As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Can You Jumpstart a Car in Reverse?


A car that won’t start is one of the most frustrating things you can experience. This can ruin your day if you’re in a hurry. How about if you’re stuck in reverse? Can you jumpstart a car in reverse?

Yes, you can jumpstart a car in reverse. However, it is not recommended to jumpstart a vehicle in reverse for safety reasons.

This article will address this question in greater detail and provide tips on how to jumpstart a car in reverse.

Push Starting a Car

Push starting a car is creating a vehicle without using the battery. It is usually done by pushing the car until it reaches a certain speed, shifting into second gear, and letting the clutch out slowly.

The car should start to run on its own after this. If it doesn’t, you may need to push start it again.

Young Woman Push Starting Car

Jumpstarting a Car in Reverse

Yes, you can jumpstart a car in reverse. However, jump-starting a car in reverse is not recommended for safety reasons.

To start with, you can only push start a manual transmission car. Now to push start a car in reverse, here’s how to do it:

  • Ensure the vehicle you’re pushing is neutral and the parking brake disengages.
  • Put your car in reverse gear and depress the clutch pedal to the floor.
  • Get the car rolling by pushing it down a gentle slope or having someone else drive it while you get behind the wheel.
  • Now, push the car backward until it reaches a speed of around five to eight mph.
  • Release the clutch slowly and let the car idle in reverse.
  • Once the car is idling in reverse, put your foot on the brake pedal and shift into neutral.
  • Your vehicle should now be running, and you can proceed to drive it forward.

Reverse Jumpstarting Your Car — Dangers

The following dangers are associated with jump-starting a car in reverse:

Damaged Car Transmission

Reverse-starting a car can damage the transmission. The engine is disconnected from the wheels when you shift into reverse in a manual car. The machine will spin when you start the car, but the wheels will not move. This can damage the clutch and other transmission components.

It can be Dangerous

Another reason not to jump-start your car in reverse is that it’s simply not safe. When driving a car, you need to see where you’re going. If you’re moving backward, you won’t be able to see what’s behind you, which could lead to an accident.

Could Void Warranty

Jump starting a car in reverse could void your warranty. If you have a new car, it’s best to consult your owner’s manual or dealer to see if they recommend jumpstarting in reverse.

Difficulty in Controlling the Car

Another disadvantage of starting a car in reverse is that it can be challenging to maintain control.  You can see what’s ahead and react accordingly when you’re driving forward.

However, driving backward obscures your view and makes it difficult to control the car, especially if you’re going downhill.

The Best Gear for Push-Starting a Car

Gear 2 is the proper gear for a push start, but gear 1 is the correct gear for a very short-distance push start. Pushing a car in gear is more complex than making it neutral because the engine has to spin faster to get the car moving.

When push-starting a car, only use gear two; a lower gear will make it more challenging to get the car moving and may damage the engine.

How to Maintain a Car Battery

A car battery is what provides the electrical current that starts your engine and powers all of the electrical accessories in your vehicle.

You can prolong the life of your battery by doing some simple maintenance tasks:

Car Battery

Check the Battery Regularly

One of the best ways to extend the life of your battery is to check it regularly. You should review the electrolyte level and make sure the terminals are clean.

If you notice that your battery is starting to show wear, it’s best to replace it before it fails.

Keep Your Batteries Charged

Another way to prolong the life of your battery is to keep it charged. A car battery will discharge gradually over time, even if the car isn’t being used.

You can hook up a charger to your car’s battery and charge it periodically to prevent this from happening. You can also buy a battery maintainer, a device that will keep your battery charged without overcharging it.

Avoid Short Drives

One of the worst things you can do for your battery is to take short drives. Starting and stopping the engine puts a lot of strain on the battery, and if you’re only driving for a few minutes, the battery doesn’t have a chance to recharge. If you can, avoid taking short trips and try to combine errands into one more extended trip.

Turn Off the Light When Not in Use

Another way to conserve battery power is to turn off the lights when you’re not using them. This includes the headlights, taillights, and interior lights. This will save battery power, but it will also help you avoid getting a dead battery in the first place.

Avoid using Electronics when Idle

Lastly, try to avoid using electronics when the car is idling. This includes items like the radio, heater, and air conditioner. These devices all draw power from the battery, and if you’re not moving, the battery won’t have a chance to recharge.


If your car has an automatic transmission, it is generally not a good idea to try and jumpstart it in reverse. This can damage the transmission and cause other problems.

However, jumping in reverse can sometimes be the quickest and easiest way to get your car moving if you have a manual transmission. Just be cautious and follow the instructions in your owner’s manual.

Scroll to Top