Ever felt helpless after leaving your lights on at the mall? If yes, you are one amongst many who face a dead battery issue while trying to start your car.
Jump starting your manual transmission car is the safest and easiest way to get the engine running in case of a battery outage. But if you do not have jumper cables or another car around, push starting is another option which can be accomplished with nothing more than the keys and a few friends to do the pushing.
However, when pushing your car in order to pop start the engine, it is recommended to use the appropriate (First or second) gear as per the speed you engage your clutch.
In first gear you can have more rpm with less speed (compared to second gear), helping you to crank up your engine with a less speed. However, it has a lot of torque, so the vehicle could buck and the wheels could lock unexpectedly if you use it instead of second gear.
Instead, put the car on second gear and once it gets to a speed of over 8-10 kms per hour, drop the clutch which will connect the engine’s crankshaft to the spinning wheels through the transmission and force the engine to begin turning. The faster you’re moving, the more likely the engine is to start when you drop the clutch.
It is pertinent to mention here that there really isn't or should be any fear of breaking something in your car by pushing it to start. Because, there isn't enough torque being put on anything to cause any damage. The engine and vehicle dynamics puts way more stress on the components just driving and doing normal stuff than you could do by push starting it.
So, selecting a gear while push starting your car comes down to the speed you are popping the clutch at. If your engine cranks up in a speed of 5-7 kmph, which is unlikely, then you should look at putting it in first gear while pushing. And if your engine wants to be at 8-10 kmph while starting, then you better put your vehicle in second gear while pushing.
Being said that, it is important to remember that this process can only be done with vehicles with manual transmissions (MT). Attempting to push or pop start a vehicle with an automatic transmission (AT) could result in serious damage to the gear box and transmission of the vehicle.
It is important to identify a dead battery before you get on to jump start or push-start your vehicle. All the efforts of pushing and knowing the right gear will be rendered fruitless if the battery isn’t dead and there is something wrong with another part of your engine.
Warning: Do not attempt to push start a vehicle alone in any situation. An attempt to do so is not only dangerous for your vehicle, but also the likelihood of injury is high, and there is potential that it could be fatal. As long as you have a few friends or family members to help, follow the instructions above to learn how to push start a vehicle.