Q: 1991 Volvo 740 suddenly wouldn't shift into any gear, car motionless

asked by on

I have a high-mileage car with around 340,000 miles on it. Two days ago, while I was stopped in the traffic and was about to keep driving, the car couldn't move. The engine was running smoothly though. I tried downshifting to second gear but still nothing. After I downshifted to first gear, the car started moving again. A bit later, the car became motionless again and unresponsive to any gear. It wouldn't even go to reverse. Yesterday I took it to the mechanic and the car had no issues whatsoever. The mechanic took it for a faster ride and didn't find anything wrong. Do you have any idea what might be wrong?

Thanks for writing in about your 1991 Volvo 740. For the problem to appear and go, there may be a problem with the linkage connecting the shifter handle to the transmission or the clutch may be just about worn out. It can be hard to pinpoint problems that only appear intermittently. If you can predict when the problem is going to happen, or when the problem begins to occur more frequently, have the car inspected by a certified technician in order to have this shifting problem diagnosed properly.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1,000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. 1991 Volvo 740 suddenly wouldn't shift into any gear, car motionless

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Q: AC not blowing cold air

Hi. It sounds as though the refrigerant needs to be recharged, you have a leak in the system or both. This could be the result of improper service when the condenser was replaced. For example, if something was installed incorrectly...

Q: Car runs rough and shuts off - 1990 BMW 750iL

Without some additional symptoms, this is hard to say. If the car runs smoothly when warm, this would reflect a "cold start" problem with the engine. If the transmission shifts harshly either cold or hot, the transmission may need repair...

Q: Q: speedometer not working

The vehicle would need to be lifted and the cable checked to see if it is turning. If it is, then the speedometer is bad. If the cable does not turn, then disconnect it from the transmission and see if...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.