How to Push Start Your Car by Yourself

This technique applies to any gas-engine, 2- and 4-stroke vehicle with manual transmission (stick-shift). The use on those with the timing belt-driven camshaft engines is discouraged.


  1. Image titled Pass Safely on a Two Lane Road Step 2
    If you can, use a slight downhill road without traffic.
  2. Image titled Handle a Stuck Accelerator Pedal Step 4
    Before starting, engage the 2nd or 3rd gear and switch on the ignition (dashboard lights on, no starter!).
  3. Image titled Control a Skidding Car Step 1Bullet3
    Fully engage the clutch pedal, release the parking brake, and let the vehicle pick up speed (about 20 km/h for 2nd, 30 for 3rd gear).
  4. Image titled Control a Skidding Car Step 1Bullet3
    When you have the speed, release the clutch pedal; the engine should start almost instantly (don't rev it too much, remember it ruins the cold engine).
  5. Image titled Pass Safely on a Two Lane Road Step 7
    Continue to drive if you can; if not, control speed and pull over as appropriate.
  6. Image titled Jump from a Moving Car Step 4
    If a low charge on the battery was the problem ,go for a longer ride or have it recharged (this is within reach of most DIY people).
  7. Image titled Stop Hydroplaning Step 6
    ASAP have the vehicle checked, find out the problem and repair.
  8. 8
    This is an emergency procedure and should be avoided whenever possible.


  • In vehicles equipped with timing-belt driven camshaft engines the procedure may be used in emergencies only and the clutch should be released more slowly to avoid jerking and belt slippage detrimental to both the belt and engine.
  • A valid alternative is jump-starting the car, but you must have adequate cables, another car with a healthy battery and the starting motor in good working order.


  • Will not work with an Automatic Transmission.
  • During the process the vehicle is not fully controlled, so make sure other people, kids or pets are not too close.

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Categories: Defensive Driving Skills & Safety