Q: Can only shift gears while car is off.

asked by on December 28, 2015

I am unable to shift my car into gear while it is running. Only when I turn it off am I able to shift the gear. At first this only happened occasionally, but now this happens almost all of the time.

Being unable to shift your car while it is running can be a real problem if you need to get around! While there are several components involved with moving your shifter into gear, there is actually an easy and common way to diagnose your Acura yourself. Have a friend stand behind your vehicle with the key turned to the on position, you will then step on the brake. If you don’t see brake lights turn on, it is likely that the brake pedal switch on your RSX has failed on you. If the gear shifter is not being informed that your foot is on the brake, it will prevent you from shifting the vehicle. However if your brake lights do turn on, the problem may be coming from the gear shifter itself, or the PRNDL (Park, Reverse, Neutral, Drive and Low) switch on the transmission. Now if you have a manual transmission, it is likely that you are experiencing a worn out clutch. As you can see, while there is one way to diagnose your vehicle with a test, there are still many other reasons why your shifter is not moving into gear. Be sure to enlist the help of a certified mechanic to inspect the cause of this shifting problem.

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