Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car cannot shift to reverse

asked by on

The other day I was driving and then stopped and parked the car for a while. When I was about to continue driving, I lost reverse out of the blue. This is the first time something like this happened. As the fluid was a bit low, I had it replaced along with the filter. However, I still couldn't shift to reverse. What should I do?

It is possible this is caused by some dirt, grit, or other bit of trash in the valve body of the transmission. The valve body takes the mechanical selection of "Reverse" from the gear selector, and turns that into the hydraulic connections that activate the correct clutches and gear sets that do the work. Another possibility is if you aren’t getting a shift into 3rd gear (while in the "Drive" position), this could be a failure of the direct clutch in the transmission. This clutch is shared between Reverse and 3rd gear. A professional mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, can help diagnose this shifting problem and let you know what needs repair.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 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

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: Transmission fluid filter change - 1990 Ford LTD Crown Victoria

Based on your model year, this vehicle may have lots of miles on it. (I am going to assume they changed the transmission filter as they should have. Call to verify.) Changing transmission fluid can often have a negative effect,...

Q: I cant find nuetral safety switch 97 fiesta

If the transmission is a manual then the switch is on the clutch switch. If it is an automatic it is mounted on top of the transmission where the shift cable lever is. This vehicle may have a start inhibit...

Q: Smell coming from A/C vents

Hello there, a few different items can cause this type of smell in the vehicle. The most common is the heater core, but that has already been checked. Other likely causes would be an exhaust leak, fuel leak, or something...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...