Push starting a car – use second gear

For whatever reason, I’ve had my share of experience with a car not starting in the winter. Sometimes because I left the lights on (why don’t all cars switch off the lights when the key is out? Is that so hard? Sheesh!), sometimes because it’s too cold. But, because of this, I have had experience with using jumper cables or roll starting a car. But, yesterday, I learned something new.

Two weeks ago, after the record lows in Moscow, we couldn’t start the car and got a service to help us. Three days later, I couldn’t start the car again, but it wasn’t so pressing, so I didn’t do anything about it. But, when it became important, we tried calling a service, but they were too expensive, so I decided to try pushing it and popping the clutch.

We got the guys who work for the building, asked if they would help, they agreed providing we’d pay them 100 roubles per person, and we got to it.

We tried 2-3 times, but it didn’t work. Some guy who was watching us came over and asked what gear I had it in. I told him it was in first gear, as that is what I had always done. He said it would be better to use 2nd or 3rd because it was slippery. Internally, I thought he was nuts, but figured, what the hell? So, for good measure, I tried 3rd gear with no success. The leader of the guys actually pushing asked what gear I had tried and when I told him, he suggested that I try second gear. Since he was still willing to push a fifth time, I said OK.

It worked, of course, else I wouldn’t be writing.

I think it worked because it was the 5th time we tried, but it doesn’t matter why. The most important thing is that it worked.
So, if you ever need to push start your car when it’s cold and icy and slippery, make sure you try several times.

And give second gear a shot.

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Explore posts in the same categories: car, winter

One Comment on “Push starting a car – use second gear”

  1. Timmie Holmes Says:

    My friend, it’s always 2nd gear. Only 2nd. I guess you’re from the South 🙂 Here up in the mountains of Colorado we know to always use the 2nd 🙂


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