My ’97 Toyota 4Runner with automatic transmission is parked head first in a small garage with a dead battery. I need to put it into neutral to push it out on the driveway so I can jump-start it. (This is the same problem as the one in this question, but unfortunately that answer doesn’t apply to the older Toyotas.)

Also, out of curiosity, would there be any safe/effective way to “daisy chain” two sets of jumper cables end to end, or is that just a Darwin Award waiting to happen?

2 Answers 2


Here are the exact instructions from the owner’s manual:

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Operations are the same except the item number three:

If you cannot shift the selector lever out of “P” position to other positions even though the brake pedal is depressed, use the shift lock override button as follows:

  1. Turn the ignition key to “LOCK” position. Make sure the parking brake is set.
  2. Pry up the cover with a flat-bladed screwdriver or equivalent.
  3. [2WD]: Insert the screwdriver or equivalent into the hole to push up the shift lock override button. You can shift out of “P” position only while pushing the button.

    [4WD]: Insert your finger into the hole to move the shift lock override lever backward. You can shift out of “P” position only while holding back the lever.

  4. Shift into “N” position.

  5. Insert the cover.
  6. Start the engine. For your safety, keep the brake pedal depressed.
  • That beats hooking a chain to it and just pulling it out a few feet. ;)
    – NitroxDM
    Jan 15, 2013 at 16:27

Well, as it turns out, I found my own answer on another site:

To release the shifter you will need to remove the cover for the shift lock release button. Using a small flat blade screw driver pry up on the cover, it is a small square cover located at the front left corner of the shifter area just above the shift position indicator. Once that is removed, apply the brakes and use your finger to push down the release. While holding the release down, shift the transmission into neutral.

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