Q: Car cannot start, shifter showing second gear

asked by on

While I was driving, the engine accelerated so I parked the car. After that I tried to start it but it wouldn't. I attempted to restart it and as soon as the key was put into the on position in the ignition, I found that the shifter was showing second gear. What should I do?

Your symptoms seem to be similar to the situation where the linkage between the shifter handle and the transmission range selector may be loose or broken. In this event it may seem like the transmission range selections don’t match up like they used to. The vehicle will only start in park or neutral and the computer sees the selected range as neither, so the vehicle will not start. Since you can’t get the car started, hire one of our mobile experts to take a look to see if a broken connection or failing sensor is responsible for your starting issue.

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. Car cannot start, shifter showing second gear

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: Heater is blowing cold air truck is overheating and now I reduced power engine power light is on

The heater not working in some cases may be related to the overheating problem you are also having. This may be due to a faulty heater blower motor or potentially a bad heater core. As you may know, the heater...

Q: Accelerator very high - 1994 Ford E-350 Econoline Club Wagon

I would start with having the throttle body cleaned. If it's gunked up at all, it will require more than the usual effort, but will result in a more "open" throttle plate position, more air (and fuel) to the engine,...

Q: Car stalls, have to start from neutral. 1997 Jaguar XJ6

This might be the idle air control valve failing. Since this is one of the electronic engine controls which interacts with the engine management system to control idling specifically, it is a prime candidate for this mode of failure. This...

Related articles

Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
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...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...