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Can You Push Start An Automatic? We Give Our Grunts & Nudges

Last Updated on: July 9, 2024

There are various benefits to owning an automatic vehicle.


Owning one also comes with occasionally running into problems of its own. For example, when a manual automobile won’t start, everyone knows what to do: attempt to kick it into gear. But what if an autonomous vehicle encounters the same issue?

Can you push start an automatic car? Is it possible? Let’s find out everything we can right now!

Can You Push Start Automatic Cars?

Men pushing dead car

Back in the day, some of the original automatic transmissions had the pump at the back of the transmission – and by pushing the button, they could start. If the automobile is in gear, then the rear pump will deliver pressure even if the engine is not operating.

When it comes to transportation in this day and age, an automatic car is one of the best options. For example, if you’re stuck in traffic in a car with an automatic transmission, you won’t have to shift gears constantly. When you combine that with heavier rain than the traffic, you’ll be grateful that you have an automated automobile that allows you to keep both hands on the wheel.

However, every motorist experiences one universal certainty, regardless of transmission type: a dead battery. A push start on a manual transmission automobile is possible in the event of a dead car battery. 

Push-starting, often known as bump starting, is a popular method of recharging a dead battery. One or more people let the car gain momentum, allowing the engine to start. However, automobiles with automatic transmissions will not adopt this strategy. A manual car driver may engage the clutch while pushing the car. Automated cars have a slack grip to avoid forcing the auto to retreat.

While push starting is relatively easy for manual transmission drivers, it will not function for automatic transmission drivers. 

Is It Possible To Jump Start An Automatic Car’s Dead Battery?

Push-starting automatic transmission automobiles may not be possible, but jump-starting them is! 

Jump-starting an automated car is perhaps the most straightforward approach to resurrecting a dead battery

How To Jump Start 101

You’ll need booster cables for this. Booster cables are items that every driver should have! If you don’t already have a pair, ordering them online has never been easier. If you have a dead battery and no jumper cables, then another driver will almost certainly have one that you can use to jump-start your car.

You’ll need another vehicle with a functional car battery and jumper wires. You’ll also need to make sure the other car’s battery does not have a greater voltage than yours. Fortunately, most cars use 12-volt batteries, so this shouldn’t be an issue.

Keep in mind that you should turn off both automobiles while jump-starting your vehicle. 

Every car’s battery has a negative and positive side. It would help if you linked the positive terminals of both automobiles’ hail to the red wire, which is standard in all jumper cables. It would be best to connect the negative cables to the black wires.

Push start the functional automobile after correctly attaching the jumper wires. During this process, which might take up to thirty minutes in some situations, you should not revive the operating car’s engine. The amount of time it takes to recharge a dead battery entirely varies.

You may turn off the functioning automobile after sufficiently charging the battery using this procedure, and your car can crank. It would be best if you now attempted to start your vehicle with the other car turned off. You’ll need to charge your battery for longer if it doesn’t start.

You can now detach the jumper cables if your vehicle starts. Start by gently disconnecting the positive (red) cable first, then the negative (black) cable, while the other car is off. When attached to an automobile, these cables should not contact. Your car should now be operational again!

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What Are The Alternative Ways To Start An Automatic Car?

Below are the best and safest possible ways to start your car since you can’t push start an automatic vehicle:

Call For Roadside Assistance

You can contact roadside help if you have a dead battery. While having roadside assistance coverage might be expensive, it can be a lifeline in certain situations.

They will be able to charge your battery if it has simply died due to being exhausted. 

Even better, if you need to replace your battery, your roadside assistance provider will most likely be able to do it wherever you are.

Call A Tow Truck

You may always have your vehicle towed if you find yourself stranded with a dead battery, no booster cables, and no method to contact roadside help. In other circumstances, the one-time fee will be cheaper.

The tow truck driver will be unable to assist you in jump-starting your automatic car. They will, however, be able to tow you home or to a local technician who will identify the problem. 

This idea is a terrific choice if you have no method in mind to jump-start your automatic cars, especially if the pain is more severe than a depleted battery.

Remove Fan Belt And Rotate The Alternator

This method will necessitate the assistance of an expert individual. Otherwise, do not attempt it since it may result in more damage to the vehicle. 

To charge the battery, remove the fan belt and spin the alternator. It is critical to rotate the alternator fast and for an extended period to set it. There must be some power remaining in the battery to perform this. You won’t be able to do this if the battery has no energy remaining.

Purchase New Portable Jump Starters

This alternative won’t assist if you are already stranded and don’t have a portable jump starter with a dead battery. It is, nevertheless, a convenient device that can save you if the battery in your automated vehicle dies. You’ll be able to jump-start your automobile without the assistance of another vehicle using this procedure. 

This material is an excellent investment if you drive an automatic car and can’t just hit the button to start it. You’ll be able to store your portable jump starter in your vehicle until the time comes when you need it.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do you manually start an automatic car?

A closed clutch in the automatic transmission does not allow you to drive. Some manual cars can be closed to get the engine cranked up and running. With that said, a motor can only start automatically after jump-starting automatic transmissions.

Can you push an automatic car in neutral?

Yes, it is possible to pull vehicles but they will not start. The manual motor will begin by placing the engine in neutral gear and when the lever is in this position, you can push start the car in any direction. Others achieve the feat with a torque converter, but I do not encourage you to do this.

Can you start an automatic car without a starter?

You may be able to push-start an automatic transmission car or investigate alternative causes of engine failure in your vehicle. Push-starting is only possible in automatic cars with manual transmissions.


Automatic transmission vehicles also feature unique fluid clutches that do not supply power if the components revolve slowly. This idea is what permits a car to be stopped at a stoplight with the engine slowly turning over and not moving. 

Similarly, pushing a car at a walking/running pace will not transmit enough power to push start it from the wheels to the engine. You must utilize jumper cables or a portable jump starter to restart your automated car.

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