How To Bump Start An Automatic Car

Want to bump start an automatic car? You’re gonna need another car and the right vibes. Basically, you gotta push the dead car until it hits a certain speed, then let go of the brake and hope the engine kicks in. But be careful! Only try this if you’ve got no other options, ’cause you don’t wanna mess up your ride. Here’s the lowdown on how to pull it off without a hitch.

Before you even think about trying this, make sure your car’s cool with it. Automatics with a starter motor, those fancy dual mass flywheels, or a CVT aren’t game for this. After you’ve made sure your car’s on board, get both cars ready: neutral gear and brakes off.

Is Your Car Cool With This?


To see if your car’s up for bump starting, make sure your parking brake’s on, you’ve got gas, and your engine oil and transmission fluids are good to go. Peek at your battery too. If it looks rough or won’t charge, you might need a new one before going any further.

Remember, not all automatics are gonna be into this. Newer ones with computer brains might need some extra love, and fancy cars these days sometimes need special tricks or tools to jump start without causing a scene.

So, if you’re gonna try this, do your homework. Look up any special tips from the car maker and always be super careful when messing around with cars. They can surprise you when you least expect it.

Get Your Car Ready for Action

Got everything in place? Cool. Now, let’s bring that engine back to life. First, make sure your car’s chillin’ in neutral or park. Double-check your parking brake’s on and everyone’s safely in the car.

Next, you (or the driver) gotta get out and push the car. Aim for about 10 mph. If you can get some pals to help push, even better. Just watch out – pushing an automatic isn’t the same as a manual. They can be a bit slippery.

Once you hit your speed, everyone should stop pushing. Let the driver hop back in while the car’s still rolling. Now, turn the key, gently hit the gas, and hang onto that steering wheel and gear stick. If you’ve nailed it, your car should roar back to life without needing a boost from another car’s battery or jump leads.

Have Another Vehicle Push Yours

Using another car’s oomph, you can pick up enough speed to kick-start your car’s dead engine. To make sure this trick works and nobody gets hurt, both drivers should know how to park right and look after their batteries. And, oh, be sure you’re cool with local rules about car-pushing.

Your car should be in neutral and with its handbrake off; the pushing car should hang back a bit so it can give a push without smacking into you. Then, both of you should hit the gas at the same time until you’ve got enough speed. If needed, the parked car’s driver can give the gas pedal a little nudge to get the engine going.

Once you’ve done the deed, give both cars’ batteries a once-over in case they got banged up. You’ll also wanna make any fixes or tweaks before hitting the road again.

Start the Car


Using some push from another car, you might get enough speed to wake up a dead engine. Just make sure you’re strapped in and both brakes are held down while getting that push. Once the other car’s done its thing and you’ve got speed, ease off the brakes and hit the gas. As you both speed up, don’t hit the brakes hard or swerve because that could mess things up. Stick to this and you should get a smooth bump start for an automatic car.

Troubleshooting Tips

If your car’s being stubborn and won’t start, here’s some stuff you can try out. First off, take a peek at the battery. Look at those connections, make sure they’re snug and not looking all corroded or messed up. If you use a key fob, see if it’s looking worn out or acting funny. Also, give a look-see to all the wires linked to starting the car – everything should be connected right. And don’t forget to check out things like the alternator, starter motor, fuel pump or spark plugs which might be acting up.

When your automatic car’s giving you grief and won’t start, first check the simple stuff like if it’s out of juice or the battery’s dead. Make sure there’s nothing loose in the starting system that could mess it up. If the easy fixes don’t do it, you might have to dive deeper to see what part’s not playing nice and needs a switch-out or a fix-up so your car gets its groove back.

If after all these tips, you’re still stuck, it’s probably a good idea to ring up a mechanic who’s got all the fancy tools and know-how to get to the bottom of things and get your ride rolling again.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it okay to bump start an auto?


Giving a bump start to an auto is one way to get it going when the battery’s flat. While this might be handy and save you some bucks, drivers gotta know their local road rules about doing it, since some places might have rules against it. Plus, because bump starting an auto is kinda technical, it’s crucial that you know what you’re doing so you don’t mess up your car’s bits. If you can, make sure the battery’s got enough juice for at least one shot with jumper cables before you try a bump start.

What should I keep in mind before trying to bump start an auto?

Before giving a bump start to an auto, remember to prep the car right. You’ve got to cover the basics like making sure the handbrake’s on and both cars are in neutral. Also, everyone helping out should know how jump starting goes and any tips from the car maker. Oh, and it might be a good idea to have a car expert check your car afterwards to see if the jump start messed anything up.

Got any cool tricks for bump starting an auto?

When you’re trying to bump start an auto, there are some tricks to get it right. Get the car in reverse and push or pull it till it hits about 4-5 mph, then flick it into drive. You can also try push starting – that’s when you push the car while it’s in gear and let go of the clutch when the engine kicks in. If you’re low on space, you might need to reverse park first. Even though these tricks work for bump starting an auto, always be careful and play it safe.

What snags might I hit when bump starting an auto?


If you’re trying to bump start an auto, a couple of things might go sideways. First off, the car might not kick in if you don’t get the clutch right. Or, if you rev the engine too hard, it might just stall and need another go. And if you’re too rough with the starter or handbrake, you might end up damaging some parts of the car. To dodge these problems, just be prepared and know your stuff about how to bump start an auto the right way.

How many times can I try to bump start my auto?

When you’re giving your auto a bump start, it’s good to know how many times you can try before calling it quits. Usually, you’ve got plenty of tries, but if there’s something off with the ignition, you might wanna cut back on the number of tries to save the starter. As a rough guide, maybe don’t try more than five times with any bump start method.


Once you’ve got the car going, drive it over to a mechanic to see what’s up. Remember, bump starting should be your plan B when everything else doesn’t work. Bump starting can be handy sometimes, but there’s a chance of damaging things like the starter or gearbox if it’s not done right. So, it’s usually best to get some pro help instead of trying to bump start an auto solo. All in all, bump starting an auto needs a bit of prep and care but can be a lifesaver when you’re in a tight spot.


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