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How to Shut Off a Car Without a Key

by Jonra Springs

A car engine will continue to run after the key is turned to the off position if the ignition switch has failed. Older keys sometimes cause car problems by refusing to move. The engine may have to be shut off long before the owner can get to a shop for the necessary car repair. You can use alternative means for stopping the car engine in the meantime.

Shuto Off a Car with an Automatic Transmission

Stop the car in the space where it is to be parked. Shift the column lever to "Park."

Open the trunk on Ford models to look for a fuel pump switch. The switch will be located under the carpeting if there is one. Press the switch to the "Off" position to stop the flow of fuel to the engine and shut it off. Use steps 3, 4 and 5 for Fords without a fuel pump switch and all other models.

Put on protective eyewear. A runing engine can propel debris that may be harmful to the eyes.

Release the hood latch whether inside the cabin or behind the grill. Lift the hood.

Loosen the terminal bolt of the positive batttery cable with an adjustable wrench. Lift the cable terminal off the battery terminal post. The car engine will stop in a matter of seconds. Some General Motors models have the battery under the back seat. Release the latches under the sides of the seat and pull it upward to access the battery on such models.

Shut Off a Car with a Manual Transmission

Bring the vehicle to a complete stop in the desired parking spot. Hold the brake pedal down firmly.

Shift the car into the highest forward gear. Overdrive is the highest gear on so equipped models.

Release the clutch suddenly while keeping the brake pedal depressed. The car engine will stall and turn off.

Warnings

  • Consult a certified mechanic as quickly as possible to correct the car problem preventing the engine from stopping with the key.
  • Use alternate measures for stopping an engine in times of emergency only. Pulling the clutch is harmful to a manual transmission. Removing a battery cable from a running engine can harm the alternator.

Items you will need

About the Author

Jonra Springs began writing in 1989. He writes fiction for children and adults and draws on experiences in education, insurance, construction, aviation mechanics and entertainment to create content for various websites. Springs studied liberal arts and computer science at the College of Charleston and Trident Technical College.

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