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How to Move a Car Without Starting It

by Jenna Foote

You insert your key into your car's ignition to start the engine but nothing happens. Perhaps the battery is dead; maybe the starter is defective. In any case, if your vehicle won't start, you can still move it to another location to jump-start the battery or safely call for help. To move your vehicle without starting it, you will need to shift gears and you'll need help pushing the car to the desired location.

Direct one or more strong people to stand ready to push the vehicle to the desired location.

Depress the brake pedal.

Insert the key into the ignition and turn it to the "On" position.

Move the gearshift to "N" or neutral gear

Steer and brake as necessary while the vehicle is being pushed.


  • Have a few people help push the car so that it is safe and easy to control while in motion.


  • A car in neutral can roll. Keep the brake pedal depressed whenever the car is not being pushed to prevent the vehicle from rolling into people or objects.
  • When the engine is not running, your car will lose its power steering and power braking capabilities. This means it will be very difficult to steer and brake while the car is being pushed. Use extra force when steering the wheel or pressing the brake pedal.

About the Author

Jenna Foote began her career as an online writer for CBS 5 News in Phoenix. Her work has been published on various websites, covering consumer and recreational topics. Foote holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Brigham Young University.

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