Why My Car Is Stuck In Reverse And Won’t Start?

A car transmission is a complicated mechanical system. The transmission is attached to the engine of the car, making the engine and wheel operate in sync with one another. The transmission has a lot of moving parts that interact with one another so it’s subject to more wear and tear from friction and heat.

If my car is stuck in reverse and won’t start, these are all indicators of the transmission problem.

Reasons Why My Car Is Stuck In Reverse And Won’t Start

When my car is stuck in reverse, then it will likely be stuck whenever I have parked. I have no other option either to locate and fix the problem or call the tow truck to take it to the garage.

1. Low Transmission Fluid

If you have a low amount of transmission fluid, you could have a problem reversing the vehicle. The low transmission fluid can create several problems in gear such as gear slippage, gear overheated. Therefore if my car is stuck in reverse and won’t start but the car is moving smoothly, it might be a problem in low transmission fluid. This problem can arise in both manual and automatic transmission systems.

2. Faulty Transmission Position Sensor

These symptoms usually observe in an automatic transmission system vehicle. When you shift an automatic transmission car into reverse with the help of the shift lever, the vehicle shifted to the reverse.

If it fails to reverse, the sensor has some malfunction. It often places the car in the limp mode where you wont to able to move above 3rd gear.

3. Worn Out Valve Body

These symptoms are observed in an automatic transmission system vehicle. Every automatic valve has a valve body. This is a large component that directs the flow of hydraulic fluid to the valve. This is the way the car moves smooth-shifting gear.

In the case of the worn-out valve body, you have experienced delay shifting into reverse.

4. Faulty Shifter Mechanism

This symptom is observed in manual transmission vehicles and hard to shift. This symptom is often responsible for the malfunctioning of the shifter. It feels like something is blocking it from going to the reverse. Mostly the problem is with shifter linkage as something is bent.

5. Dirty Transmission Fluid

These symptoms are found in both manual and automatic transmission system vehicles. Sometimes the transmission fluids get contaminated with enough hardened deposits. This prevents from changing the gear or shifting into reverse.

Even the issue can be depended upon the quality of transmission fluid and filter. It is the cheapest symptom of my car is stuck in reverse and won’t start.

6. Broken Teeth On Reverse Gear

The most common problem in manual transmission system cars is when you hear the clicking noise or loud weird noise when to try to shift into the reverse. This occurs due to the broken teeth on reverse gear. But these common symptoms also find in an automatic transmission system vehicle.

7. Faulty Lock Out Ring

The purpose of the lockout ring is to prevent you from accidentally shifting into reverse when the car is moving forward.

If your lockout ring is damaged, it prevents shifting to reverse gear even at a standstill. This type of symptom is found in a manual transmission system vehicle.

How To Fix A Car Which Stuck In Reverse?

Cars can be fun to drive, but the problem with shifting is no fun at all. So if you face any problem regarding reverse is stuck, the problem arises from the clutch or large mechanical issue.

1. If It Is The Case In Manual Transmission System Car

The driver of a vehicle with a manual transmission locks and unlocks the reverse gear physically by the driver. So if any problem arises, at least it can fix it by own.

1. Clutch Cable

If my car stuck is stuck in the reverse and won’t start, it definitely due to clutch cable. You can fix it by yourself. A simple way is to pull the clutch pedal upward slowly and firmly. If you observe the cable is damaged due to rust, Change the cable as soon as possible.

2. Gearbox

For a gearbox problem, you need a separate set of hardware since the gear has to move in the opposite direction. Shifting between the gear is less complicated but the reverse gear slightly more vulnerable to misalignment or due to damaged teeth. This issue can be fixed either by opening the transmission gear or by tapping the affected part with the hammer. If there is a severe problem, you have to change the whole transmission gearbox.

3. Gearstick

The physical problem in stick shift itself can be a big issue. It may be a serious problem. If you can take off, you can force the shifter into neutral and fix the problem temporarily.

2. If It Is The Case For Automatic Transmission Car

Though most of the automatic transmission diagnosis and repair are beyond the scope of the home mechanics. You can diagnose some of the problems without any tools.

1. Upshift Problem

If the transmission fails to upshift, it may indicate the problem not only in the transmission but also within the throttle position system. It6 is located in the engine and transmit the information to the transmission for shifting.

It is inexpensive and easy to change.

2. Lack Of Third And Fourth Gear

This problem is always the reason for the worn-out clutch. The solution only by changing the removing the clutch for repair or replacement.

How Much It Cost To Change Transmission Fluid?

The cost varies from reason to reason. If there is a problem with the change in the transmission fluid, pay probably 200$. You have to pay 1000$ to 5000$ if there is any serious problem with the transmission and have to replace it. Again the cost of replacing the transmission can vary between cars and models.


I will suggest avoiding anything to do by yourself as transmission problem is a major issue among all the problems in the car. Even after proper care and maintenance, the transmission problem can arise. Take the car to the mechanics to give proper diagnoses.

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