Having trouble with your car because it won’t go into gear? You’re not alone. Many people face this issue and ask, ‘Why won’t my car go into gear?‘ or ‘How can I fix it when my car’s not changing gears?‘.
This can be a small hassle or a big problem. Sometimes there’s a simple fix, but other times you might need an expert’s help.
In this article, we’ll break down the main reasons and solutions for when your car won’t shift. Let’s get started!
If you’ve experienced problems getting your car into gear because you bought a car that’s a lemon, let the lemon law attorneys at Cali Lemon Lawyers help. Call now for a free consultation: (310) 627-2665
Understanding why a car refuses to shift gears is crucial for both safety and convenience. It’s a problem that many drivers face, and the causes can range from simple to complex. In this section, we’ll outline the top reasons your car won’t go into gear, providing clarity and insights to help you better identify and address the root of the issue. Let’s delve into the most common culprits behind this automotive challenge.
Here are the eight most common reasons your car won’t go into gear.
If you’re new to having a car with a stick shift or are driving an unfamiliar car with a manual transmission, it’s possible that you aren’t pressing the clutch down to the floor before changing gears.
If you have to press the clutch harder than usual, it may indicate a deeper problem, such as:
Most modern cars have a safety feature that prevents you from accidentally shifting gears while you’re parked. This safety feature requires you to press the brake to shift out of park.
It’s possible for this shift lock release to fail, making it impossible to move out of park even if you depress the brake. Some cars have emergency procedures outlined in their handbooks that can help you move your car out of park when the shift lock release fails.
However, there is also the possibility that your shift lock is damaged and needs repair.
Your car gears may not shift properly if there’s a problem with the transmission fluid. Some problems with transmission fluid that can affect gear changes include:
If one or both of your shift linkage wire breaks or comes loose, the shifter won’t be able to tell your transmission to change gears or can cause your parked car to roll away.
Here’s what different scenarios might be able to tell you about the state of your shift linkage wires:
In an automatic-transmission car, the torque converter serves the same purpose as a clutch does in a manual-transmission vehicle. If any components within a torque converter fail, it can make automatic shifting difficult. These problems can be with your turbine, pump, transmission field, or stator.
If you have a bad torque converter, you will notice your transmission slipping into and out of gear.
Sometimes, gear shifting problems are the result of a bad transmission. If so, you might hear strange, grinding sounds coming from your transmission when you try to change gears. If you have a bad transmission, a mechanic may need to rebuild or replace it.
If you have an automatic transmission, and your clutch pack is failing, your transmission won’t be able to operate properly. If you have clutch pack problems, you will experience the transmission slipping. You may notice your engine start to race without moving your car faster during a gear shift, or you may have difficulty getting your car to start after a stop.
Misaligned gearboxes are more likely with a manual transmission and can lead to total gear failure if you don’t address the problem early.
While the misalignment can happen as a result of thermal expansion or other problems, a misalignment of a gearbox often happens because the car manufacturer or a mechanic didn’t install or mount it properly in the first place.
If your car won’t go into gear, here are some things to try to solve your problems:
If you’re driving a stick-shift, push the clutch all the way down before changing gears. If shifting gets easier, see a mechanic; your clutch might need attention.
If you can’t shift out of park, press the brake pedal firmly. This often unlocks the gear.
Still stuck in park? Your car manual has an “emergency release” method. Try it! If this doesn’t work, the locking system might be broken.
Can’t get a specific gear? Try another. If one gear works and another doesn’t, it helps pinpoint the problem.
This fluid helps your car shift smoothly.
Note: Checking the fluid is different for every car. Automatics usually have a dipstick, but manuals might not.
If these tips don’t help, it’s mechanic time. Better safe than sorry!
Always use your car manual as a guide and prioritize safety.
If your car isn’t going into gear, it can be an annoying problem that prevents you from getting out of the parking lot. However, it can also be a dangerous problem if you’re driving on a highway, leaving you stranded or putting your life in danger.
If you’ve experienced problems getting your car into gear because you bought a car that’s a lemon, the lemon law attorneys at Cali Lemon Lawyers can help.
If a car you bought in California has a known safety issue or a defect related to changing gears, we can pressure the manufacturer to make things right. There are no upfront costs, and we have a 99% success rate. Contact us today online or call us for a free case evaluation.
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Consumer protection laws in California and nationwide actively protect buyers of vehicles and other consumer goods. They hold a particular importance when purchasing or leasing a new vehicle. The California Lemon Law grants legal rights to those who find themselves with a vehicle that continually fails to function properly, providing a pathway to seek resolution and potential compensation.
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