Do you find yourself struggling to get your car into gear when you’re ready to go? Are you worried that something might be wrong with your vehicle? If so, this blog post is for you.

We’ll discuss the common causes of why a car won’t go into gear and how to diagnose and fix the problem.

Clutch Issues

The clutch is a key component of any manual transmission, so it’s important to ensure that it’s in working order. A worn-out clutch can cause your car to not shift into gear, or it may even become stuck in one gear and refuse to shift.

If you’re having trouble with your car not going into gear, it’s essential that you first check the condition of your clutch. Look for signs of leakage or a loose connection in the clutch’s master and slave cylinders. Also, make sure to press down on the brake pedal before checking the transmission fluid levels. 

If the clutch is in good condition, then you’ll need to look at other possible causes for why your vehicle won’t go into gear.

Degraded Transmission Fluid

One of the main reasons a car won’t go into gear is that the transmission fluid has broken down. This can result in the transmission not engaging in any gear. 

If the fluid is dirty or has broken down, it will lose its ability to lubricate and make shifting much harder than it should be. 

Low transmission fluid can be detrimental to your transmission system, and may even damage it permanently if it is not addressed quickly. To prevent this, make sure to check your transmission fluid regularly and top it up if needed.

Leaking Transmission Fluid

Leaking transmission fluid can cause your car, truck, or SUV to not shift into gear. It is important to check the fluid levels regularly, as low fluid can lead to issues with the clutch, shifter cable, and other components. 

A transmission leak is a common occurrence that happens through excessive wear over time. The plugs could be loose or the pan could be punctured and leaking. If you have a leaking transmission, you might notice transmission performance problems because the fluid is low. These problems can include difficulty shifting and not being able to move in reverse.

If you have ever noticed that your vehicle moves just fine in drive but won’t reverse, that usually is a sign that the fluid is low. 

You’ll need to add more transmission fluid and check for any signs of leaks to prevent further damage from occurring.

Shifter and Shifter Cable Problems

The shifter and shifter cable problems can also cause the car to not go into gear. 

If the cable connecting the shifter handle to the transmission is broken, the car won’t go into park, and in fact, the shifter may not even move. Even user error can cause a car to not shift into gear, so it’s important to check all possible causes before assuming it’s a transmission issue. 

Low transmission fluid or damaged shift linkage could also be to blame, so be sure to check those issues as well.

why a car is not changing the gears and solution

Software Glitches with ECU or TCM

The ECU or TCM can also be the cause of why your car won’t go into gear. 

Software glitches can cause the transmission to fail to shift gears, resulting in the car remaining in one gear. 

If this is the case, you may need to have your ECU or TCM reset, which can be done by a qualified technician. In addition, they will be able to inspect your transmission and determine if any other issues are causing your car not to shift.

Manual Transmission: Bad Synchros

Manual transmission issues can also be caused by bad synchros. Synchro rings are matched to the width and depth of the gears on the main shaft, and when they become worn or bent, it can prevent your car from going into gear. This can lead to hard shifting, as well as a transmission that jumps out of gear when you shift into it. 

To fix this issue, you will need to inspect the shift linkage for adjustment, looseness, or damage, as well as check the clutch pedal linkage for a possible dragging clutch.

Faulty Linkage Cable

If the linkage cable to your clutch or transmission is pinched off or severed, you won’t be able to get your car into gear. Even if the horizontal cable is still intact, the shifter handle won’t return to the neutral position automatically. 

In such cases, it’s best to check the linkage cable carefully, as incorrect installation or chafing can lead to problems with the system.

If you find that it’s indeed faulty, it’s best to have it replaced by a professional mechanic as soon as possible, as this can prevent further damage to your car’s transmission and save you money in the long run.

Failed Clutch Master Cylinder

The master cylinder uses hydraulic fluid to function; even a small leak of the fluid into the system can cause the clutch pedal to stop functioning and the car to not go into gear. 

A new clutch that slips can be caused by several things like oil leakage from the engine or transmission, which has contaminated the friction plates and pressure plates. 

Your problem could also be linked to a stubborn clutch that refuses to disengage, which can be checked by starting the car after engaging it. If you find that it still doesn’t move, then it probably means you didn’t bleed it properly. 

A new clutch cylinder needs to be primed and the air out of the line needs to be bled out.

Failed Flywheel/Pressure Plate Assembly

The failed flywheel/pressure plate assembly is another potential cause for why your car not going into gear. 

This typically happens when the clutch disc does not move away from the spinning flywheel, resulting in hard, and sometimes impossible shifting into first and reverse. Also, the clutch disc could have been put in the wrong way, or the clutch master cylinder could be leaking on the inside and not be able to release the clutch. 

If you’re experiencing this issue, then it’s likely that the slave cylinder has failed or the friction disc or pressure plate is worn out.

Failed or Worn Out Transmission

In the worst-case scenario, your car won’t go into gear because the transmission is worn out or damaged. This can happen due to wear and tear over time, or it can be caused by driving in the wrong gear for too long. 

If your car won’t go into gear, you may need to have the transmission replaced by a professional mechanic. Regular maintenance such as changing the fluid regularly can help prevent this from happening. 

Additionally, if you feel your transmission slipping while driving, get it checked out by a mechanic as soon as possible in order to avoid any further damage.

Chris Miller

Chris Miller is an auto journalist who specializes in reviewing new cars and providing helpful advice on family vehicles. He has a passion for cars and enjoys sharing his knowledge and expertise with others.

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