Auto Loan Guide Vehicle Why Wonʼt My Car Go Into Gear Automatic

Why Wonʼt My Car Go Into Gear Automatic


Why Wonʼt My Car Go Into Gear Automatic?

Automatic transmissions have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their convenience and ease of use. However, there may come a time when your car refuses to go into gear, leaving you frustrated and stranded. There are several reasons why your car wonʼt go into gear, and understanding these issues can help you diagnose and resolve the problem quickly. In this article, we will explore the common causes behind this issue and provide some solutions to get your car back on the road.

Common Causes

1. Low Transmission Fluid: One of the most common reasons for a car not going into gear is low transmission fluid. The transmission fluid is vital for the smooth operation of the gears, and if it is low, it can lead to difficulties in shifting. Checking the transmission fluid level and topping it up if necessary should be the first step in troubleshooting this issue.

2. Faulty Shift Solenoid: A shift solenoid is responsible for controlling the flow of transmission fluid within the automatic transmission. If the solenoid is faulty or worn out, it can cause your car to have trouble shifting gears. In some cases, the solenoid may need to be replaced to resolve the issue.

3. Malfunctioning Gear Selector: The gear selector mechanism can become faulty over time, especially if it is exposed to excessive wear and tear. If you are unable to shift gears smoothly, there may be a problem with the gear selector mechanism. A professional inspection and potential replacement might be necessary to fix the issue.

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4. Damaged Clutch Plates: In cars with dual-clutch transmissions, damaged clutch plates can prevent the vehicle from going into gear. Over time, the clutch plates can become worn, leading to slipping or difficulties in engaging the gears. Replacing the damaged clutch plates can resolve this issue.

5. Transmission Control Module (TCM) Issues: The TCM is an electronic control unit responsible for managing the automatic transmission system. If the TCM malfunctions or develops a fault, it can disrupt the shifting process. Diagnosing and repairing TCM issues may require professional assistance.


1. Why is my car stuck in neutral?

If your car is stuck in neutral and wonʼt go into gear, it could be due to a malfunctioning gear selector, low transmission fluid, or a faulty shift solenoid. Check these components for any issues and consult a professional if necessary.

2. Can low transmission fluid cause shifting problems?

Yes, low transmission fluid can cause shifting problems. Without adequate fluid, the gears may not engage smoothly, resulting in difficulties shifting into gear.

3. How much does it cost to fix a transmission?

The cost of fixing a transmission depends on the specific issue and the make and model of your car. Minor repairs like topping up transmission fluid or replacing a shift solenoid can range from $150 to $400, while major repairs or transmission replacements can cost several thousand dollars.

4. Can I drive with a faulty shift solenoid?

Driving with a faulty shift solenoid is not recommended as it can lead to further damage to the transmission. It is best to have the solenoid replaced as soon as possible to prevent any additional issues.

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When your car refuses to go into gear, it can be frustrating and inconvenient. However, understanding the common causes behind this issue can help you troubleshoot and resolve the problem effectively. From low transmission fluid to faulty shift solenoids and damaged clutch plates, there are several potential culprits. If you are unable to diagnose or fix the issue on your own, it is advisable to seek professional assistance to ensure the proper functioning of your automatic transmission.

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