You can put your F150 with a dead battery in neutral by overriding the neutral or releasing the shift lock. If that doesn’t work, then you can try a jumpstart. If your car’s front is blocked for some reason, try back feeding the system or moving the shifter from underneath.
Throughout the following sections, you will learn how to put your F150 in neutral with dead battery.
How to Put Ford F-150 in Neutral With Dead Battery? [With Key]
Turn the ignition on but don’t try to start the engine, press the brake pedal and put your gear stick to neutral. You can try this if your battery has even a small amount of charge left. Your battery only needs enough charge to turn on the brake circuit for that.
How to Put Ford F-150 in Neutral With Dead Battery? [Without Key]
If you do not have keys or your battery doesn’t have any juice left, you can try the following methods to put your dead F150 in neutral.
But before that, let’s look at a short overview of the methods.
|Method||Process||Tools Needed||Cost*||Difficulty Level|
|Neutral Override||Pulling the override cable||None||None||Easy|
|Shift Lock Release||Pushing the shift lock button||Screwdriver (optional)||None||Easy|
|Jumpstarting||Jumpstarting the battery||A jump starter tool and jumper cables||$100-$120||Easy|
|Backfeed the system||Use a cigarette lighter plug to charge the battery||A cigarette lighter plug, a 12v battery and alligator clips||$15-$200||Medium|
|Pull of the transmission cable||Move the shifter from underneath the vehicle||Wheel chocks, flashlight, and pliers (optional)||$30-$50||Hard|
*The cost ranges in the above table may vary depending on the tools available on your location, shipping charge, tax/vat, etc.
Method One: Neutral Override
In the latest Ford models, there is a neutral override feature that will help you get your car in neutral with a dead battery or without a key.
Here is a step-by-step guide for overriding neutral in Ford F150.
- First, remove the emergency brake.
- Locate the neutral override in your F150. The location of the override may vary depending on the make and model. But for reference 2020 Ford F150 neutral override is located at the bottom of the dashboard. It’s shaped like a box and has a door for cover.
- Flip the door to uncover a colorful ribbon possibly orange.
- Finally, gently pull the ribbon towards you and it should stick out.
This is how you can put your Ford F150 in neutral with a dead battery. Still, if you are confused, here is a video- Neutral Override 20 21 22 23 Ford F150 Broken Shifter
Method Two: Shift Lock Release
Ford F150s have a safety feature named “Shift Lock” that locks the shifter from moving. While the ignition is off or the brake pedal is not pressed, the shift lock prevents the car from shifting out of park unintentionally. By overriding it manually, you can change the gear with your battery dead.
Based on the makes and models there are three different types of shifters: Column Shifters, Console Shifters, and Rotary Shifter. The “Shift Lock Release” button’s location will vary depending on which type of gear shifter your F150 has.
For Column Shifter
To access the shift lock, you first need to remove the boot that’s under the shifter. Depending on the boot, clips or screws may hold it in place in order to keep it in place. You can easily remove them with a screwdriver. Once you remove the boot, you will find a small black disc with a switch-like mechanism on the side.
Source: F150 Forum
To release the shift lock, you need to pull the switch-like mechanism toward you. You can use your fingers to do this or a tool like a pair of pliers or a screwdriver. Once you pull the mechanism towards you, you will feel a click and the shift lock will be released. You can then shift the gears normally by moving the shifter up or down.
For Console Shifter
To release the shift lock on a console shifter, you will need to remove the center console to access the release button. Once you have removed the center console, you will find a switch on the left side of the shifter. Press this button to release the shift lock and you should be able to change your gear to neutral.
Method Three: Try to Jump start the Battery
If your Ford F150 is one of the older models and does not feature the override, you can try and jumpstart the battery. Once you do that, you can start your car and shift to neutral gear easily.
Tools Needed: Jumpstarter tool, jumper cables, or another car.
- Ensure that both the car and the device are turned off before you begin connecting the cables.
- You will need to open the hood in order to locate the battery. Take off the plastic cap on the positive terminal.
- Jump starter’s red alligator clip must be connected to the battery’s positive terminal. Then, connect the black clip from the jump starter to the negative terminal of the battery.
- After turning on the jump starter, allow the battery to charge for a few minutes.
- After a couple of minutes, the jump starter should be done. Once it does, try to start your F150.
Once the vehicle starts, you can easily change the gear to neutral using normal means.
If you don’t have a jump starter, you can try it with another car and jumper cables. In the same manner, you need to follow the same steps, but instead of using a jump starter use the other car’s battery. Here’s how to do it: How to Jump Start Your Car
A dead battery caused by human error can be jump started. If the battery was dead because of a fault you may need to replace the battery.
Method Four: Back Feed the System
You can try to back feed your F150’s battery through the cigarette lighter plug. Once you back feed enough voltage into your truck’s battery, you can turn the car on and shift gears normally.
Tools Needed: Cigarette lighter plug, a 12v battery, alligator clips.
- Connect the cigarette lighter plug’s wires with alligator clips.
- Connect the clips to the respective terminals of a separate 12-volt battery.
- Locate the cigarette lighter in your vehicle, remove the lighter, and insert the plug.
- Wait for 5-10 minutes for the cigarette lighter plug to back feed the system.
- Once you have finished the process, turn on the ignition key to the “accessory” position without starting the truck’s engine. Make sure all the electronic accessories are turned off.
- Press the brake pedal firmly and while holding down the brake pedal, move the shifter out of park and into neutral.
Method Five: Pull Off the Transmission Cable
If none of the above methods works, you can get under your vehicle to shift the gear from underneath. Follow the below procedure.
Tools Needed: Wheel chocks, flashlight, pliers.
- Place wheel chocks on both the front and back tires of your truck to prevent it from rolling.
- Engage the parking brake for extra safety.
- Use a flashlight and crawl underneath the front of the F-150.
- Locate the transmission. By observing the satellite-like shape of the transmission, you will be able to locate it.
- Find the transmission cable at the back of the transmission with a long piece of metal on the end of it, which connects to the gear selector.
- Disconnect the transmission cable from the gear selector by pulling it off with your fingers or using needle-nosed pliers.
- After pressing the gear selector towards the back of the truck, you should hear two clicks. This indicates that the truck is now neutral.
If the process seems confusing, here is a video for your convenience-
How to Tow a Dead F150 in Neutral?
Now that you know how to get your F150 to neutral, allow us to walk you through the process of towing a dead F-150 using a self-loading dolly. We are going to walk you through the steps in the following order:
Step 1: Determine The Type Of Drive
As a first step, you have to figure out whether your F-150 is front-wheel-drive, rear-wheel-drive, or all-wheel-drive, so you can determine how you should proceed. If you are not sure about your drive wheel, look between your front and rear wheels. The one with the axle shaft is your drive wheel.
If you see the axle shaft wheel in both, your truck is all-wheel drive.
It is important to make sure that you put the dolly on the drive wheels, as otherwise, you may damage the transmission.
Source: F150 Forum
Step 2: Position The Dolly
Once you know which wheels require the dolly, position the dolly accordingly. The dolly’s metal bars need to be placed on both sides of the truck’s drive wheels so that the dolly can be properly mounted. You will then need to lock the wheels of the dolly onto the bars of the truck’s tires so that they don’t move.
Step 3: Lift The Dolly
For lifting the wheels of the dolly off the ground, you’ll need a metal bar like that used for jacks.Turn the crank on the dolly until the wheels are lifted, then insert the bar into the appropriate holes.
Step 4: Check For Secure Attachments
After you’ve lifted the dolly’s wheels, double-check to make sure everything is secure. Ensure that the metal bars are properly attached to the wheels, and the dolly’s wheels are locked onto the bars.
Step 5: Start Towing
You’re now ready to start towing the F-150. Connect the tow vehicle to the dolly, and ensure that the safety chains and straps are securely fastened. Slowly begin to tow the truck, keeping an eye on the dolly to ensure it stays attached.
How to Avoid a Dead Battery Situation in Your Ford F150?
Prevention is always better than the solution. You can follow our tips below to avoid a dead battery in the future.
- Limit battery usage: One of the most common causes of a dead battery is leaving your vehicle’s electronics on while the engine is off. So, make sure to turn off all lights, radio, and other electrical components when you park your Ford F150.
- Regularly check your battery health: Make sure the terminals and cables of your battery are free of corrosion or damage. Corrosion can lead to poor electrical connections and a weakened battery. In this way, preventing a dead battery can be prevented by cleaning the terminals.
- Keep your battery charged: If you don’t drive your Ford F150 often or for long periods, consider using a battery charger. This will prevent it from discharging and prolong its lifespan.
- Keep an eye on your alternator: The alternator in your vehicle is responsible for supplying electricity to the battery when the engine is running. When your alternator becomes faulty, it can cause your battery to die, so it’s essential to keep it in good condition.
- Don’t forget routine maintenance: Regular maintenance can help you catch any potential issues before they become bigger problems. Routine maintenance like oil changes, tune-ups, and inspections can help ensure that your Ford F150 is running smoothly and that its battery stays healthy.
Also, keep your eye on the age of your battery. A battery older than three years is vulnerable to damage and failure.
How do you get into a Ford F150 with a dead battery?
To get into a Ford F150 with a dead battery, you can use your physical key to unlock the door. If you don’t have your physical key with you, you can also try using a slim jim or a coat hanger to unlock the door by manipulating the lock mechanism.
Can a push-to-start car be put in neutral without turning it on?
To put a push-to-start car in neutral without turning it on, you can access the shift lock release mechanism. Locate the shift lock release slot, remove the cover, and insert a tool to press down on the release mechanism. While holding the release mechanism down, place the shift lever in neutral and release the mechanism.
Is it possible to push a dead car in neutral?
Yes, it is possible to push a dead car in neutral. In fact, you can only push your dead car in neutral. If the gear is in park you cannot move it by pushing. If your car is dead and you need to move it, you must put the gear in neutral before attempting.
So, how to put Ford F150 in neutral with dead battery? The easiest method is overriding the neutral or the shift lock. Other than that you can try a jumpstart or even replace the battery. If that’s not possible you can try to back feed the system or move the shifter from underneath.
No matter which method you try, make sure you follow the necessary safety measures and precautions. If any of the methods is confusing and beyond your skill level, have a professional handle it.