Does your car sometimes struggle to shift gears or can’t shift into gear at all? Below, we’ll explain some common reasons why your transmission won’t shift into gear, from electrical issues to fluid contamination and more.
The linkage may be the most integral aspect of your vehicle’s automatic or manual transmission system. The transmission linkage connects the shifter in your car to the actual transmission and lets you change gears.
If this linkage becomes disconnected or broken, which can occur after a rough bump in the road or from wear and tear, it’ll make changing gears impossible. Hopefully, the issue is a simple broken cable that you can replace to return your vehicle to top form quickly.
If you have a manual transmission on your vehicle, the issue could be due to a broken component in the clutch assembly, such as the flywheel. The flywheel grabs the clutch plate when you release the clutch pedal, so its job is integral to the vehicle’s ability to change gears.
An inability to change gears is one of the most common signs a performance flywheel needs a replacement, so that’s a good place to start if you have a manual transmission and performance flywheel. You may be able to avoid a costly replacement with a flywheel resurfacing.
Another reason your transmission won’t shift into gear may be the transmission fluid is contaminated. Transmission fluid helps shift gears by lubricating components within the transmission. But if the fluid is contaminated, the whole transmission will struggle.
Manufacturers seal the system to prevent leaks into the fluid, but if debris or contaminants find their way into the hydraulic line from a leak, they could clog it. The solution for this problem is pretty straightforward: have a professional flush the transmission fluid, and the car should return to normal.
Electrical issues in a vehicle are extremely annoying because they’re hard to diagnose and can cause all kinds of issues, even with the transmission. Automatic transmissions use sensors to communicate to the onboard computer for shifting gears. But if these wires or connections are faulty, they won’t work properly.
You shouldn’t mess with your vehicle’s electrical system unless you’re a professional mechanic. It’s always better to take it to a shop and have them figure out what electrical issues are causing it and how to fix them.