Do you own a Dodge truck? Have you lost your key, but are needing to put the truck in neutral? Are you not sure where to start in order to do this in a safe manner? If you are finding yourself in this situation, this article can help you work through the steps to put your truck in neutral, especially if you don’t have your key with you.
How do I put my Dodge truck in neutral without the key?
To put your Dodge vehicle in neutral without a key, you’ll need wheel blocks and a flashlight. Block the truck wheels, crawl under the truck and locate the transmission. Disconnect the cables to the transmission to reveal the gear shifter. Pull the lever back to put the vehicle in neutral.
To learn more about each of these steps to get your Dodge truck in neutral, keep reading.
1. Gather Necessary Tools
In order to put the truck in neutral without a key, you will need a couple of items in order to do this properly and successfully. These items include 4 wheel blocks, you will need 4 for all 4 tires; a flashlight, and make sure the truck is unlocked even without the key.
Since you won’t be able to engage the brake pedal while under the car, this is very important!
You can also use a mechanic’s creeper if you would like, this is the square rolling platform mechanics use to get their full body underneath the vehicle so it is easier to access and work on. While the mechanic’s creeper is not absolutely necessary to perform this project it may increase the ease and comfort of working underneath the truck.
If you don’t want to purchase wheel blocks, you could use 4 sturdy 2×4 pieces of wood, but for safety reasons, it is recommended you use the wheel blocks.
The flashlight is necessary as well, and you can even opt for a headlamp if you would prefer that as opposed to a flashlight.
2. Block The Truck Wheels
The need for the wheel blocks is two-fold.
For one, you will be working underneath the truck and will want the truck to stay in place, especially while you are underneath so that it will stay steady for you to work as well as to protect you from being rolled over by the tires as you are working.
This is a key step, as you will be transferring the car’s gear into neutral where it is much more susceptible to moving without using the gas which can cause it to be less controlled and unpredictable in its movements.
You will want to place these properly behind each tire before getting underneath the truck. Be sure to engage the parking brake, too.
Because the whole purpose of this project is to move the truck’s gears to neutral, it can bring sudden, uncontrolled movement especially if the truck is on a hill of any sort, which can create a dangerous situation.
3. Locate The Transmission Underneath The Truck
Once you have gathered all the materials and properly set up and secured the truck, you can take either your flashlight or headlamp and start working underneath the truck. Check out where this is in your owner’s manual before crawling under your truck.
When you are comfortably underneath the truck either with the mechanic’s creeper or not, it is now time to locate the transmission.
Usually, the transmission is located just a bit lower than where the engine is placed, level with the oil pan. Finding the transmission should not take that much time and should be easy to locate.
4. Disconnect The Cable
The next step once you have located the transmission is you will need to switch the transmission.
This is where either your flashlight or headlamp will especially come in handy. As you shine your light up in the transmission cavity, you should see a cable that contains a lever and several switches. Do not touch any of the switches, you are looking for a cable. The cable you are looking for is just behind the transmission.
If the cable is in front of or placed on the edges of the transmission, that is not the cable you want.
It should be directly behind the transmission. That is the cable you will need to fully disconnect from the transmission.
If the cable is still somewhat in the socket, the truck will not be put all the way in neutral. You need to make sure the cable is completely removed from the transmission. This will allow and trip the transmission to fully switch to the neutral gear.
5. Move The Lever to The Back of The Truck
After you have disconnected the cable from the transmission, you are now free to move the gear shift lever.
The gear shift lever can be found under the cable that you just disconnected. The lever’s purpose is what changes the gear in your truck, so while you are sitting in the driver’s seat and use the handle or stick to shift gears, this lever moves to change to the gear you want.
Now that the cable is disconnected you can manually move that lever to the back end of the truck.
You should push until you hear two clicks and then stop.
The lever should not be difficult to push, but if you are finding it takes quite a bit of effort to move it back, you can add some oil or WD-40 on the gear of the lever and it should make it a little smoother to push back.
Once the lever is all the way pushed back to the end of the truck, leave it there and make sure it doesn’t try and move forward.
6. Rock The Truck Back and Forth
Now that you have accomplished all the steps to put the truck in neutral without using a key, it is important to test that it was done properly and the steps were effective.
To do this you will need to get out from underneath the truck and remove anything that may be in the way underneath the truck such as a flashlight or a mechanic’s creeper. It is important that you leave the wheel blocks in place because the vehicle is still in neutral and needs the tension to keep the car from rolling away.
Once everything is out of the way, from either the front or the back of the truck, gently move the truck back and forth. If the car has properly been put in neutral, the car should move slightly when you push it back and forth.
This rocking motion should also put the gear in neutral more securely.