it for winter. How can I put my car in neutral so I can move it?

Answer
Dead batteries happen to the best of us! You can put your car in neutral to push it out of the way in just a few simple steps:
  • Apply the parking brakes.
  • Turn on the ignition. Even though the battery is dead, this will help unlock the steering wheel.
  • Press on the brake. Since the car can’t turn on, you will need to press down hard on the brake.
  • Shift the car into neutral.
  • If you still can’t shift gears, you will need to override the shift lock. Find a small panel next to the shifter. Use a flathead screwdriver to lift the panel and engage the override.
  • Now, a friend can help push the car into the garage.
Once your car is stored, make sure to remove the dead battery. You don’t want it to become corrosive over the winter.
Since you will be storing your car, check your car insurance policy. Many insurance providers will allow you to put your vehicle on a storage plan. A storage plan removes all insurance coverage except comprehensive coverage from the policy. This will help you save a good bit of money over the winter. Make sure to check with your local DMV for any state rules about removing coverage from your policy before making any changes.
With winter right around the corner, make sure you have a good towing plan for any of your other vehicles. If you’re looking for roadside assistance at a great price, try Jerry. Jerry’s membership provides you with industry-leading roadside assistance, including benefits like towing, lockout service, and a mechanics hotline, all for as low as $4.16 a month.
Shannon Martin
Answered on Nov 10, 2021
Shannon is an expert in personal lines liability insurance with 13 + years of insurance industry experience. She also served as a special insurance liaison to AARP members for 6 of those years. She is a graduate of UL Lafayette and currently resides in NY with her family. Shannon is also an amateur juggler, ukulele player, and is a time travel paradox theory enthusiast.
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